17. It’s Party Time, Gujranwala, Pakistan

About 2 hours from Lahore along the Grand Trunk Road, I stopped at a roadside tea tall called a Dhaba where they also serve piping hot meals.

I noticed that there were paper streamers, bright tinsel decorations and a traditional band playing with a smart bandmaster outside the adjoining compound. A wedding was in progress I was told … I was invited to meet the family and since I was travelling alone I was welcomed to join the women proceeding to the venue. I was tempted but regretfully declined as I had my own journey to continue with. I thanked them for their kindness to a stranger.

I spotted a little girl leaning back against the wall balanced on one leg . She had her best clothes on and was waiting for the henna on her hands to dry. Her delightfully cheeky smile was captured in my memory. Why stand on one leg? “Because I have henna on only one toe of one foot” came the reply!

I then saw a van load of female musicians driving ahead when I got back on the Grand Trunk Road to resume my own journey. They were in good spirits having been hired to sing and play for the happy ceremony


Original:  Oil on canvas ; 12 x 16″ (305 x410mm) ; framed

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