The last time I was in Pakistan I took a friend down to Sadr bazaar in the heart of old Rawalpindi. Here are a few of the people I met and things that caught my interest.
A blind man makes his way through the crowds singing as he goes and collecting alms.
Fifty rupee chickens for sale.
This elderly hijra asked us to join in a cup of tea. He also indicated he was the ‘leader’ of a group hermaphodites (hijre) and invited us to join them the following day for some sort of gathering at his home, further down in Sadr. I would have loved to but alas had commitments to other people in other places.
The bazaar is a place where people from all over Pakistan come to shop, rent cheap rooms and see and be seen. This man from the Northern Areas of Pakistan had found work at a sidewalk mechanic’s shop. His rolled-felt was originally worn by people from Chitral, along the border with Afghanistan but has since become one of the great national symbols of Pakistan.