26~ RoadTrip.pk

Departing Hunza 21 July;

‘Let’s go everyone, we’ve ordered our breakfast at the restaurant downstairs. Please hurry up so that we could leave until nine o’clock.’ Bhaiya was marching up and down the hall calling everyone out.

The lobby was filled with our luggage and stuff. Plus, there was chaos everywhere. One could easily compare that day with the scene in our ever-green movie Home Alone. The family departure. Ah, thankfully we never left anyone there.

A farewell view of Rakaposhi from our Hotel in Hunza
We went down to the restaurant which was a street below but we used the guest house’s gate that leads us to the roof of the restaurant and eventually to its stairs.

‘Where should we sit?’ I questioned my husband but before we knew it, we all settled down to the dining area inside the family hall.

‘Why is he looking at us like this?’ I whispered to Taymia. The man who was staring right at us looked like the manager of the place, wearing a black suit blue tie. That was totally fascinating because it was just a small restaurant, not a five-star hotel.

I was still wondering why, when I heard Bhaiya whispered to my husband who was sitting together with the rest of the males at the table by the ladies.

‘This is not the place we ordered our breakfast from it’s really nice of them that they are letting us sit here. So I think we should order tea from this restaurant. What do you say?’

My mouth was wide open. They surely were great hospitable people. I mean we did it by mistake yet they never asked us to move on.

Done with our breakfast and tea, we started our journey back to Naran.

At last, we entered the last phase of our tour. Heading back to our city. Although we ventured into lots of places in just ten days yet it felt that we missed lots of others.

I must confess one thing here before I move on, or else the sleeping beauties will kill me.

Yes, there were times when I myself joined the sleeping party. This was one of the other time I slept like a hibernating bear. Never heard a word never worried about any of my kid and when I woke up, we were near Chilas heading smoothly towards Naran.

P.S: Emad reminded me that I slept exactly the same way the others did and he had to take care of my younger one most of the times. I guess people tend to forget how many times they get their snores to a high pitch. Hey, I was just pulling the legs out of my siblings. Is it not my eternal right to do so?

Crossing Chillas was the most difficult task that day. It was almost midday when we reached the Fairy Meadows zero point. Never stopped for even ten minutes.

It took us almost twice the time then before to cross Chillas and reach the Babusar Pass because of some land sliding and we had to stop for an hour to get it cleared. That hour was most challenging of all. We had to stop the engines, without air-conditioning in the blistering heat. Even our drinking water was on fire.

‘It’s like our bus is a big hot oven right now. When are we going to move on?’ Omaina inquired although no one had the answer.

‘I hope it happens soon.’ Api was fanning Nehdia with the help of a piece of paper.

In all that heat and uncomfortable environment, our guest from the United Arab Emirates never said a word of complaint. I was so surprised to see Manahil’s patience. We never saw her being even a little bit uneasy with the hardships we had suffered all our trip, we owe her big time. Hats off to her.

Nehdia and the rest of the younger kids were also very calm and steady yet sweating badly.

At last, we crossed Allah’s hot oven and entered heaven. Exactly the opposite way it happened before.

‘Oh, I want to take a stop here it’s beautiful.’ Omama wondered as we were crossing some great big and small waterfalls near Babusar pass, the same glaciers and grasslands looked enchanting.

‘What do you say people we should take a stop at one of the falls. I think we have a little time for exploring.’ Bhaiya finally said the words we all wanted to hear.

‘Yes, I think we should stop we have to pray zuhr prayer somewhere.’ Apa agreed.

So, with their approval, we stopped at this beautiful fall, coming out from a glacier up at its crest. The water was chilly yet Nehdia as we know her dipped herself in before I could even put my foot to the ground.

Shaji followed in her footsteps as a compulsory deed.

The weather was perfect and the sound of water gushing down on the rocks was fascinating. Some went ahead in search of restrooms. Some stayed at the falls.

Performing Wadu for prayers!

‘What about Golla Ganda. I need to have some before we end this tour.’ Taymia announced although her voice was not completely back.

‘Yes, we’ll look for any clean glacier to enjoy that’ Bhaiya replied.

Golla Ganda is ice with coloured juices on it. In case you were wondering what this Golla Ganda exactly was.

We crossed the Babusar Pass and found a relatively big glacier which was not that clean. What can you expect as the ice was there for about a year then.

‘Ah, this glacier is not that clean. Can we eat this ice? Will it be safe for us?’ Omaina inquired with a puzzled look on her face.

‘Well, we can dig through it until it gets the clean one out.’ Baji replied and all of us hopped out of our coaster. The atmosphere became dense with our shrieks and shouts. Some were digging the ice, some held up the juice bottles, the red Jam-e-Sherin to be precise we couldn’t get any other like the green, Quice, the ice cream syrup.

‘Mami has Marinda, we can pour some of that.’ somebody shouted and with that great announcement all the kids circled around Bhabi and she became busy pouring marinda over their cup of ice.

‘I’m gonna make a Golla Ganda stick’ Taymia came up with a stick and a glass.

This Gola Ganda tradition is very popular in Southeast Asia. One could never forget that on such a tour that was embraced with glaciers and snow. I still remember when I was six and my family had the exclusive tour to Northern Areas.MamoJan, my uncle had crossed the river kunhar just to get the fresh block of ice for the Gola Ganda adventure. The sight that day was the photocopy of my memories back then. Kids were whooping around, elders were fighting for getting more and more of it.

When we started our journey again I was snoring in no time. I don’t know how much time I continued my slumber.

‘Okay, now I think we should look for a place to stay somewhere around here.’ I opened my eyes with Riaz bhai words.

It seemed I was out for a long time.

‘Where are we now?’ I asked Api.

