Monday 11 January 2016

Touring Pakistan

We shall leave the Dordogne from time to time this year, and tour Pakistan – and perhaps other countries as well. But let us start with Pakistan.

“Why?”, will you say.
There is the opportunity, of course. I met a fellow blogger, Hammad Rais, in blogging during the Advent Calendar time, and he posted photos he took or that family, friends, and acquaintances took, of his country. The photos were beautiful and some breath-taking. At the same time, Hammad Rais has a keen sense of humour and made me laugh sometimes with a post and one line under an illustration. I “liked”, commented. He answered. He “liked”, commented my posts. I answered. And I thought it would be a good thing to open the windows of The House in the Dordogne and to let some fresh air come in. Therefore I invited him to post on my blog. And here he is with his country.

There is another reason. After all, I met other bloggers from other countries and I could have invited them as well. And I shall probably do. But there is a special memory associated with Pakistan.

When I was a child, in Paris, Father had to attend a professional and social function once where he went with Mother. It was an exhibition of paintings by a Pakistani artist and of jewellery chiselled by his son, an artist himself. Mother fell in love with the paintings. She was able to talk at some length with the painter, and she described what she saw in (and not only on) the canvases. The artists asked her if she would like and be kind enough to write something of an introduction to their exhibition catalogue (they were touring Europe and North America). Mother said why not? An appointment was made for the next day where she would be alone with the painter and his son, would have a private visit and be able to collect elements for a paper. Father needed something for the press office of his ministry so he commended the idea and asked for a copy of the paper Mother would produce.

I remember the next morning because I went with Mother. And I remember one painting more particularly. It was a tree, something like an apple tree or an almond tree or a cherry tree, in full blossom. But instead of seeing it from outside, you felt perched on a branch at the heart of the blossoms, looking down to the earth if you wished, but it seemed you were, high, high, very high, in the sky, and all was melted in blue and white – flowers, clouds, heavens, all bathed in a mellow subdued golden light. It filled me with joy, not the joy where you start laughing as at a joke, but a deep joy, happiness, something that lasted and that I can recover still, when things go wrong.

I found a description of something similar in a novel by Alison Lurie, years later, and the little girl who was actually perched in the tree felt the same exhilaration.

Since then, I have had a deep curiosity of Pakistani arts and of Pakistan. Father went there several times and always brought us back lovely presents that reinforced my liking of this country.

When opportunity and liking meet, it is something not to let go through one’s fingers. And I would enjoy sharing my feelings with you, friends and readers while discovering the beauties of Pakistan.

Here is a general link that will give you facts about this country:
and I shall add maps to follow every time we shall be travelling together in order to see where we are.

Hammad Rais will introduce himself and his environment. Then we shall be ready to start. Will you come with us? 

I hope so. 

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