Friday, July 19, 2024

Professional Journeys’ Narrative – 12

(An account of journeys exclusively based on true picture of areas and the people there. No poetic or romantic false expressions are included, Excerpt from a book in process)

Travel - Morocco - Desert - #m69_ww Before resuming the account of search for location and situation of place or village called Manzil, it will be worth while to mention that the sufferings caused by the fierce whirl wind, it was not easy to reshape and maintain. First of all, the tents were reinstated and tents flown away from the camping site were recovered for re-pitching in complete dark of the midnight. The kitchen pots, buckets and tubs in close vicinity were collected and search of the rest were left for the day light. After two hours of hard work, we were able to get to our beds again.

In the morning the gentleman knowing the location of Manzil, arrived as promised. It must be mentioned here that Baloch gentlemen are naturally disciplined and very punctual in matters of duty and responsibility for which I hold a high opinion about them. They are precious assets for the province and for the country. They are truthful, straight forward and sincere, but that does not mean that they do not know the art of retaliation. If somebody foolishly attempts to misuse their sincerity, like all sincere individuals, they teach a lesson to the defaulter. They respect their guests very much. This Blaloch gentleman was slim and smart having a height of six feet. For his first appearance I could not judge his great human qualities which he displayed later. He proved to be an embodiment of superb conduct, impressing power of tolerance and physical stamina. His name was ‘Bahadar’ (means, Brave), which also defined his great qualities. My first question was, “What is your information about the place called Manzil”. With highly respectable expression, in broken Urdu, he replied, “Manzil is not the name of any village or well. It is the name of a vast territory within the bounds of desert at the edge of which we are standing. The desert itself is hundreds of kilometers wide and long, going far into the neighbouring country Afghanistan. These small hillocks and the black hillock are located at the starting edge”. He knew very little Urdu, but inspite of that he did full justice to his reply. He knew the place not known to the people of the area. I thanked God Almighty that I had arrived at the right spot and met the right person for proceeding over to the middle of Manzil. In other case we could risk our lives in water less stretches of the desert. My next question to this Baloch gentleman was, “Do you know anything about Jilli Jheel”. He replied, “Jilli Jheel is approximately at a distance that requires journey from dawn to dusk. This sandy desert goes far beyond Jilli Jheel”. I further asked, “Can you help us in reaching Jilli Jheel?” He remained silent for some moments and then told us about the requirements of camels, ration and water. I assured him that he will be fully paid for all those arrangements and the payments will be according to his demand. He left for making arrangements, asking us to be ready for the journey next morning.

Next day he arrived with three camels and the needed necessities. We loaded a camel with our tents, ration and water. Second camel was for me to ride. Third camel was for my two helpers and Bahadar. We left the driver and the cleaner of the vehicle with the vehicle and started our journey.

desert-wellI had been thinking that by sunset we shall be reaching our destined place, but at sunset we were nowhere. I got a bit rash over Bahadar. The reason for that was mainly the small quantity of ration that we had brought with us. The driver and cleaner were in similar condition. This thin smart man proved to be a mountain of patience and forbearance. Against my rash questioning, he displayed unconquerable patience and politeness. In explanations he had an anglic smile on his face. Inwardly I got ashamed of myself. With all my education and training I must have possessed a bit more patience. After all he was sharing all the problems with us. His estimates were not wrong. It must have been due to our arrangements of packing, etc. and our pace of journey that had caused delay. Now it was sunset. We were well within the desert. Bahadar located a sweet water well surrounded by sand dunes. We unloaded the camels for the night. ——— To be continued…


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