The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Sindh

The two shrines that we had visited in the morning were probably the only places worth visiting in Multan hence we decided to leave for Sukkur.  We went to the Railway station which was indeed a beautiful building but realized that no tickets were available as the trains had already been booked. After lamenting and crying with invisible tears we decided to go back to Nishtar Medical College. As we arrive at the medical college, we met Arsalan Shahid who introduced us to a few of his friends and resultantly we went out for dinner.  During dinner our hosts asked us whether we had visited the Al Haram gate. On hearing that we had not visited yet these men told us the reasons for Al Haram gate’s notoriety and they shared their own experiences. These gentlemen were jovial and interesting at the same time they had a broad vision and discussed their future plans.  The conversation was hilarious and the Karahi ordered was delicious hence our time spent with our hosts was very much enjoyable.  We had now forgotten our Meher Express experience and all that inconvenience seemed unreal. Soon we decided to travel to Sukkur by Daewoo despite being asked by our hosts to revisit our decision of leaving Multan. We were adamant to leave hence we left the Nishtar hostel around 12 midnight for Sukkur. Despite having sufficient resources we thought wasting money by travelling through Daewoo was not prudent. However, after having a heated debate we finally decided to travel by Daewoo. The two words that perfectly describe Daewoo are perhaps luxurious and expensive.

 The bus was late however, after getting on the bus we had a good sleep. As soon as I woke up I realized that my mobile phone was loaded with messages and a missed call from Amjad Ali (Shah G), a beloved senior. Before going any further let me share with you a flashback from yesterday for a clear understanding. While walking towards the second shrine I received a phone call from Shah G that he was in Karachi for some personal business. I was informed that Shah G would not be able to welcome us at Sukkur. However, we decided to go to interior Sindh first and later meet Shah G in Karachi. Now coming back to where I was Shah G had called me and after calling back I was informed that we would be received by Shah G at Sukkur. The moment that Shah G realized that we were going straight to the interior Sindh he left Karachi to welcome us at Sukkur. Our hearts were really touched by his kindness. It took us 8 hours to reach Sukkur by Daewoo bus we slept through the journey for the most part. However, after getting up we listened to music and enjoyed sightseeing through bus. On reaching Sukkur we were welcomed by Shah G and one of our classmates Majid Aka.  Shah G then took us for lunch after enjoying a delicious meal. Shah gave us two options. The first option was to go to the hostel of Ghulam Muhammad Mehr Medical College (GMMMC) wash ourselves and then rest afterwards. The second option however was to go straight to all the tourist attractions that we had come to see. We opted for going straight to the tourist spots despite being weary as sightseeing was the primary objective of our trip.  Both Shah g and Majid took us to “Masoom Shah Minar.”  This tower was built by Masoom Shah back in the days when the city was still in its primitive times.  The winding staircase seemed narrower as we proceeded. However, on reaching to the top we were astonished to see the magnificent view from the tower. The city of Sukkur including its vast plains could be seen clearly on a bright and clear afternoon. The tower is situated in the center of the city therefore one can get a clear view of Sukkur with all its beauty and simplicity. Our next trip was to the Lansdowne Bridge over the Indus River designed by a British architect during the British rule in the Indian subcontinent. There are many myths associated with the  Lansdowne Bridge however, these stories seem hard to believe. It is rumored that the British were well pleased with the design of this bridge hence they wanted the same design to be copied in England. It is further believed that the  Lansdowne Bridge was initially designed with a distinct feature of opening in the middle so that large ship could pass easily. However, according to the legend the architect Sir Alexander Meadows Rendel threw the keys in the river before committing suicide. Whether these stories are true or not we do not know but the beauty and splendor of the bridge is certainly beyond words. Our next destination was a cliff called “Satti” named after seven ladies. There are many myths and fables associated with this cliff. Shah G was not familiar with the place hence we hired a rickshaw. The cliff was not very far from Lansdowne Bridge however, the driver overcharged us cleverly exploiting our ignorance. According to the legend these seven ladies after whom the cliff had been named took refuge on this cliff from an evil ruler. These ladies prayed desperately for protection resultantly the cliff opened to cover these ladies. One cannot  prove whether this story is true or not but the place seemed mystical. The place had many graves but surprisingly these seven ladies are not buried here. We were then told of a gold palace in the middle of the Indus River where we were certainly not allowed to go.

 Now we walked to the shrine of Hazrat Sadr uddin Shah which was not too far from the cliff. The shrine is located in a less populated area, on reaching there we again heard a new myth. It is believed that once Lal  Shahbaz Qalandar was flying over Sukkur when he was pulled down by Hazrat Sadr uddin Shah. The reason for Sadr uddin Shah to pull Qanadar down with the flick of his finger was that how dare the Qalander flew over a Syed’s house. Resultantly the Qalandar apologized by carrying out a ritual for 40 days. According to this tale the section of the shrine where the Qalandar stayed for 40 days, still exists. Before moving further let us establish the fact that the writer is not responsible for the authenticity of these legends. These tales were told to us by the natives therefore the writer has nothing to do with the reality of these tales.  The night had settled by the time we reached the GMMMC’s hostel. Shah G left after dropping us there. Our hosts Sadaqat and Liaquat were polite and entertaining and served us with Biryani. We were astonished and jealous at the same time that the food served in their hostel was far better as compared to what we were given in our hostel. Our hosts were excellent therefore we in return invited them to Kashmir hoping that one day we could have the opportunity to serve them. Both the hosts took good care of our needs during our stay at the , Ismat even took their contact number.  They both dropped us then to “Sukkur Bairaj” where Shah G was already waiting for us as we left for "Kot Diji Fort". Shah G had some personal chores hence he stayed back however Majid was there to accompany us. We said goodbye to Shah G. Before going any further let me express a little gratitude to Shah G for taking care of us for 4 days during our stay at the hostel.

To be continued ………………………



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