...So there we were, witnessing what until then existed only on television and was ultimately nonexistent. Yet nonexistence doesn't scream out in pain. Nonexistence doesn't bleed from the nose and mouth. Nonexistence doesn't make you jump down from your truck and try to stop a group of armed individuals from senselessly beating two men you've known only a few days. The reality of the situation hit the four of us quickly and almost simultaneously we yelled "STOP!!" This was where our haggling experience would be put to the test.

No sooner did the 'P' hit the Sikh, than every indian eye was cast our direction. The man in charge motioned to us to step out of the truck and approach him. As our feet hit the ground, we were met by a couple of gun toting escorts. Approaching the head officer we could now see the damage that was wrought upon our drivers. Their eyes were already beginning to swell and blood formed a slow ripple down their jowls. Amazingly though, through the terror on their faces, one could still see a bit of pride. Once we reached the officer, he tried his best to be cordial. "Hello", he says "where are you from?"....

photo(c)TwoFeathers 1999

~Mornings on Dal Lake were at times a bit mystical. With the whisperings of mist rising up from the surface of the water, one couldn't help but feel what it's been like forever. The floating markets here were an unaffected dance that had been coreographed centuries ago. Trading and bartering of goods is part of the cycle of life~