PTDC’S AMAZING BREAKFAST – Karachi to Khunjereb Pass.
It was fascinating, there were two different worlds around us. One with mountains, meadows and river, the calmer and the natural sight. The other was man-made buildings, bridge and Bazar. Surely, the mountains were right there in their background but they were infected by man-made stuff, most of the other people would love. To me they were infections to these great sceneries.
We headed towards the stall, the scenery was breathtaking, we could see the entire campsite. When we arrived the day before, we only heard the water flowing through pitch black. The morning came up with enchanting views of the scenery, mountains on our right, hotels on our left, river and the camps ahead of us. There was a road heading towards the main Bazar (market).
“Here comes your Bhabi and Bhaiya,” my husband pointed towards the market as we ordered our tea.
“Salam,” I showed them the chairs beside me, “come have tea with us.”
“Sure, I am for craving one” Bhabi took her seat.
“Where were you? Have you seen the market? Is it open yet?” I asked.
“We went to the market, it’s not fully open, they said it will open after eight.”
“It appears everything here opens after eight.” my husband smirked.
“I want to charge my mobile, where can we do that?” I inquired Bhaiya.
“At the dining hall PTDC while eating our breakfast,” said Bhaiya “or you can use my battery bank if you’re desperate.” taking the bank out of his pocket.
“Well let’s try,” I said as I took the bank and connected it to my mobile, “I think it’s not working on my mobile.”
“Or it is already dead, your Bhaiya has charged his mobile from it,” Bhabi said while bending down and picking up the cup, “Is this one without sugar?”
“Yes, this one is, I should have ordered the sugar free too, it’s like this tea is half sugar,” I said.
“You can put some of mine in your cup to balance it a little, I won’t be drinking it all,” said bhabi.
“That would be great. Hey, do you know where baji is? I’ve haven’t seen her since she woke me up, she just disappeared”
“They went to the PTDC, they have nice clean rest area,” answered bhabi. “Have you been there? It’s an awesome sight, the river Kunhar is totally different there, all calm like a lake.”
“Really? I can’t imagine river Kunhar being calm, it was rushing furiously every time I saw it.”
“Yes, go have a look it’s just at the back of our camp.”
“It’s more like we are at the back of the PTDC,” Smirked Bhaiya, “Tanno please go wake them all, we don’t have much time left as we have to start for the Saif-ul-Mulook at least by 9 o’clock and the dining room will be open in about 15 minutes now.”
“Ok, I am starving already,” I said, honestly it appeared like I was the only starving person in the crib, hungry all the time.
“Shariq come with me, let’s talk to the Jeep driver to book them for the lake tour,” said Shahid bhai as he reached us, I turned around and saw Baji tagging along with him.
“Well I’ve been there and asked them the fare, but I think we should wait for the PTDC office, I’ve heard their rates are low,” said Bhaiya.
“I think they only rent their jeeps to the government employees or their relatives.”
“We can surely ask.”
“Tanzeela, go get the kids ready I am going to wake Ali up,” ordered my husband in his own way.
“Come Baji let’s go.”
“Yes, I’ll take Manahil to the rest area there at PTDC,” said Baji.
“I can’t take my kids there, it’s too far away, I’ll just wash them up here.”
“Let me tell the camp guy to bring hot water for you,” said Bhaiya.
“Thanks, that would be great.”
We went to our camp, Zunaira and Salama were already up and excited. It took me almost half an hour to get them ready.
“Let’s go Tanzeela, where are you? Get out of the camp already, we have to go for breakfast,” scolded my husband.
“Ok, ok I’m coming, go ask baba to help you put your shoes on Hadia,” I told her, and let my youngest put on his shoes.
“We are going to the dining hall Api.”
“I will be ready in a minute; can you please hand me my bag, here the flowery one,” said Api.
“Here you go’ I said “hey Nehdia you ladoo.”
“Where are my shoes? I’m sure I put them here at this corner,” said Taymia.
“They must be under my carry-on,” I said.
“People, we’re going to order our breakfast now please be there soon,” said bhabi.
“Let’s go,” I went out of the camp.
“Come Hadia let’s go get Anda paratha,” my husband took Hadia’s hand and marched Forward.
“Baba I want Anda roti,” said Hadia.
“Yes, we are going to get it baita but you have to walk by yourself, ok?”
We entered the place from the back, it was PTCD’S official camping site with bricked huts symmetrically arranged. They lay in a row, every one of them were of the same design. Very organized and pleasant.
We moved farther towards the center of the place, it was a big natural park. The plantations were geometrical and little streams were cutting in between the thick green grass, slithering between the trunks. Little mushrooms were lined at the edge of the streams. The tiny white things were looking really cute in between the fresh green grass and clear water.
“Oh, Allah MashaAllah, what a site,” I exclaimed.
“Beauty beyond any limits, right,” added my husband.
“I Wanna go there,” I pleaded like a kid. We could see from far away the river Kunhar’s calm part that bhabi was talking about. It was unbelievable.
“Not now we have to go to the dining hall first,” said my husband.
“Okay,” I muttered with disappointment.
Don’t judge me, I was so hungry.
The dining hall was cozy and dimly lit. It was a round room; full length windows were all around. I loved the place instantly.
“When will our breakfast arrive?” I asked.
“They said it will take some time”
“Can we go look at the river please”
“Okay, let me put our mobiles to charge first,” He finally agreed and I was bouncing up and down. Well, not literally, just in my head.
It was like a scene from the movies. I was walking on the path towards the river Kunhar, thick green grass was around us and in between were little yellow and white flowers enhancing the beauty. And all of a sudden snowfall started.
YES, you heard me right SNOW.
I was dumbstruck for a moment and I looked up at the sky for the clouds, but it was clear, as we don’t have snowfalls in summer.
Little white flakes were falling from the pine trees up ahead, not from the sky. Their pollen grains. They looked exactly like snow.
The water was calmer than I had ever seen. It looked like a total photocopy of scenery from Switzerland. It looked like a poster card itself.
The water was green and calm. Whites flakes fell over it, covering it like a blanket. Red and yellow leaves spotted the water surface. Green grass grew right up to the very edge. Mountains on the other side of the river with sheep and mountain goats. Chilly breeze.
Silence. No sound of furious water flowing. No people.
No words can really explain my feelings, it was a dream come true. I always wanted such a calm place, to sit there with no one but myself. I could do this for hours and hours. But unfortunately, or rather fortunately, I have four kids and a husband to worry about. Can’t do such things as I used to do before. But, it’s not that bad, I love when I get to see my kids happy and a satisfied husband.
No pain No gain.