When people ask why do I travel in Punjab, I don’t always have a clear answer because it’s difficult to explain and I fear that people won’t get it.
‘Too bad, I can only be poetic in this state,’ I smiled and then read this verse of Baba Farid’s: Main bhulawa pagg da matt maili ho jaaye/ Gehla rooh na jaan-ee sirr bhi mitti khaaye.
“Wait, what am I asking, you don’t plan your trips, you just leave, just like that,” she said.
My father and I were talking about his recent trip to Indian Punjab when I asked him if he spoke to the people there in Punjabi.
“Since when have you been running this tandoor?” I ask the woman who owns and operates this tandoor that provides me with rotian for lunch and dinner here in Pakpattan.
“Was there a tree in the house?” she asked. “Yes, there in fact was one. And it used to cry.”
She looked at me as if I was indulging in poetry.
I had seen this book when I was a kid. In my father’s library perhaps. But when I actually got interested in the folklore about 8 years ago, there was no sign of this book anywhere. I asked around but everyone said that the book, printed more about 3 decades ago, was not going to be found but at old book shops. They were occasionally visited. But in vain. So where was this picture taken, then? It’s a long story.
I resign from my job, someone breaks into my apartment, and I get a break on a freelance project I had been trying to complete. All in one day. You know what that means?
My first for Dawn. Stories from Punjab in the north of Ravi.
If you guys were not so urban, I would tell you of a festival like no other. I would tell you that people from different parts of Punjab, Sindh, and KP begin their pilgrimage 45 days before the festival.
I keep hearing — from men, of course — that ‘Punjabi women are more religious and more superstitious.’