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Day 16: The Shandur Pass

Michael Palin - HimalayaDuring a break in the dancing there is an address from a man in a dirty shalwar-kameez, with a stick, a pack and leathery, sun-scorched features. Whether he intends to look like the classic yokel or not I don't know, but it's clear from the way the audience listens that he is a star, and a comedy star at that. My guide tries to translate but the laughs come so thick and fast that he has trouble keeping up.

It's all good anti-government stuff. According to my guide, it's a popular grouse on both sides of the Pass that the government praises the spirit of the mountain communities but fails to put any money their way.

Like any good comedian his eyes flick round the audience, and pretty soon alight on me. To gales of laughter he tells me that his people pray constantly for the restoration of British rule and he asks me to tell the Queen that if she gives them each a thousand rupees she can have their village back.
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  • Series: Himalaya
  • Chapter: Day 16: The Shandur Pass
  • Country/sea: Pakistan
  • Place: The Shandur Pass
  • Book page no: 37

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