Stepping back in time in Western Punjab
Punjab is famously an agricultural society, a land of farmers and traders with a work-hard, party-harder attitude. Parts of Punjab have raced towards modernity, in places like Lahore which in 1947 was thrust from being a provincial city to one of a new nation’s premier metropolises. Others, however, haven’t kept pace with the rapid changes that new generations have brought.
It’s in one of the furthest flung corners of the province that this journey begins, a photo journey. On a journey beyond Faisalabad, to the villages on the banks of the Chenab, I entered villages that had barely changed since partition. Although conservative traditions still hold particularly strong in these parts, a warm but shy welcome is extended to outsiders. On the floodplains mango trees grow amid rice paddies, cows are milked and butter is churned the old fashioned way. Development is poor, but community, family and caste are the bedrock of life – more so than in the cities – and women observe strict purdah (gender-based seclusion).
This is my photo essay of my journey through the villages of Western Punjab.