A day out with Amal fellows

It was a fine Sunday morning and the journey started by all of us gathering at Amal Campus, Mall R oad, Lahore around 8 a.m. It took us an hour to gather and waiting for everyone to be there. Then we finally started, the guys on the bikes and girls in taxi reached Bundu Khan restaurant at Liberty for Desi Nashta.

We wanted to have our breakfast in Bundu Khan garden restaurant but because of no prior booking we had to wait in the parking and then we went to the indoor restaurant. The breakfast was quite good in taste and it did not cost much.

Halwa Puri, Chane, Alu Bhuji and Dahi at Bundu Khan Restaurant

As we were 30 in number so the space was an issue and it was two batches that our Program Manager Mam Zoobia were dealing along with her two awesome Program Assistants, Awais and Hajira. Hajira was the PA for our batch and to be honest she is the lady with all the guts. Despite of the issues with the space and other concerns everyone had because of an unscheduled tour, she managed great.

Those who are posing for picture are actually waiting for their breakfast order to come

After the breakfast, girls were the responsibility of Maam Zoobia and boys had their own rides again. Before that we had a selfie on the road with our PM.

Bundu Khan Gardens Parking (Naveed is the selfie boy)

The twist stayed tuned when there was a car parked behind our PMs car and security guard had no clue about the owner of the other car. There was quite a hustle in trying to reverse the car in any way possible (felt like we needed a driver like in Fast and Furious). Well the guys came to the rescue and they actually acted Superman in lifting the car bare handed and made the way clear.

So, we started towards, Badshahi Mosque as decided at breakfast. Rashly driving, almost about to lost the way somehow we reached the walled city, parked the car and started walking. Before we could have entered the mosque, while just discussing that if anyone could have entered the Gurdwara (place for Sikhs to pray and offer their religious rituals), situated besides the Mosque, one of the fellow offered he can take us in and we all agreed and went in Gurdwara.

We found a guide there who first took us to one of the gate of walled city i.e. “Roshnai Gate”. He added that this is the only gate that is still preserved in its original form and have not tarnished with the time.

Selfie infront of Roshnai gate (that is almost half not taken in the picture) and selfie credits are all for Usman.

He said, that girls should cover their heads so as the boys and we were given kind of a bandana to cover our head. It was more like a religious cum cultural tour to that place. The guide started telling us about the origin of the building. Before entering the inner side of the Gurdwara he asked us to take off our shoes and pass through a hose of sacred water.

Outside gurdwara, covering head with Romal (Bandana)

We followed the instructions and went in there. Inside, there was a book called Guru Granth Sahib was covered with the laced and decorated piece of cloth on a place to which no one was allowed to back at. He continued telling us about the details and history of the place. He also showed us the Mari of Raja Ranjeet Singh where his 4 wives were Satti (burnt alive) with him. Our PM had a meeting so she could not carry on the tour with us, so she left there and then we continued with our PA.

The Guru Granth Sahib is a collection of teachings and writings by Guru Nanak and other Gurus as well as Sikh, Hindu and Muslim saints. These scriptures are written in Punjabi and are greatly respected by all Sikhs as the living word of God.

After visiting the Gurdwara, we realized that we do not have ample time so we skipped our visit to Badshahi Mosque and went straight towards the Shahi fort. Entering the fort we found such beautiful Rickshaws standing outside the fort and they were actually quite expensive and were there for tourists visit to the walled city. We did not take the ride but took the pictures with those. Then, as we moved on there was a well inside the fort and there were number of people standing around it.

Fida, Osama and Tahseen are challenging and tempting Zaman and Zubair if they can jump from the well.

The well was of ancient times and was dried by now but it was quite deep and make echo when you scream in it. The guys did the jumping drills and keep everyone entertained there and created quite a drama for a while and again we took the pictures and moved forward.

The well besides the entrance to the fort. Selfie credits to Naveed and Zaman.
Naveed, Tahseen and Barrira are acting blind and I am posing, whereas Usman takes the role of selfie man.

Then we settled down in the nearby garden and a couple of fellows started playing badminton over there. In a meanwhile we encountered another batch at for. So, we started our tour again after resting there for a while. Now we went to the Payen baagh of the fort. Continuing our tour within the fort, we went to the Sheesh Mehal (Palace of mirrors) and did some really nice photography at these places as well.

Payeen baagh wali group photo (Batch 21) Credits: Kashif
Barrira is asking us to see what is up there in the sky ( the truth is we are just posing and trying to behave candid)

Now, the patience of those who could not make it at breakfast was started losing and we had to decide a place to have lunch.

Emad is asking Hajira, when and where will be the lunch whereas Barrira is simply posing. :D
Colorful buildings of walled city but the empty roads and shuttered down food street.

To have something good to eat, someone suggested that we should walk towards the food street as there are a few restaurants that are quite famous and we all started walking. After walking for 500 metres or more we realized that nothing was actually open by this time. We tried wherever we can and could not find anything good other than smoked corn and peanuts around the corner of the street.

Reckless and tired we found an old shop named, “Sardar Fish house” and decided to have our meal there. A few guys wanted to have “Payee” so they went to another shop near by.

I must say that it was not the best fish I ever had, but my hunger pangs embraced it with all the heart and did eat ample to fulfill my appetite and so was the case with each one of us.

Usman taking selfie of us eating fish

Usman kept on taking the selfies with everyone who was busy eating. The guys did went live during the fish lunch.

We also played the movie guessing by role play game. Almost everyone had a chance to guess and it was fun doing that while waiting for the food.

The guys who went to another shop for eating payee joined us again and we had live hello hi to the Amal family about our experience and the day.

https://www.facebook.com/Usman.Ehmad1/videos/g.701341416685545/1715497522096215/?type=2&theater

Last but not the least, it was quite an unexpected day. Our batch wanted to enjoy this tour at different place but the management did not allow that and we were informed just a day back about this sudden change in plan. Despite of that, we enjoyed each others company a lot and what we actually learned is, by the end of the fellowship we all knew that we all are leaders, we all are problem solvers and team players. The conditions may not always be favorable, so we all acted like the leaders, took the responsibility without being authorized and the most important thing that I took away with that day was;

Not everything you see and find is positive and glittery, it is the sight of your soul that helps you in witnessing that glitter of hope and making it possible.”

It was not the end of our journey. In fact, it was a new beginning.
Super Amal Batch 21 (Shahi Fort, Lahore)

In the end I would like to mention that this fellowship as a whole has made an impact on my life and personality. I have met a number of people who were my batch mates and now are my friends, the alumni and the global fellows and the Amal administration.

Hajira Riaz (Program Associate Amal Academy)

The people who have actually made an impact in my journey were few. At this moment, I would not hesitate to pay tribute to one of them at least without any doubts.

This super awesome girl, our Program Associate, “Hajira Riaz” without whom this journey of whole fellowship including this day out would have not been this beautiful.
Thank you Hajira and Thank you Amal Team.
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