Rural Pakistan: More Colors, More Scenes [3 of 4]


This picture of grand old maa [maternal grand mother] reminds me of the famous song by late Jagjit Singh. In this song Jagjit while singing the unforgettable Ye daulat bhi le lo, ye shohrat bhi le lo…… recounts the story telling sessions with grand old maa…..
Mohalle ki sab se nishani purani
Wo burhiya jise bachay kaehatay thay Nani
Wo Nani ke baton mein pariyon ka dera
Wo chaihray ki jhuriryon mein sadiyon ka phera
Bhulaye nahi bhool sakta hai koi
Wo chhoti si ratain wo lambi kahani
Wo kaghaz ki kashti Wo barish ka pani….



Text: Nayyar Hashmey

Images: Saraiki Youth Forum/Value9·



The life in Pakistani villages is simple, the people here enjoy a clean pollution free environment and they eat simple, healthy and pure diet. Here in this image is a typical Pakistani village. Look at the simple mud house. The life of villagers likewise is also simple yet enjoyable. [Image via]

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The village kids enjoy swimming and making fun in the village ‘toba’. The clay mound along the ‘toba’ used by children has been turned into a playground slide as they slip from the height to the base of the pond.  


A Village House during Rain. [ [Image via]

A foggy village morning

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Soap bubble seller making soap balloons to attract his customers, the children (of the village). 


An ordinary house in a village. Noteworthy, however, are the the beautiful hand made designs of flowers on the walls of the house.

A sheet in natural dyes/block printing from Karorh Pacca in the Saraiki belt of Pakistan.
Ancient techniques of applying designs on textiles with pigments and dyes are admired as one of the honorific achievements in the textile arts of Pakistan.
It is most likely that block printing also evolved here at an early date because the most ancient techniques are still practiced in Sindh where the cotton textile industry and the art of dyeing were highly developed at the time of the Indus valley civilization.
Terra-cotta stamps probably used for printing textiles in the 1st century AD were excavated in Taxila. Lahore’s calicoes were widely exported during the Mughal period. In southern part of the Punjab, block prints are noted as one of the best prints produced in the subcontinent.
Punjab appears as vestiges of a craft that was so widespread that most villages had their own block printers to provide the printed fabrics required by the local people.

Saroan Da Saag with butter, cherry tomatoes, onions and green chilly.  Saag is a spinach and mustard leaves based curry dish highly relished in rural Pakistan. Taken with bread such as roti or naan, the dish is liked as much by the young as by the old.
Saag can be made from spinach, mustard leaves, or other greens, along with added spices and sometimes other ingredients.

Mahra breed of camels is a fine, fast and gracious looking type. These animals are lightly built, medium sized with medium head which is carried on a lean long beautifully curved neck.
These camels have strong, fine and well shaped legs. They are a perfect fit for the camel dance. Competitions are held in major towns of Cholistan, Multan, Muzaffargarh in southern Punjab and different parts in Sindh and Balochistan provinces.

A herdsman with his staff leading the cattle

For many of us the village folk, the most wonderful time of the year is the harvest time. …. when we get home from the fields, always well after much of work and usually at high noons….. The tree cast a large area of shade, and there are several free meters of shady space in every direction. …. We do manage to evoke a couple of “cool” hours and when we have finished the hard day day work, after dinner we go to sleep in the open,“wow” the sound sleep and the sweet dreams…..

The village halwai at work. He could be of your village, mine or anybody else’s, he is integral part of the village culture in Pakistan.

The village hand pump and a bath in the open is the real cool thing when there is much of biting heat in summers.

Another view of  a village home. A manji (the charpoy) to lie down, or just to have a nap at noon, A hand shovel can also be seen in the court yard.

A beautiful shot by Razaq Vance

Another good shot. A farmer with his goats.

In Pakistani rural hoseholds, a churning staff called Madhani is used to separate white butter from milk. The utensil having yogurt and water is poured into a chaati, and then blown with a staff which separates out butter from yogurt-water mix called lassi. In the picture above, an innocent successfully tries to move the staff (madhani) mimicking his mother’s everyday core .in the morning.

A village man sitting on a charpoy with his goat lying in a resting mood on the same charpoy, while his cattle are idly sitting on ground eating the green fodder or snoozing.


Halwa poori is a part of the traditional Pakistani cuisine. The dish consists of poori bread with channa masala, along with halwa.
Halwa poori is taken as a breakfast item mainly on weekends in big metropolitan cities as well as the villages and towns in Punjab.
Halwa poori is taken at all times, but it is usually a part of breakfast. Its also a part of the special dish preparations during Ramadan and other occasions such as Eid, birth day parties and casual get-togethers.

