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Himalaya

Day 25: Rawalpindi to Lahore

Rawalpindi, Pakistan 
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Heat and dust: BBC versus Rawalpindi schoolboys.
Michael Palin - HimalayaThe name Punjab is an elision of Paan, five, and Aab, waters, and refers to the five rivers on which the prosperity of the province depends. Connected up, under the British occupation, by a network of branch canals and distribution channels, the flows of the Indus, Chenab, Ravi, Sutlej and Jhelum support 70 million people, almost half the population of Pakistan. Seventy miles south of Pindi a mile-long railway bridge crosses the river into the town of Jhelum. Walking out on the station there I fall into conversation with a tall, irrepressibly cheery young man with wide, expressive eyes. His name is Asim and he's on his way to Lahore with his brother, Azam, an accountant who is having a weekend-long engagement party. They buy me pakoras, savoury fritters, from a stall on the platforms and we munch away in mutual enthusiasm. I will love Lahore, he promises.

'They are not fundamentalists there. Lahore is a city of very loving people, very wide-hearted, very loving.'

He puts away another pakora.

'Lahori people are very fond of eating,' confirms Asim.
Rawalpindi, Pakistan 
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Heat and dust: BBC versus Rawalpindi schoolboys.
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PALIN'S GUIDES

  • Series: Himalaya
  • Chapter: Day 25: Rawalpindi to Lahore
  • Country/sea: Pakistan
  • Place: Lahore
  • Book page no: 53

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