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Himalaya

Day 5: Taxila

Michael Palin - HimalayaAt the end of the day, as the racing is drawing to a close and the heat haze fades to reveal the low, reassuring contours of the Margalla Hills to the north, we're treated to a meal at a nearby village. It's laid out in suitably princely style, with dishes of tikkas and masalas in silver salvers on long tables and local specialities of partridge and quail.

'Now, quail racing,' the Prince enthuses, 'that is where the big money goes. You know, small fortunes are won or lost on quail races.'

As ever, I'm not entirely sure where fact and fiction merge in Prince Malik's stories, but before we can question him further, he shakes hands and apologizes that he must return to the course for the prize-giving.

'And those quails, Michael. They are not from a farm. They are shot in the forest.'

A countryman to the last.
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PALIN'S GUIDES

  • Series: Himalaya
  • Chapter: Day 5: Taxila
  • Country/sea: Pakistan
  • Place: Taxila
  • Book page no: 24

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