It was the last visit that I had to my home village, I got to relive some of my village childhood culinary pleasures. Have you ever taken jalebis. When you take a sip of warm milk and bite the lump of jalebis, heaven could not be better than this.
After dinner I chat with old buddies and we drink some hot tea – made the “paindoo” way; milk with lot of sugar. Just thinking of all of this makes me home sick.

At a toba in Cholistan near Bahawalpur district in the Punjab province, camels drinking water and two village women collecting water for households.

Girl making pairhas (dough balls) to put the same in the tandoor to get hot, crispy chappatis for customers.

Me and my village and the rains. And the walk in the wet.

Granny making breakfast for the family

Stapoo is a game mostly played by the girls.  This game is played within a small boundary (court), drawn on the ground and a piece of stone. In the image above, girls are playing stapoo in a village near Faisalabad.

Pakistani truck art is famous worldwide. Many truck drivers here use their vehicles as a medium of expression for themselves. From some intricate paintings to romantic verses, film heroes to portraits of Qaid-e-Azam and Allama Iqbal anything could be put on these vehicles.
But this guy here [the rickshaw owner] had a unique idea. He attached his donkey to a richly painted cart and now plies from place to place with his khota rickshaw, his prideful version of the famous truck art of Pakistan.

Giving knots and ties to a charpoy

What a sight!!! A tractor carrying a mountain? Yes, a villager here is carrying the mountain but of green fodder. You can see on back of the tractor, there is nothing visible but fodder. On the top young men are sitting over fodder enjoying their journey back home.

The Cholistani peope lead a semi-nomadic life, moving from one place to another in search of water and fodder for their animals. The dry bed of the Hakra River runs through the area, along which many settlements of the Indus Valley Civilization have been found.
The Desert also has an Annual Jeep Rally, known as Cholistan Desert Jeep Rally. It is the biggest motor sports event in Pakistan.

 Fresh Jalebi, still hot from the karhahi is the best In Pakistani sweets,. The halwais make it so fast and have great style- blurred hands. During our visit to a nearby village, we spent a while there admiring the skill of the man preparing the jalebis for us, when he gave us our change, his gratitude for our praise nearly brought me to tears! He calmly and repeatedly thanked us so sincerely just for being blown away by his snacks. Such is the pride in their work and open hearts… 

Spectators enjoy a performing monkey show in a Pakistani town. Dressed as a monkey bride, the animal dances to the beatings of a dugduggi to earn money from passers-by for the owner at a roadside. Throughout Pakistan, but mainly in the rural districts the traveling buskers do street shows with monkeys. They often come into a village/city, set up and do their performances in the streets for a few days, and then leave before the public gets bored of them.
More often than not, these shows are not as exciting, yet the village boys and girls find them real entertainment when the monkey shakes hands with the crowd and takes their money, dancing, acting with props, and, in general, putting on a comedy routine with their trainer. Whatever is the case, it sure beats most busking acts.

·Its “my village”, where the trees are still green, the sky still blue which counted for something. It was July and raining and all the ponds and streams were swollen .. gerania and lilies fluttered as the wind was blowing ..the long winding path that led to our village mosque, where we have been praying for years. The peace transcends into joy when we stand before the Almighty..Ferns pushing through the cracks and crevices,the white and red flowers and my village and the rains.
“We both live in the same village”
We both live in the same village and that is our one piece of joy.
The yellow bird sings in their tree and makes my heart dance with gladness.
Her pair of pet lambs come to graze near the shade of our garden.
If they stray into our barley field I take them up in my arms.
Bees that have hived in our grove go to seek honey in theirs.
Flowers launched from their landing stairs come floating by the stream where we bathe.
Baskets of dried kusm flowers come from their fields to our market.
The lane that winds to their house is fragrant in the spring with mango flowers.
When their linseed is ripe for harvest, the hemp is in bloom in our field.
The stars that smile on their cottage send us the same twinkling look.
The rain that floods their tank makes glad our Kadam forest.
(Rabindranath Tagore)

Next: Rural Pakistan: More Colors, More Scenes [4 of 4]

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Note:  As always, click the individual image to view in full size.

You might also like: 

1. Colors of Punjab, Rural Pakistan [in four parts] 2. King’s Treatment 3. Life in a Pakistani Village 4. Kanjwani Mela – The Spirit Lives On…
All Images  Tagore’s poem



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12 replies to “Rural Pakistan: More Colors, More Scenes [3 of 4]

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