BREATHTAKING MORNING- Karachi to Khunjereb Pass.
“Tanzeela, wakeup! Hassan bhai is calling you,” Baji said as she dragged me into consciousness.
“Wait … what… where am I,” I mumbled as I woke. Every part of my body was still aching. I grabbed my mobile and looked over the clock, it was Six in the morning.
“It’s too early. I am going back to sleep…” was my first thought but then I realized that if I missed this morning I would never forgive myself.
Weighted down with pain, I bent my joints and stretched. After fixing my Hijab I checked on my sleeping kids, who were all still soundly sleeping.
“Mamma, Baba is calling you,” Ali peeked through the opening of the camp.
“You are up? When did you wake up?” I asked.
“It’s been awhile I want to sleep now,”
“Ok you can sleep a little more I’ll wake you up when we leave for the breakfast,” I showed him the place and went out.
“Are you going towards the bathroom? Wait for me, I wanted to go too!” called Omaina from behind me.
“You’re going to take time? All those preparation of yours, right?”
“I guess! It’ll be few minutes,”
“Ok, I am going to wait outside, don’t take too long,”
When I made my way towards the clearing, I looked up and suddenly forgot to breathe. My eyes stretched through the length of the misty mountains that lined the backdrop of the heavenly scene. It was hard to believe. Was I really witnessing it with my own two eyes?
I was in a different world altogether, different from what I’d ventured the night before, the dampness and the smell was gone. The fresh breeze was enchanting. It was chilly, yet it was fresh. I heard the water gushing nearby and my heart dragged me towards it. Soon as I turned my steps towards the sound.
“Where have you been, I’ve been waiting for you for about half an hour now, don’t you want to have look at the site before we leave for Saif-ul-Mulook,” My Husband came out of nowhere.
“Okay, I am sorry, I was up inside, I was just checking on the kids if they are ok,” I said.
“Are they ok? Should we leave them here? I wanted to show you the site,” he said.
“Yes, they are ok. I think they are soundly sleeping, won’t wake up for some time. We have at least an hour and if they wake up, Api is in there, she’ll take care of them,” with that we walked towards the stream.
“Oh, my God, oh my GOD this is Beautiful,” I shrieked and jumped in excitement.
It was not a small stream, it was a tributary, heading towards the mainstem, the River Kunhar, which was just a couple of miles ahead of us. We could see the part where they were meeting.
The mountains stood silently in the background, a brooding presence of sky punching majesty. Brooches of snow covered their lofty peaks, encircling them in wreaths of angel-white
“I wanted to go there, near the river,” I said, excited like hell, pointing towards the confluence.
“Yes, we’ll go there, first let’s take some pictures here.”
“Oki I am waiting for Omaina no wonder she is taking so much time.”
“It’s Omaina! what do you expect from her.”
“I’m here,” said Omaina.
“Talk of the devil.”
“You were talking about me? I am flattered, you do love me,” she pretended to wipe fake tears.
“We were talking about how much time you could take to PREPARE. So ya that much important you are.” I smirked.
“Let’s take a SELFIE before we move on.” she said deliberately changing the topic. It was not just ONE SELFIE that we took.
“If you girls are done with the selfie session, why don’t we go up at the Tea stall to drink tea. It looks like breakfast would take a little while,” said my husband.
“Yes, Bhaiya told me that we will eat our breakfast at the PTDC (Pakistan Tourism Development Center), but it will open after eight o’clock,” I informed.
“I don’t drink tea, so I am gonna stay here, the best place ever” Omaina was still hovering over the stream.
“Well, we should make it our tag line for the rest of our tour – ‘THE BEST PLACE EVER’.”