November 06, 2004

Michael Palin

This is well late, Things are going on behind the scenes in documentaryville which I can't surmise in words yet so meanwhile:

I am sad to see the end of Palin's journey through the Himalaya on TV this Sunday. A couple of weeks back I watched him do almost exactly the same trip I did in 1999. I cried when I saw the kallash tribe a few of whom I recognised.

He did the same English lesson in the same school that every westerner who visits does (hand,finger,leg,foot etc.)only when I did it, as soon as the teacher left the room they all started attacking each other really violently. The teacher came back in and hit one of them with a thin branch.

This saddened me, but when he left they ignored me and started hitting each other again. Amazing, almost ferral kids with thick hard dead skin on the front of their feet from long, cold winters sitting by the fire.

Muslims gave me such a hard time in Pakistan these guys were like an oasis to me. I remember meeting a few Pakistani, Afghan and British Taliban who were passing through the valley at the time. I wonder if the change in political climate has affected the Kallash. What a beautiful people.

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