So the journey from Multan to Rawalpindi introduced me to the Pakistani version of the Rajdhani Express-- the Daewoo buses. This bus service is a part of the deal between the Pakistani government and Daewoo involving building these really amazing highways all across the country. Anyway, the buses were pretty plush, and I'd never seen a bus stewardess before. It was a rather interesting journey, beginning with prayers and a short speech welcoming all the passengers. The one in Urdu was easier to understand than the one in English, which was truly terrible. We were served chicken sandwiches which were actually quite good. I wish they'd better the standards of journey food in India. Sigh.
Getting back, these buses have radio and TV, but the TV is quite pointless unless you want something boring enough to put you to sleep quickly.So I thought some music would make the journey more pleasant, seeing as it was to last ten hours. I put the earphones on, and shook my head in disbelief. No, not here!! I couldn't have come so far away to be haunted by this spectre....no, anything but HIMESH! So, yes, radio was not an option, and I settled for sharing headphones with A and using her MP3 player. The consequences were rather hilarious. We each heard one half of 'California Dreamin'. Among other things, there were the regulation bawling babies (they are the same the world over), the police jeep waiting at Jhang where the bus stopped so that we could, ahem, use the facilities (may I add here that this stop was not exclusively for my benefit), and the stewardess telling us that the bus had never travelled so fast, as the road ahead was being cleared of traffic on our account. Sheesh. I also had to try very hard to not fall asleep, considering that gravity plays strange tricks on me when I fall asleep in a bus, and I really didn't want a bunch of normal people to have their psyches scarred forever with a view of the inside of my mouth. I didn't succeed, I must have slept for atleast eight hours. Thankfully, I woke up as soon as we approached the mountains. They were like a testament to time itself, layered in colours that were as solid as the rocks, and yet vibrant, bursting, beautiful inspite of being dry and bare. And I must say, I do take the most wonderful photos from inside moving vehicles. Pat(s) on my back.
On reaching Rawalpindi, we were wondering whether we should wait for our escorts to show up, as we'd been instructed to do by the cops in Multan. But we were tired and dirty, and in no mood to humour Pakistani intelligence. So we got into an ancient cab and left for Islamabad, all the while amusing ourselves at the thought of the hapless party that would have been sent to recieve us, and would now be frantic at the thought that they'd managed to lose five Indian women.
Islamabad was reached quite quickly, on account of being only forty five minutes away from Pindi. Its rather like a pretty American suburb, with wide, clean avenues, pretty houses, and no poor people visible. I rather liked it, although its been called lifeless and boring. It was more a place that a homebody like me would enjoy living in. Of course, it is most essential to have noisy, riotous Pindi nearby, so that one can escape from sanity once in a while.
We reached P's residence. It was quiet, beautiful and most important, it was home, finally. We luxuriated in the bathroom, and the beds, and the heater, and the television, and we gorged in the kitchen (tea, nutella on toast, glorious chicken in manageable portions, glorious vegetables after a long period of parting, more of everything in general, except for T, who kept up her tradition of being functional with food). We finally had to roll ourselves out of the kitchen, and I discovered that my blog, and all other Indian ones, are inaccessible in Pakistan. Talk about irony. They do have that demon called Orkut, though.
P.S.: - I'm taking a hiatus from blogging for a while (meaning a week, tops). the reasons are as follows: -
1. I have to work on a book review on something about a second nuclear age by Colin Gray. As you can see, I haven't even begun. Blech.
2. I have to catch up on my reading. The list is, well, long. For this week, I'll restrain myself to three maybe.
3. There is a mountain of clothes to be washed and bed linen to be changed.
4. Why would you want to know about my extremely mundane chores?
Also, everybody who went to the Roger Waters concert tonight in Bombay, I hope you realize that you shouldn't have, coz I couldn't. Also, since more than two thirds of my bloodstream now consists of cough syrup, don't take me too seriously. That's it for now. Be good, boys and girls. Tata.