‘Near Naran somewhere.’ I peeked outside and saw those beautiful plains with thick grass and little water streams. It looked more enchanting because the sunlight was simmering from behind the snow-covered mountains and enhancing the beauty of the place with numerous shadows of different kinds.

‘Won’t it be so nice if we get to stay near these meadows. I loved them the minute I saw them before. It’s like nothing is more enchanting than this place.’ I began admiring the beauty and wondered out loud.

‘Yaseen sahab please stop right here I think we should ask the rates from these hotels here.’ I heard Bhaiya requested the driver.

Riaz bhai and Bhaiya went out to talk to the management. They searched two or three hotels. All of them didn’t satisfy our requirements. So, we drove ahead.

Finally, we found a place in between the meadows. Though we had to wait for Bhaiya mad Riaz bhai for about half an hour.

It was near sunset when we entered the premises of our hotel that day. I don’t have any words to explain.

It was at the edge of a small hill with lots of thick green grassy land all around. At the back our hotel the wall touched the shallow ditch that leads to the winding grey river flowing down the valley and in the background, we could see lots of small waterfalls coming down the snow-covered mountains.

It felt magical in the thickening light of the late afternoon.

We didn’t have much time, neither strength to explore the surroundings. As it was pitch dark in no time.

The hotel was one of the best we had all our trip. Nice clean rooms with attached bath plus hot water supply.

They even had a kitchen and a chef who made us an exquisite dinner. I was starving like hell as always. Our dinner was served on the veranda near our rooms.

‘Let’s have some fun after diner.’ alluded Api.

‘Which kind of fun.’ I inquired.

‘Maybe we should campfire here. It’s the best place for it.’ Taymia pointed out to the lawn chairs near us. The hotel had a beautiful lawn with flower beds. Also, the lighting was perfect.

‘Well I think we are a little too tired to start such an adventure.’ I added.

‘Oh, I know we should play cards we hadn’t done that all our trip. How can we do such a thing.’ Omama smirked.

‘Yeah, spent ten days of adventure with no cards pity.’ Api gave a twisted smile.

‘Then it’s settled we are playing cards all of us together.’ Taymia announced finally and everyone agreed.

We made a large circle from lawn the chairs and settled around the table. Even though we had used each and every chair there was yet some of us had to sit on the grass.

‘So what are we playing now.’ Emad inquired while playing with the card set.

‘None other than court piece double series.’ Bhaiya always loved that game.

‘We are more than four I think we should play the black queen. That way all of us can play together.’ Api suggested.

I would go for ONO, as I don’t know how to play any of that.’ Omaina reasoned.

‘Haha, we’re not babies. We’ll make groups, two or three of us in one place but please I can’t play anything else. It’s so long time we haven’t played that together.’ Bhaiya insisted and we had to agree. What can we do it was Bhaiya.

Nah I’m kidding seriously, all of us loves court piece to the bottom of our heart and his idea was practically a good one and it turned out to be great that night.

The cards we played didn’t have any betting or gambling on it. So, if anyone here is wondering how could we play cards when they are forbidden in Islam.

Playing cards is strictly Haram if it’s played for compensation since it becomes a form of gambling.
Allah Says (interpretation of the meaning): {O you who believe! Intoxicants (all kinds of alcoholic drinks), gambling, AlAnsâb, and AlAzlâm (arrows for seeking luck or decision) are an abomination of Shaitân’s (Satan) handiwork. So avoid (strictly all) that (abomination) in order that you may be successful.} [5: 90].

It also becomes Haraam if it leads to losing some right, obligation such as prayer or parents’ obedience or losing any Divine duty and if it leads to hate and enmity. Even wasting the precious time Allah has given us to earn Jannah by playing these kinds of games regularly in one’s life, comes under the forbidden definition.

We, on the other hand were playing for a little while just enough to enjoy our trip which was already a leisure activity, meant to create a strong bond amongst the siblings.

‘Oh, hello Tanno you are cheating I’m sure you are.’ Api bounced up. She, with her husband Riaz bhai, was in the other team paired with Emad and Taymia. My team had my husband and I, our other partners were Bhaiya and Bhabi. Rest of us were either too tired enough that they went straight to bed or not at all interested in games like cards.

It was one of the days that my husband and Riaz bhai were playing and enjoying with us. And not to mention Omaina and Omama were switching sides and roaming around the place giving everyone hints about their opponents.

‘Haha look who’s talking you are the queen of cheats dear, I don’t cheat.’ I smirked.

‘I’m not okay, I just try to calculate things BUT I don’t cheat.’

‘So what made you think that I do? I’m your sis you know.’

‘Okay stop fighting, nobody’s cheating here. It’s just we are winning that’s why you people are jealous.’ my husband saved a real fight there.

‘Winning? Ah, Hassan Bhai you aren’t even halfway through winning. I’m still confused how do you know the game.’

‘Well, I’m not that boring person. I’ve played the game many times with my buddies.’

‘Yes, if we don’t play with you guys doesn’t mean we don’t know.’ Riaz bhai added.

‘Oh you know guys, this place is near the zero points Lalazar. What do you say if we make a little detour and visit Lalazar. I think we’ll have two or three hours to spare tomorrow.’ Bhaiya brought up the topic which echoed the place with our shrieks and shouts.

‘Why not, it’s a great idea but do you think it won’t exceed our budget? Riaz bhai inquired.

‘No inshallah, I’ve calculated and surely that place is worth it. I’ve heard it’s a piece of paradise.’ Bhaiya replied.

‘If that’s the plan we should get some sleep, say we have to leave this place early.’ Api suggested.

‘Yap, we have to get up early AGAIN.’ I added with a sneering grin.

‘Yes, you’re right. Let’s go get some rest.’

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *