To the left of the road in a large area stretches wretched poverty, which in tiny shacks huddled thousands of the poorest people. Right shining neon signs and illuminated fountains. To the left there was no electricity, running water, normal toilets, and most importantly, the confidence that this whole anthill will not be swept away at any moment at the whim of those who for the time being reconciled to its existence.
I turned away from the sparkling limousine parked at the mall, and began his journey to the slums. A disgusting stench prevailed everywhere as if it were one of the components of the air; I thought that she clung to a thick layer of my skin. Panting, I suppressed the urge to vomit ...
The two paragraphs above - passage with minor changes from one of the best books I have read over the past few years. This "Shantaram," from the pen of Gregory David Roberts. In the passage Roberts describes the slums of Bombay. But when we made our way along the slums of Rawalpindi - the satellite city of Islamabad, is seen almost the same.
Probably not a good place to start the story of Pakistan with the drawings, however, the slums were our first impression. A second - the so-called Blue Zone Islamabad where live rich Pakistani. In the slums, we tried not to scoop the shit running down the gutters, and in the Blue Zone ate in one of the best restaurants in the country, at the next table sat the ex-Prime Minister of Pakistan ...
The first inhabitants in Islamabad appeared in 1960, after 15 years, the population was more than 100 000 people, but they were mostly officials, diplomats, and so on. D. The Pakistanis wanted to build a new capital, which would in no way reminiscent of the colonial past, and that they managed. In Islamabad, the broad spacious streets, offices of large companies, expensive restaurants, government complex and the very blue zone, where there are various administrative buildings and where to permit only after the police inspection. However, foreigners virtually inspect, but sometimes local machine shmonali God forbid. In Rawalpindi it is all left rather in the old, but already weathered colonial spirit. Here are allowed horse-drawn carts, offices of companies easier, the street to make room and dirtier. A lot of beggars, which was much less than in October. Apparently, the closer to winter, the poor try to move to the south, as the Capital Region is situated in the foothills, and in winter the temperature can drop to zero degrees. And in Rawalpindi have slums. Number of people living here, I believe, no one evaluated. When we got out of the car and went deep into the quarter, was not myself ...
In the slums.
First of all, do not by themselves have been out of fear - not whether the trajectory of the stone in white people with cameras? Without a guide who speaks Urdu, we have here is simply not snooping. Secondly, the role of sewage ditch perform strongly littered with black water that come out of each household and merge into one large open drain running along the middle of the street. This is done so as not to plunge when you walk at night in the dark, his hand on the wall. The stench unbearable, plus all the heat in his forties. Relief brings only hot wind gusts occasionally swoop by. The liquid in the gutters must flow by gravity, but more because of the abundance of garbage waste are standing thick mush.
On a more narrow streets ditches run along a blank wall.
Contrary to fears, no one threw stones we do not, on the contrary, all the people have got to meet displayed goodwill and interest. Basically, it was the men and the children, women, we almost did not see. However, this is understandable. Most of the inhabitants of these slums - Afghans - refugees from Afghanistan and the Pakistanis have both the border areas with Afghanistan, as well as from other regions. As in the rest of the world, people are trying to live closer to the capital. It is difficult to determine from which are composed of the house. Sometimes it is a stone, and even with adobe plaster. Roofing made of all kinds of waste plastic and cellophane origin, so that the home did not get moisture on top of the grass mingled throw to the ground. Structure, usually a little taller than a man.
A boy carries things in the package either cheap candy, or doshirak. It is clearly seen from what made the roof.
The doors in the house or very conditional, or non-existent, and their role is carried out greasy pieces of cloth on which they write the number "apartment" and, apparently, the name of residents.
Mosque seems to be no. Through the speaker, if there is electricity, calling for prayer.
In the slums, located near the road, apparently, there is a light - washing comes from the power lines nearby. However, the network is unreliable - wires of different cross-section, a plurality of hand twists, all stretched out on the roofs at random, without any safety measures.
It is surprising that children with terrible sanitation are pretty well maintained. Often heard that it is precisely in these ghetto people try not to fall, and strictly observe basic hygiene rules, as far as they understand them, and as far as possible in such circumstances. Here it still contributes to the fact that the majority of Muslims do not drink alcohol. We would be under each wall wino lying.
As with all of Pakistan, here too, love and play polo. The boy has a wooden stick, the role of the ball carries a tin. However, due to lack of horses, the game becomes more like rounders.
