‘Ishq’ in its ultimate form means unfettered passion!

For years, I had dreamt of being inside the forts across the turbulent North-Western region of Pakistan from where the Sikh Empire in the early 19th century had successfully plugged the Khyber Pass, putting to stop the invasions into the Indian sub-continent.

Finally, the ‘Ultimate Director’ of my pursuits, the ‘Divine Himself’, having recognized my ‘Ishq’, created situations that even I fail to comprehend!

Not only did I get to see all that I had desired, but also the Pakistan Army at the Bala Hissar Fort (named Sumair Garh Fort in the Sikh era) in Peshawar gave me a Guard of Honour, invited me to dine with the officers and also gifted a memorabilia!

I remain bewildered, unable to comprehend the energy at play! Why me, an insignificant mortal has been chosen to experience this?

While receiving the memorabilia, the words resounding within me were,

Ishq Junoon Jab Hadh Se Barh Jaaye,
Hastey Hastey Aashiq Suli Chadh Jaaye,
Ishq Ka Jaadu Sar Chadha Kar Boley,
Khoob Laga Lo Pehre Rastey Rab Kholey!

When the unfettering passion transcends the limits,
When one is willing to climb the gallows with head held high,
Then the magic of passion proclaims,
Let there be guards, the ‘Divine Himself’ will open the doors!

Photographed in Jan 2017, during the research for the book “THE QUEST CONTINUES: LOST HERITAGE The Sikh Legacy in Pakistan”