Lunch at Soan River
On the first day of April a group of my business partners had planned a field trip for site selection for our upcoming housing project. Our cavalcade took off from Islamabad, Kenny Rogers was preaching to me, about manners of “Gambling” through my car stereo.
Cruising through the beautiful Pothohar plateau, the green and yellow landscape delivered a grand message to me. It said, “Green represented the youth, and old was represented by the yellow, mature crop of wheat, the gold.”
After many stops on the recommended sites, we finally reach a land owner’s home. Who had generously invited us to lunch. We reached his residence in Chakari. Man! He lives in an eye of the earth.
How can I describe it through my limited vocabulary and stammering narration?
Sun shone in full glory , the wind blew briskly, the sky was bright and blue, the wheat crop at its peak bloomed and spring was in full swing. We sat on a large veranda at the bank of Soan river. The sky was reflective of the slow moving currents of the Soan River. The blonde wheat crop sat smiling in the lap of lush green mountains. The wind constantly combed the golden wheat spikes making them dance to Pothohari tunes. The young citrus orchard in the company of adolescent Loquat trees resembled the freshmen on campus grove.
I could gaze at a few grazing cattle on the other bank of the river. While a cow came closer to greet the guests. She was shaking her head every now and then in welcome gestures. It reminded me that she also chipped in the lunch we were about to have.
The scene absorbed completely. I was one with the valley. It soared my thoughts beyond the dusty survey of the lands on this business tour. The host had an equally pleasant personality. This part of his farm was specifically made for guests. They call it “Daira” in local language and in english it is known as anexy. It was designed in coherence with local traditions. The building is surrounded by trees. A big paved courtyard, covered br ornamental boundary. Wide veranda, a large sitting hall. Drawing and dining rooms in the lower floor.The main hall was furnished with rope knitted local beds, that had colorful wooden legs. They had decorated those with cotton filled pillows and hand woven bed covers. That is a traditional welcome gesture.
He further had arranged a delicious nosh-up in our honor. The self raised and street fed chicken’s curry, home grown garlic sautéed spinach, house baked bread, artfully made liver stew and well-done semolina sweet dish took over the entire scenario. Everything was cooked in home churned butter. How can I forget to mention that glass of villagers buttermilk? I must name it an additive-free luncheon by an organic host at a seraphic home. In these times of processed and stored food, this accidental lunch was proof that it was the house of a son of the soil, and a mother ran it. We don’t find people like that in the vicinity of the capital anymore.
Be blessed, be happy, and be on the move. So many beautiful scenes await you out there.
Margalla Greens GCC
Golfer, Blogger, Entrepreneur, Author, Poet, Wanderer, photographer, Rebel.