Travelogue by Areeba Tanveer
“It is better to see something once than to hear it a thousand times.”
Last week, 25.07.2019, I went on a trip. Not a family trip, but it sure looked like one; it was an official trip, a trip of an office “Karawan-e-Ilm Foundation. Me and my siblings, sister Haiqua Tanveer and brother, Hasnain Tanveer went there along with our mom Mahjabeen Malik who is a part of this office. I met people, who were new for me there, but they were my mom’s colleagues and strangers to me but we eventually got to know one another in a short time. The whole journey was amusing especially when our actual journey started from Islamabad. Although dark was spread all over we could look some lights like candles over and around the mountains but the sight got quite clear. The view looked pretty mysterious it was something you would love watching but lest you are travelling at night you won’t just love but would be a little anxious too. That round turns on the way up the Mountains had different effects on people, some were nervous, some puked since they could not put up with it and some like me just enjoyed the ride. I was just anxious to reach the destination as all mountains looked way up high and the higher we were going the desperation of reaching a destined place finally was increasing in me.
And yes here we go! We finally made it there at Bhurban at 3:00hrs on 26.07.2019. Since we reached at Twilight, the twilight sky caught my eyes. Lights of other resorts on mountains opposite to us that were visible from up there added more beauty to the Twilight sky and the outlook was certainly phenomenal.
I along with my mom, Haiqua and having other staff members, witnessed sunrise and my heart got filled with the beauty of nature Hasnain was sleeping, therefore, he missed it. Moreover, sharing some moments with people closest to me and people I just got to be familiar within a few hours ago was astounding. Someone said it right:
“TRAVEL HAS A WAY OF REMOVING THE GAPS IN YOUR FRIENDSHIP TIMELINE”
Bhurban is a place we arrived and resided at for 3 days and 2 nights. Bhurban is a petite town and a lush green hill station in Punjab, a province of Pakistan. The resort is named after the forest, nearby. Bhurban is situated roughly Nine kilometres from Murree city. It’s situated in (between Murre and Kashmir road at a height of about 6000 ft.)
Bhurban is a magnificent destination for tourists. Its sole floral beauty and fauna with a diverse array of species not found somewhere else in Pakistan are bewitching. I felt like the rest of the world is also as beautiful as this place. As it is truly said:
“ONE TOUCH OF NATURE MAKES THE WHOLE WORLD KIN” William Shakespeare
We stayed at a hostel called “Youth Hostel” the bunk beds were sufficient for all of us to fit in. Male and female had separate rooms, the leader and esquire of the whole group Mr.Khalid Irshad Sufi had a separate place for himself. Waking up to the beautiful view was something I don’t think I would ever be able to forget, the breakfast served was delicious too. Those chefs deserve recognition as all of us enjoyed every loaf of the meal they cooked.
The first day me, Haiqua and Hasnain got close to my mother’s colleagues and we all headed to Kohala point, usually known as Neelam Point. At Kohala picnic point, Neelam river, as I dipped my feet underwater made me feel like the weight of the world had shifted off my shoulders. It was the most satisfying thing ever! Just Exquisite! We ate some fried pieces of chicken but to be honest, I was starved and those few pieces were not enough for me at that moment. Nevertheless, I was just so into the moment, the water forcefully but softly caressing my feet was making me want to live there forever it was, as I stated already, Just Exquisite! Everybody was busy taking pictures but I didn’t care about anything but the water and the way I was feeling. Still, I’d be lying if I say I didn’t take any picture. No judging, please…Thank you.
Eventually, it was time for us to leave before it could get dark. After getting back to the hostel we washed up and got refreshed, lied on bunk beds for some time and then went off to a room which was either a dining room or conference room, can’t describe but it was huge. The night was fun. Mr.Khalid Irshad Sufi is a genius and a man with the heart of ambers. He let everybody express their feelings, share their thoughts or something precious to them and I saw everyone opening up and that way seemed to be getting closer somehow at that moment. I shared one of my thoughts there, oh yeah one of my thoughts since I think a lot, but I don’t think anyone listened to me seriously as I was quite younger than others. But astonishingly everybody was keenly listening to me and I somehow felt like a sage and those made me feel kind of proud of my peers, respectable teachers, parents and myself, anyway, guess what? I did something precious to me. I sang! Everyone loved it but since I’m quite shy I couldn’t stop shivering afterwards. My mother, Mahjabeen Malik uttered some masterpieces of her poetry; Uncle Khalid Irshad Sufi also did the same. Both of them beautifully articulated their poetry.
Once again, the cooks’ prepared food so well, dinner was delightful.
“We cannot change our past… we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it.”
The second day, most of us had to shower since we all were together at Neelam at Kohala the other day, but in amidst of all this I had an encounter with the Trainer’s wife and daughter, and it was one of the best encounters I’ve ever had. We both had pretty similar interests but something even more interesting happened, her cousin was one of my best friends back at Scope Academy where we took the same session, had same subjects and used to be seated together. I was genuinely pleased with that moment and so was my friend. Oh yes, that girl told her on phone and told me that she was so happy to know and was sending her love to me, and yeah I became friends with that girl called “Sharah” too. I made many friends on that trip. Anyways, moving on we had a training time the Trainer honourable Mr Arshad Akif coached us and gave us some motivational lessons which were pretty worthy, we had had so much fun during the training time, amazingly, the session wasn’t a tedious at all. Mr Arshad Akif had the aura, the style and an accurate method to make everyone learn something inspiring and significant without getting weary and staying present in the moment. We had an outdoor activity which I had so much fun in.
