Written by Sara Yawer
“Do you want me on your mind, or do you want me to go on?”
There was a stop for tea and cigarettes. As we stepped down from the bus, I could spot the Tupopdan, miles and miles away from where I stood; strange but majestic in appearance, its peak was buried in the clouds and capped with snow, while an eerie sense of stillness surrounded its behemoth structure.
We made our way up to a path that would lead us to the Hussaini Suspension Bridge, a nearly half an hour trek which I remember, quite distinctly. As excited as I was to see the bridge, the journey of heading towards it is something which perhaps, will never leave my memory.
We started up a rocky trail laden with cobblestone and thick mud, accompanied by a narrow stream of water flowing downwards, which I tried to avoid by taking larger steps, just so the footwear would not get soaked.
I saw hundreds of wild plants, huddling and blooming together, but the ones that particularly caught my eye were the lavender bushes, that grew in abundance; at a distance, they would not give off a strong scent but once they were plucked and held, the tang would not leave one’s hands for hours.
(There was a cabin where a local lady was selling mulberries. After having greeted her, she offered me to taste some of her freshly plucked, home-grown berries, which tasted like grapes.)
Behind those lavender bushes were large boulders, seemingly placed to protect the massive tree plantations from intruders. I stopped briefly to admire the landscape with the Topopdan lining the backdrop; the space seemed to have been instilled with silence, which I could feel, possibly even hear, from miles away.
The trees were mature and protective. Had they been planted there to protect the land or to hold down the Earth?
(I can still hear the water trickling down, somewhere, amid the taciturnity.)
We reached the bridge. Hundreds of people were crossing it to reach a dusky mountain which manifested signs of aging through the enormous cracks and ridges on its surface. The mountain seemed to have an inviting presence, a presence which reminded me of an elderly figure. I can recall the visual, but I can hear nothing but silence. It was as if the mountains were listening to us.
They seemed to have been placed there to watch over the land, and possibly even over us. Are they the actual guardians of the landscape?
No matter which route you take and where you turn, they will never leave your sight.
They will never leave where they belong.
About the author
Sara Yawar is a designer, artist and writer based in Karachi, Pakistan. She graduated from the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture with a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts and currently works at Junaid Jamshed (J.) as a textile designer. Yawar has contributed to publications like The Karachi Collective, DAWN’s EOS Magazine and ADA (Architecture | Design | Art) and continues to do so. She also enjoys zine-making, which she worked upon in collaboration with Indian artists through The Pind Collective, in 2021.