Even though the general impression of the shopkeepers at Botal Gali is that they are rude, what’s really heart warming about their stories is the fact that they date back to Partition times, with most of them having set up shop when the Gali was the life of the place. Going by the infrastructural loopholes of the area, the lack of suitable drinking water being one of them, one is forced to admit that it’s more emotional attachment than a necessity for the shopkeepers to operate from here.
They can’t really kid anyone. The business isn’t thriving and most of the visitors are mere commuters. But talking to them makes you realize that they look at the place and they don’t really see the place for what it is now but rather something that it was when they came here: a busy marketplace, a place where people came together to interact and hangout and where there was a sense of community and ownership about the place.
For someone, who has been observing the place for more than a month, the idea is to think of something to bring that back, or to at least find a way to identify if there’s one.