Saturday, March 31, 2007
It was raining pretty heavily when we reached Golden Temple this time around. It was my second trip to India. In the first trip it was only I--crossed border in the afternoon, spent the night in Amritsar, and then crossed border in the morning to go back to Lahore. In the second trip H was with me--crossed border, showed H around in Amritsar, and then took a bus to Pathankot. Actually, we wanted to go to Dharamsala but we had missed that bus. The idea was to go to Pathankot and then take another bus to Dharamsala. But we reached Pathankot very late at night, and we had to be back in Lahore the next day, so there was no point in continuing the journey to Dharamsala that night. Spent the night in Pathankot and took 8:20 a.m. train back to Amritsar.
Thursday, March 29, 2007
Meeting Intizar Hussain
Here he is seen signing a book for me.
انتظار حسین صاحب اردو ادب کے برائن لارا ہیں۔ انہوں نے لکھ لکھ کر کتابوں کے ڈھیر لگا دیے ہیں۔ ان کی تصانیف مندرجہ ذیل ہیں:
چار یادوں کے مجموعے
چراغوں کا دھواں
آگے سمندر ہے
دس افسانوں کے مجموعے
خیمے سے دور
دن اور داستان
شہرزاد کے نام
گھاس کے میدان۔۔چیخوف
فلسفہ کی نئی تشکیل۔۔جان ڈیوی
An unwritten epic & other stories
نئے شہر پرانی بستیاں
زمین اور فلک اور
Meeting Intizar Hussain
Sunday, March 18, 2007
Breakfast in Lahore, lunch in Amritsar
Well, it was actually a very late lunch, but I succeeded in doing what I wanted to do for a long time. I had breakfast in Lahore and after taking care of some business crossed the border on foot, and had lunch in Amritsar. Long live non-reporting visas, and may all Pakistanis and Indians soon have the privilege of traveling this way.
I had told my friend Shalini Gera I would write an article with the above title. But now I am not too sure I would. What exactly is so special about traveling between two cities that are just 60 km apart?
I have written more about the trip in Urdu, and it is going to be here:
Visa: Got multiple entry visa of 6-month validity from Indian Consulate in San Francisco.
Lahore to Wagah: The border is 30 km from Lahore. Budget travelers change a couple of buses to reach to the border (coming back, I believe Bus #4, border to Jallo; Bus #22 Jallo to ?: Bus ?? from ? to Lari Addah--Lahore Bus Stand). Taxi costs Rs.500-700.
Money conversion: Changing Pak Rupees to Indian Rupees you get a better rate on the Pakistani side. I got Indian Rs 700 for Pak Rs 1000.
Crossing border: Border is open 9:30 to 3:30 pm every day. Most of the people crossing the border on foot have foreign passports.
There is a short (1/4 km) no-man’s land to walk. Porters are available to carry your luggage.
Border to Atari: At the Indian side most people take cycle rickshaws to reach Atari bus stand (roughly 2.5 km from the border). Cycle rickshaw costs Rs.10.
Atari to Amritsar: Bus to Amritsara costs Rs.15.
Thursday, March 08, 2007
Unspoiled Gwadar beach
Gwadar Port Authority Building
Friday, March 02, 2007
Meeting Mushtaq Ahmad Yusufi
Mushtaq Ahmad Yusufi was very kind to talk to me for almost two hours--though, he asked me to turn off the video camera very early in the session. His wife passed away on January 30 after an illness of two and a half years.
He told me he has manuscript of two books he wants to publish soon.
I tried to convince him to visit his fans in India, UK, USA, and Canada.