Have you ever been to a place where you completely fall in love with? And you would want to come back some day again? Or again and again? Every traveler at some point in time feels the same for some place. Being a nature lover, I actually fall in love with everyplace that offers me nature in its real form. Chitral was one of it and going back there felt like I will be reading best stories of my life visually with new additions.
It was an early morning flight from Islamabad to Chitral. I already knew it would be a small flight but after listening to the announcement of the pilot, 45 minutes sounded too less since nowhere in Pakistan you fly for less than an hour at least.
Weather in Islamabad was cloudy, and flying in PIA ATR meant It was going to be a bumpy ride.
Just like my other journeys, I had my camera all ready to shoot. The uncle sitting next to me was wondering what I was so excited about. I told him this could be a routine for him but I am coming here for the second time to enjoy this picturesque view, to fly over Hindukush Mountains. I took this flight with an objective to have new photographic ideas and I wanted to live in the moment to the fullest. I hope he understood my feelings.
It was one of its kinds and different flight for me, I flew over the green Margalla hills initially which took me an aerial view ride of the Rawal Lake covered with dark clouds with a new perspective. The Margalla hills felt like a magical place covered in clouds. All of a sudden I saw a far away mountain having snow shine on its top. Looked Like a huge vanilla flavored ice cream cone from a distance. Uncle on my right said: here starts your Hindukush. Snow means Hindukush.
This made me forget the meal and tea I was having and I started taking pictures. The snow caped peak came nearer and nearer and the green mountains of Margalla vanished into dry Rocky Mountains of Hindukush with snow spreaded all over. The window on my left had the view of only white snowy dry mountains with green patches far and wide. This continued till the pilot announced we are about to land in Chitral. We came down the snow capped mountains and now all I could see was the green fields of Chitral all over. A valley covered between giant mountains.
This was not the only journey that I enjoyed, but I enjoy each and every journey with the same excitement. Be it a flight from Islamabad to Gilgit, a road trip to Quetta from Karachi, a train trip in Southern Punjab or a jeep ride to Naran Valley, because this is all Pakistan and each and every place of this country is worth appreciating. Not just the landscapes but the culture and hospitable people.
(This story was origionally published the August 2011 edition of Blah-Magazine for youth, Pakistan)