Government to resettle slum not. Just because a lot of their problems, but most importantly - because of the ongoing 30 years of war in Afghanistan (with its persistent incitement on the part of external forces) in Pakistan has passed a lot of refugees back and they were not evicted. The UN estimates that for the whole time of the Soviet-Afghan conflict and the US-Afghan conflict have fled to Pakistan and lived there between 2 and 4 million Afghans. Most of them do not want to go back, no matter how bad they either lived in a new place. The main reason - there is no security guarantees. However, the work for these people, too, no - Pakistan and so overpopulated country. Therefore, the majority of refugees work illegally for a pittance. And they have to be engaged in illegal business, including drug-related.
This girl I photographed surreptitiously, pretending to shoot the truck. Otherwise, she closed the door
So for a bunch of politicians who divide the world, millions of any innocent people are forced to live in a foreign country, under such conditions that the zoo better. This applies both to those who dreamed of a communist paradise in Afghanistan, as well as Nobel laureates fighting for peace through various "storms in the desert." The results of all these "acts of peace" is evident.
Similar shanty camps are concentrated mainly near the border with Afghanistan. But on the outskirts of Rawalpindi, if I am not mistaken, several such ghettos. There are slums where outsiders will not be allowed to enter only with the permission of the local elders and always escorted. In these camps live only Afghans, and here a chance for the photographer shlopotat stone in the back of the head is quite large. Women photographing generally prohibited.
She saw me with the camera, instantly ran around the corner.
in strange sensation, as if you were in the Dark Ages, although it is worth to cross the road, and there is civilization, clean water, rich in buildings (see. The first photo).
The animals have nowhere to go from the heat.
Some slum dwellers living along the road, earn that on wooden carts carrying cargo. Carts are quite large, need draft power. Burros and donkeys eat what God sends, but also for them to make pens. Again from scrap materials. Enclosure for donkeys on the outskirts of the ghetto.
A general view of one of the "neighborhoods". In the bottom of the river bathe, wash, apparently gaining from it as drinking water.
At the same time we said goodbye to the slums and went to the hypermarket METRO - to buy food for the mountain route, which was scheduled for the middle of the trip.
throwing the cart products, I tried to imagine how the money can be a family in the slums ... Then we went to the local market to buy watermelons and melons. The market for some reason, perhaps because of the specificity seemed a little cleaner than the slums.
Unobtrusive ads METRO. Vacant lot on the market.
The seller potatoes itching foot.
Watermelon and melon is not worth buying only incised. I'm staring at the flat slices of watermelon with a large abundance of seeds - buy and eat right here - but the seller swung the broom, and seeds flew. These were the flies.
Seller melons with a whisk for compulsory distillation flies.
In the evening we got out of the surrounding hills, where the viewing platform and part-restaurant, which offers a great view of Islamabad. The contrast with the stark slums. Slowly walking wealthy Pakistanis with kids eating ice cream, asking us to take a picture, good English.
View of the so-called blue zone of Islamabad.
something like a madrasa in the foreground, in the background - a complex of government buildings, parliament and more.
While waiting until gather all our friends, we ate a glass of mango ice cream in one of the snack bars.
However, happiness is never complete. Hearing music nearby, we went to the sound and came upon an elderly Pakistani playing on, if I'm not mistaken, the Afghan varieties rubob. He played great, he was fully immersed in what he does, and did not pay attention to their surroundings. We began to photograph it from all possible angles, moving around like flies. Attracted by this unusual picture began to gather Pakistanis. About myself, I noted that they look a bit strange - the majority of the skin is very pale shade. Think through the idea had not gathered turned to our guide, and when he heard that we were from Russia, tightly surrounded us and asked the first thing most important question: how we relate to the Soviet Union's war in Afghanistan. They were Pashtuns from border areas with Afghanistan ...
Say that here I did not play, sorry, a point, it would be untrue. I had to take the rap, good knowledge of English at a height. Neskolkominutny speech about what a big mistake committed the Soviet government, sending troops to Afghanistan, and we for that our government does not like, made a favorable impression on the audience.
Then I developed a theme, lamented the fact that Iran, Afghanistan, Northern Pakistan, North India and further east has always been a zone of tension due to its favorable geopolitical location and always fall under the distribution of empires and nations, attempting to these important areas to subdue.
In conclusion, we expressed the hope that the latter cursed the invaders, shedding the blood of the peace of the Pashtun population, in other words, Americans will soon fall down backwards and on the Afghan-Pakistani land will be peace and prosperity. These words, by the way, I spoke, never palter. Eventually Pashtuns shook our hands and walked away, but a few jokes insulting to us, said in a low voice, we heard.
And the old man still continued to strum his instrument beautiful oriental melodies using plectrum lute technique and game when the little finger of his right hand rests on the deck.
Old Man and the Pashtuns, to ask us questions.