Salman Rashid

Travel writer, Fellow of Royal Geographical Society

My travel companions

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Bashir who features in the Kaghan trek of Between Two Burrs on the Map: Travels in Northern Pakistan and I are still friends 23 years after the expedition. He is fine person with a great sense of humour, very fit (still) and has good temperament. Azizullah (from the same book) I met in 1995 in Gilgit that was five years after the expedition. I had written about him as I found him: he was grasping one moment and incredibly kind and generous the second and I thought he would not like what was said. Someone had read the relevant parts of the book to him and when we met and I acted sheepish, he was so large-hearted as to say, 'don't worry. Whatever you wrote was just the truth.' Now, there are few people like Azizullah in Pakistan. I met him again in 2010 when I was walking to Shuwert to photograph for the PPL book of days titled Roads Less Travelled.

I have great regard for my friend Hasil Chandio from the Khirthar Mountains. He is so tied to the good earth that has been his home for hundreds of years. He is proud of his heritage, he holds the stories of the elders dear to his heart and he has roamed the mountain more than many others. He is kind and hospitable. He is very, very funny and he is the kind who never forgets a friend. In Balochistan have met men like the dandy Ghulam Jan: tall, good-looking and dignified who with his friend Lal Gul led me to the peak of Takht e Suleman (Prisoner on a Bus: Travel Through Pakistan) in 1994. I can never stop being thankful to Hasan Jan of Hushe (Baltistan) who was with the team on the Muztagh Pass expedition in 2006 and again with me in 2012 on the trek to Thalle La between Shigar and Shyok Valley. He is the most considerate person I have ever met.

What I admire in all these men is their toughness, their knowledge of the area and their willingness to help and never say the word 'defeat'. They are, all of them, remarkable, resilient and wonderful humans. They have made my journeys worthwhile. Without them and their stories, I would surely have been the poorer.

Though they were all being compensated for being with me, there was never ever the slightest hint of malingering or wanting to abort my mission. That is the most remarkable thing in all these good men.

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posted by Salman Rashid @ 12:30 AM,

5 Comments:

At May 9, 2013 at 12:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Relationship made in tough conditions last longer.

What happens to the porters with expeditions who climb to he top. I have not heard of any being named as a hero.

 
At May 9, 2013 at 12:43 PM, Anonymous Salman Rashid said...

It is the lot of the porters to remain anonymous. Mostly, that is. But we have so many names that are well-known. However, because mountaineering is the sport of a very select group, the porters remain largely unknown.

 
At May 9, 2013 at 1:45 PM, Blogger Nayyar Julian said...

You are a 'hero' when I am reading your articles and OMG you are a human when I look at this images.

 
At May 9, 2013 at 2:11 PM, Anonymous Salman Rashid said...

The heroes really are the men that led me. And I am surpirsed you thought I was a jin-bhoot!

 
At May 10, 2013 at 1:36 PM, Blogger Nayyar Julian said...

LOL. No a jin-bhoot. But I thought you are a supper human. In the photo you look like all of us.

 

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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