Monday, November 14, 2011

Mere desh ki mitti...

Kanak Dixit (in blue) collecting mud for Barkat Singh
It is not rare to hear of old people craving for a fistful of mud from their native village. Today I met a gentleman who dug up a field to fulfil the wish of a 96-year-old man. What makes the incident even more endearing is that the old man is an Indian and he wished to hold earth from his native village in Pakistan and the person who helped out is Nepali!

I met Kanak Dixit, a man with many feathers in his cap, in Islamabad where he is on the last leg of his "The Great Nepal-India-Pakistan Spinal Beetle Drive".

The Beetle parked at the Wagah Border
Dixit, a person from Nepal (he prefers this as opposed to a Nepali), is driving though Nepal-India-Pakistan in his 1973 model Volkswagon Beetle to generate funds for his Spinal Injury Rehab Centre in Kathmandu. Dixit, himself a spinal injury survivor, embarked on this journey on November 4 and has driven through Lucknow, Delhi, Agra, New Delhi, Jalandhar and Amritsar. His last stop in Pakistan (after Lahore and Islamabad) is Peshawar.

When Dixit reached Amritsar yesterday his heart sank -- he had left all passports (also his wife's and son's who are travelling with him) at a roadside restaurant in Jalandhar. He took a U-turn and sped back to Jalandhar lucky to find his passports safe with the owner, Pahalwan Barkat Singh.  

When 96-year-old Barkat Singh heard about Dixit's trip to Pakistan he told Dixit that he longed to hold mud from his village in Sialkot. Dixit took a detour and headed towards Sialkot to collect mud for the old Sardarji. The mud will now be delivered by Dixit's co-travellers on their return journey to Nepal.


  1. I love these posts. Please keep them coming!

  2. That's very nice... I would like to bring even a brick back from my dad's birth place in India not far from Jullundar, but i have no intentions of jumping thru hoops to get a visa to visit India and i'm sure its the same for many people on the other side.

    Vesey if we all started to do that half of Pakistan's mitti would be in India and vice versa!


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