Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Series - 50 Pakistani Destinations Before You Die

50 Pakistani Destinations Before You Die

Your guide to beautiful Pakistan.

[Picture of Karomber Lake by Muhammad Adeel; text by Mayank Austen Soofi]

One evening while browsing in a bookshop, I picked up the New York Times #1 bestseller titled 1,000 Places To See Before You Die. Compiled by travel writer Patricia Schultz, the attractive volume promised “1,000 places guaranteed to give travelers the shivers”. The Newsweek magazine blurb described it as a book “that tell you what’s beautiful, what’s fun and what’s just unforgettable—everywhere on earth.”

But there was no Pakistan in this 974-page bestseller.

No, South Asia was not ignored. India shined through the backwaters of Kerala to the temples of Khajuraho to Taj Mahal. Nepal was noticed for Mt. Everest and Kathmandu’s picturesque Durbar Square. Sri Lanka was praised for Colombo’s Galle Face hotel. Even the tiny Bhutan was not ignored.

But, no Pakistan.

No ruins of Taxila. No winding highways of Karakoram. No sufi shrines of Sindh. No train ride to Khyber. No story tellers’ street of Peshawar. No rugged landscape of Baluchistan. No Badshahi Masjid of Lahore. Not even Lonely Planet-esque Nanga Parbat.

Pity the readers of this book. We Pakistanis, however, need not worry. Pakistan Paindabad is happy to introduce 50 Pakistani Destinations Before You Die. This series would take readers to all that is beautiful and fantastic about this country. Readers are requested to send their choices. Pakistan Paindabad.

7 comments:

jharna bhatnagar said...

...THE REASON Y I CAME ACROOS UR BLOG WAS ALL THANKS TO HINDUSTAN TIMES, SAW THE ARTICLE THEY HAVE DONE ON YOU.. QUITE INSIGHTFUL I MUST SAY, AS FAR AS TRAFFICKING OF TOURIST IS CONCERNED TOWARDS PAKISTAN IT IS QUITE LOW AS COMPARED TO OTHER HOT OR EVEN REMOTE DESTINATIONS ON THE GLOBE.. PITTY THOUGH.. THE WAY ITS DESCRIBED IN THESE LINES, IT SEEMS TO BE QUITE FAMILIAR AND RELATING TO ( THOUGH I HAVE PERSONALLY NEVER SET MY FOOT IN PAKISTAN..BUT ENLIGHTENED INDEED)!

My friends said...

i read abt ur blog in the newspaper...well newspapers are nothing i read daily but the past 2 days have been pretty much entracing for the dear ole bored average indian, i guess...even bringing me out of my self imposed exile of non-reading...
i have never thought of Pakistan as some country i hate...why waste hate, it is too strong an emotion :-)
so i decided to find your blog and go through it...term it as general curiousity...and too much ennui...
i never thought of hating Pakistan because sadly i have enlightened myself to uncivilized behaviour long time back...every human being is capable of giving up civilization at certain points...then why hate a country...India and Indians have shown uncivilized behaviour, time and time again...I cant hate my country for it, even though i do feel shame about it at times...
in the end every time i think in terms of Pakistan, i just find some sadness...something like, what could have been achieved, couldnt because of circumstances...but the same goes for a lot of us...unfulfilled wishes i guess...
anyways ending this meaningless monologue, good work...there always exist a world which we dont know about...and we cant run it down because it is the unknown...if u do, it would sound like xenophobia, and best thing for it, get a shrink... ;-)

Saurabh said...

Hey... I too saw the write up in HT and I must thank them for doing so. This is another dimestion to look at the neighbourhood.... Kudos to you man... It was pretty heartening to see it through you lenases... and given chance then I wud love to explore it...at least Nanga Parbat, Karakoram and Taxila.

adi said...

yeh me three now , Had been reading your columns in HT, totally dig it !

Message board said...

Good one :)
Thanks for sharing.

kisha said...

hehehe...shows how popular hindustan times is...LOL!

well...same source implies for me...cz i was just crossing the room when i saw your pic and i just couldn't avoid reading it could i?...

i am certainly interestd in reading this blog as well..alongside with delhi walla......

PS-the only reason i commented was because you highlighted the fact of the happiness one feels on recieving comments....so im leaving my foortprints here too..:)

tc

mycity-delhi said...

i ve been reading HT since my childhood, n recently ur column has always been a candid reading. n recently came to knw of ur blog making entry into pakistani textbooks.kudos....well i can relate to ur articles on pakistan very much coz i belong to a family which got divided into two parts owing to partition of India. So when there were not major visa problems there was a constant travel from both teh sides of the border.And times when things were not that well,we had our share of panicky and worrying for the half family there. A bomb blast in karachi, n there would be a series of nervous calls made from here...A Gujarat here, n a series of panicky calls from there...I always wondered why they made pakistan in the first place, just for the fancy of our politicians....i do not see anything different in my pakistani cousins, except offcourse the moustaches :)..long,almost entering in the mouth...and too much make up for ladies(de actually do everything in their weddings, as our bollywood movies show)..:D...and when its time to leave india aftr a two month long visit here....man...Sadbhavana train is a place to watch...you can do a story on that also...n the fotos clicked are also good...keep doing good work....