Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Pakistan Diary - Final

Realised that I haven't written about Islamabad-Rawalpindi and Multan at all. And, seriously, don't feel like doing it anymore.

But for my own sake, it's probably best to just key in a few quick thoughts, just for posterity.

The only really interesting time spent in Islamabad was when we went across to Daman-I-Koh, this rather nice tourist village right on the outskirts of Islamabad. It's really nicely done up with a lot of nice lights and trees and suchlike stuff. There's exactly one restaurant, and nothing else. It provides an extremely breathtaking panoramic view of Islamabad and the famous Faisal Masjid therein. The Indian team had gone there for one evening, and we, as usual, turned up.

Did my only other substantial story for the tour from Islamabad - the one on the Indians being forced to miss their practice sessions because of Muharram. It was a decent story actually. And though I ended up doing a fantastic three stories per day, this one will count as a special story simply because of the way I got it. But the blog's not the place to discuss it.

Pindi is where all the alcohol in Pakistan is brewed. Not indi actually, but Murree, a hill station just outside Pindi. So there is a lot of alcohol in the city, and there is in fact one whole booze shop there as well.

The place for CDs, cassettes, DVDs and suchlike stuff.

Interestingly, Multan is considered the home of Sufi music in Pakistan, but scout around as much as you want, you won't find any existence of life in Sufidom prior to Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. Really. It's non-existent. In fact, Lahore has a better culture of Qawwali. Every night, in some dargah or the other in Lahore, there is a concert. And I am told the standard is very high.

But if you want DVDs and stuff, go to Derrada Chowk, and to Kareem Centre there. It's a semi-circle of about 20 huge shops and all of them have massive stocks.

Anything else I remember? Nope. Seriously. Except that we were restricted to the ground and our guest house for the most part because of the riots across Pakistan following the Muhammad cartoons in a Danish daily.