Salman Rashid

Travel writer, Fellow of Royal Geographical Society

The Jaleebi Maker of Jhelum

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Motorcyclists pause at the hut with the wattle roofing. Even cars make the hundred-metre detour from the Grand Trunk Road (N-5) at the sign that says ‘Domeli Mor’, where the road for Domeli branches off to the south-east. It is said that no gala at Jhelum, Dina and Sohawa — the three nearby urban centres — is gastronomically complete sans the jalebis of Shabir Butt.

It was about the time of his birth in 1964 that Shabir Butt’s father moved his jalebi business from Taraki, about eight kilometres to the north. Taraki, incidentally, is where the railway line forcing its way through the Nili (or Sohawa) Hills makes one dramatic loop along the contours to attain the height of the Potohar Plateau. Friends who know tell me that the Chinese, being what they are, will straighten out this scenic hitch to cut the distance between Jhelum and Rawalpindi by a few kilometres.
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posted by Salman Rashid @ 08:56, ,

The Forgotten Hamlet

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I knew Domeli from my few years in the army back in the 1970s when we did exercises (or as the Americans would say manoeuvres) in that area. I had no real memory of the town itself, located near Jhelum, but I recall seeing ravine deer in the hills not far outside the built up area. That past though is another country, for now we have successfully shot most of our wildlife.

Domeli Railway Station with 102 Down coming through; notice the raised platform on the left from where the signal, hidden behind a knoll, could be checked

Recently my friend Haris Kayani hailing from Domeli phoned to tell me of the several spreading graveyards around his hometown. What could they possibly signify, he had asked. Large graveyards meant either a populous, prosperous town of the past or a staging post where caravans routinely tarried. The latter then pointed to a busy highroad through the area. Haris said I simply had to return to check out the burials of Domeli.
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posted by Salman Rashid @ 00:00, ,

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