I learnt a lot during the training and most of the things he taught helped me in boosting up my thoughts and believes in things as he delivered in a very simple way.
He told us that staying positive is a key to ecstasy and peace of mind since 10% what happens to you and 90% of how you react to it.” Hence staying positive and bright helps you get away with any type of situations and any kind of day you’re dealing with easily. I also learned another remarkably important thing that being nice to nice people is not a big deal but being nice to everyone no matter what kind of behaviour anyone has with you is actually commendable and another thing was that being humans, we can control our thoughts, emotions etc., and that animals react but humans respond.
It was nice to meet with the wife and daughter “Sharha” of honourable trainer who later became my friend. It rained a lot that day though, plus we had training session too which added to the reason why went out for Kashmir Point in the evening and reached there at dusk. Although cold, the wind still felt amusing and relaxing so we all overjoyed a lot. We sat on horses at Jhika Gali, I sat on a brown horse which was so beautiful and had a smooth texture I fell for that one and kept on patting and gently stroking it. And we got some pictures whilst sitting on it.
Further, we walked down 2.5 (two and a half) Kilometres from Jhika Gali to Mall Road and Mall road was exceptionally a beautiful place. The bright colours of antique and cultural things displayed in the Bazaars, bright lights on hotels and high buildings, a building with red huts and a book fair made it look fine-looking and the hustle and bustle of people were exactly what made it my favourite place. We bought some stuff from Mall Road and bought a couple of gifts for my cousins too.
Life is full of beauty. Notice it. Notice the bumble bee, the small child, and the smiling faces. Smell the rain, and feel the wind. Live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams.
We then had so much fun at night as we played a musical game called “Antakshari”. Some guys danced as well and I enjoyed the whole night as well.
“When I admire the wonders of a sunset or the beauty of the moon, my soul expands in the worship of the creator.” Mahatama Gandhi
The last day, a day we had to travel back to reality, to our city Lahore, we got all set, packed our luggage, had breakfast and of course photography session because why not?! I mean
“Photography is the beauty of life captured” so obviously that’s a must.
While travelling back we had to stay at Islamabad where we went to Faisal Masjid which was Phenomenal! It was gorgeous and we could see the outstanding view from every angle.
Faisal Mosque is also known as Shah Faisal Masjid by the locals. It was designed by a Turkish architect who won an International Competition for the honour. The Faisal Masjid is located on an aloft area on land against a striking milieu of the Marghalla Hills. The Moon on top of the mosque is made of real gold. King Faisal bin Abdul Aziz of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia suggested in Nineteen Ninety Six and mainly funded the Faisal Mosque, which is named in his privilege. It was a tremendously beautiful place.
And it’s no surprise that we just kept taking pictures over there since we wanted to capture the beautiful moments for a long time.
We then continued with our journey back to Lahore and hung about at “Chakri” at Rawalpindi to have some lunch since everyone was ravenous. After that, we headed straight to Lahore. The atmosphere of the bus regardless of some problems was nice and peaceful but more tranquil than any of our other journeys on that van had been.
Arriving back to my city, I felt like every city in Pakistan has its beauty and sensation the whole world has its exquisiteness. As John Keats mentioned,
The poetry of the Earth is never dead.
Speaking of Lahore, There is a famous Punjabi saying,
“Lahore Lahore aye” in English, Lahore is Lahore. No other place is like Lahore.
As soon as I found myself at home the inner peace is what I felt at that moment. This is my home; this is where I live. No matter if it doesn’t have rolling green hills or the Spring Mountains, no matter if its weather isn’t as pleasant as in North of Pakistan, this place still holds a special feeling to it and personally, to me, it makes me feel like at home.
“I don’t know what to say, I cannot even say if I die. Give me a Million Dollars and buy me another? Ah, no thanks….. I’ll be dying and I’ll be riding in My City”
~ Nam Jun Kim
My overall experience was beyond amazing everything was so charming and captivating the people I went with were lovely. There wasn’t a single day that I didn’t have a smile on my face or a day when I wasn’t feeling ecstatic, those few days were worthwhile for me and those around me. Someone just said it superbly:
“There are moments when all anxiety and stated toil are becalmed in the infinite leisure and repose of nature”
Before ending it all, I would like to mention uncle Kaleemullah Chaudhary who acted as our guide and did a lot for us everyone was grateful towards his humble behaviour.
Now I’d end this Travelogue which refreshed the picturesque views and the most beautiful moments in my life with a note for readers that everything seems beautiful and simple in life when you’re living in the moment buoyantly and are positive about every kind of situation.
The way God creates everything exceptionally had shaken me. He is the creator of everything on this Earth and watching the beauties of nature I couldn’t help but be grateful to God for every single thing.
“All things are artificial, for nature is the art of God’’, Thomas Browne.