|Lahore and border ceremony|
One rule in the cities of war torn Pakistan: stay out of crowded areas and be careful at night. My first night I found myself surrounded by 1000's of people in a passionate mood in the pitch black.
I had an invite to a Gypsy festival, only one hour away. Why not? 3hours of driving later I am still on a bus squeezed onto 3 seats with 8 people, our legs and knees entwined. If the bus had decent breaks and had tried to stop it would have been 'goodbye dans future children and hello agonising pain!!' - luckily the buses breaks didn't work so it just swerved left and right round any obstacles.
(I've got a lively Pakistani next to me who's singing at me and talking to me none stop in Urdu - it's really hard to concentrate!!)
I was given prime positioning to the right of the spiritual leader as the singing and drums started (dad you would love it!!!!) - my hair stood on end and my body convulsed with the energy and passion of the music!! I can see how it plays a massive part in the religion. I was given a wedge of 5 Rupee notes to throw over the singers before the big guns got involved and threw them into the air - falling like rain all around me!!!
Yesterday we went to a Sufi night of music with additional dancing - if you can call it that. The music wasn't a touch on last night (still awesome) but the dancing was out of this world. The Sufis are religious icons and relax and become the music. The most prominent feature being the wobbling of the head - they started slowly and then increased in speed some the features blurring to make them look featureless - occasionally making your eyes feel as though they have faces on both sides of their heads. I had to look away when they really got going coz it looked like their heads were going to fall off. The music went on to have a real 'drum and base' feel and the Sufis danced very similar to the big 'house' nights of my past.
One person in the whole crowd was asked to get up and dance with them. Who? That's right. Little Danny. So i did a bit of spinning, then tried the head wobbling. they were impressed with my head wobbling - relaxing all muscles and throwing it around whilst keeping shoulders still. I had a head ache for 1 hour afterwards and felt a little sick. The pressure they put on the Brain can only be compared with whiplash in a road accident or going a round with Mike Tyson. Is it any wonder some of them were losing their hair in chunks and seemed a little brain damaged.
I'm off to India today - the final country of my trip. It feels like I'm almost there but I still have a quarter or a fifth of my miles to go!!