Salman Rashid

Travel writer, Fellow of Royal Geographical Society

Roads More Travelled

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'Roads more travelled' do not really interest me. I will gladly do a piece on, say, Qabula (a village near Arifwala) or Rasulnagar (Gujranwala: The Glory That Was) or Rohri in Sindh, but I have found it singularly difficult to write on Multan or Lahore. Similarly, I have not been wble to write exclusive pieces on such touristy places as Rohtas or Derawar forts after I first visited them. But several years after, I did write about them when I read some interesting historical items connected with them. With Derawar it was the legend of the Alexandrine treasure and at Rohtas it was the apotheosis of Khwas Khan who was the fort's governor under Sher Shah Suri.
 
There are many travel writers, particularly those who contribute to tourist magazines, who will work their magic on places like Venice, Budapest and what have you. Also, remember William Dalrymple's City of Djinns (about Delhi) - there must be others that I cannot immediately recall. But speaking for myself, I can say I have never been turned on by famous places.

I do not think travel writers ignore the more travelled roads. But I suppose, it is the lure of the exotic, the adventure, the anxiety-making journey that takes travel writers to out of the way places.
 
Related: Roads Less Travelled

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posted by Salman Rashid @ 9:18 AM,

6 Comments:

At May 20, 2013 at 1:53 PM, Anonymous Amelia Davis said...

Fantastic!!! the published work is really the greatest I have seen on Pakistan. I will thirstily look forward to your future updates. Saying thanks will not just be sufficient, for the fantastic lucidity in your writing.

And I don't agree with you here. A travel writer of your class should not leave out anything because it is already know. Sure you will see any big city or anything famous from your own perspective.

 
At May 20, 2013 at 2:21 PM, Anonymous Salman Rashid said...

Gosh! Thank you, Amelia. Let's see what i can do about big cities. As soon as the current load of non-travel writing assignments finish, i shall embark on this new quest.

 
At May 20, 2013 at 11:38 PM, Anonymous Kausar Bilal said...

Wish we have travelers' organizations where we explore places from a traveler's point of view. For example, we target 2 tours per year and before each tour we study the geography, history and present of the places we are going to visit. Regional cultural studies should also be part of it.
Nice post!

 
At May 21, 2013 at 4:20 PM, Anonymous Salman Rashid said...

Thank you, Kausar. In the West they have specialist guides for the kind of tours you suggest. My hero, the climber-explorer Eric Shipton, became a 'celebrity guide' in his retirement. He was above 65 when he led special interest groups to Patagonia and other places.

 
At May 22, 2013 at 9:42 PM, Anonymous Amelia Davis said...

Will you? Ok thanks. Start with Lahore.

 
At May 23, 2013 at 8:51 AM, Anonymous Salman Rashid said...

That sounds like a challenge! But I will try to stand up to it.

 

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My Books

Deosai: Land of the Gaint - New

The Apricot Road to Yarkand


Jhelum: City of the Vitasta

Sea Monsters and the Sun God: Travels in Pakistan

Salt Range and Potohar Plateau

Prisoner on a Bus: Travel Through Pakistan

Between Two Burrs on the Map: Travels in Northern Pakistan

Gujranwala: The Glory That Was

Riders on the Wind

Books at Sang-e-Meel

Books of Days