Life itself is ceaseless journey. Humans travel from infancy to dotage. They tarry for a short time at the temporary terminals of infancy, childhood, juvenility, maturity and dotage. Demise is the ultimate end of this journey. During this journey, life experience sundry sentiment. It becomes a blend of delight and dejection. It is a joyful journey tinged with trauma. It is an engima that we cannot understand. In the words of Shakespeare," Life is but a walking Shadow' .
A journey by bus usually proves to be tedious and tiring. But in case you are travelling to some serene spots, in the company of fine fellows, the journey becomes a soothing experience. Francis Becon says; " Travel, in the younger sort, is a part of education; in the elder,a part of experience." This is what we experienced when our classmates made a programme to spend a few days in the comforting company of nature in the Swat Valley. The preparation for trip were finilized within two days. On the third day, the students of our class reached the early in the morning for timely departure. A luxury coach was waiting for us at the college gate. We loaded our bag and baggage in the luggage boxes of the bus. We all got seated in the bus very soon. Fortunately , l managed to get a window seat much to the envy of my fellows. All the students were seated comfortably and spaciously. We all were excited about this recreational expedition.we were about to start a travel about which Keats once said:
" Ever let the fancy roam,
Pleasure never is at home".
Finally, the coach proceeded towards its destination. After half an hour, it was running on the motorway. It was quite a soothing and comforting journey. A student began to sing a folk song. We all enjoyed his soft sweet voice and gave him a big applause. After this the driver played the pop music and some of the students began to to dance in the bus. It was quite an exciting sight. Some students were laughing, some were shouting and a few were clapping. After two hours, the conductor of the bus announced a brief stop at kallar kahar. He told us that they would stop there for half an hour. The students were asked to refresh themselves there and get back in the bus right in the thirty minutes.
The fun that we had there was tremendous . Some dranks teas, some ate, burgers, some enjoyed sandwiches and some simply sat there and had gossips. Right after thirty minutes, everyone had got on the bus and bus proceeded to its onward journey. The rest of the journey was somewhat quiet and peaceful. Some were sleeping and some were enjoying the scenes outside along the motorway. The part of the motorway after lslamabad was very beautiful and bewitching . The road was running curvy along the undulating Hills. It was presenting simply a stunning sight.
After another three hours,we left the motorway and turned into the road to Mardan. This part of the journey was terribly tiresome and boring. The sight outside had turned dull and bleak. After crossing the city of Takhat Bhae, the the scenery around changed and gradually it. Became wonderful. Then all of a sudden we found ourselves creeping on the twisty road of the Malakand pass. The scenery around was amazingly captivating and mesmerizing . Lush green trees and flowery bushes were growing in abundance on the slopes of hills. Thin fleece like clouds floating in the sky were playing hide and seek with the sun. A soft breeze was blowing from the green hills. It fanned our faces and lifted our spirits. The road winding around the cliffs looked somewhat scary. But the sensation of excitement made the journey pleasant and delightful.
After crossing the Malakand pass, the road ran along the Swat River . This was even more exciting and beautiful part of the journey . It was the moment when I understood what Shakespeare meant when he said: " One touch of nature makes the whole world kin." In the evening,we reached Mangora, the capital of the Swat Valley. We spent a night there in a hotel and had a great fun.
The next day, we started the onward journey to Kalam, the most beautiful place of the valley. Travel to Kalam was very lovely and comfy . The bus was running Along the Swat River that was foaming with turquoise blue water. It's edges were littered with small smooth rounded pebbles and drifting loose sand . The whole route was teeming with natural beauty. It seemed to be the land of mighty mountains, tall trees, surging streams and flowery forests. On the way ,we caught sight of fruit trees, loaded with peaches,pears , walnuts and apricots . I did affirm Keats' lines;
"Beauty is truth, truth beauty, that is all
Yes know on earth, and all ye need to know."
On the way, we stopped once and again to enjoy either a beautiful scene ripe fruits a few sips of tea . How much we enjoyed that part of the journey needs another few pages to tell. However,we reached out destination by lunch time. This was the most memorable and thrilling journey l had ever made by bus the finale of the journey made me realize the whole truth hidden in the lines of Keats:
" Some shape of beauty moves away the pall from our dark spirits."