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Retracing the silk road
Last month, six Indians, from professions as varied as medicine, academics and journalism, set off on a journey to retrace part of the Silk Road, a series of trade routes that served as the main link between India and Central Asia over 2, 000 years ago. The trip kicked off in the Uzbek capital Tashkent, from where the group proceeded by land to Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan, and then to the ruins of Penjikent before entering Uzbekistan. Everywhere they went, just the word Hindustani was enough for people to open their hearts and homes. The old-timers still hummed Raj Kapoor's Mera joota hai Japani' while youngsters had switched loyalties to the Khans. It was truly a journey of discovery: of witnessing an Uzbek bride's joyful preparation for her wedding;of shopping for Bollywood DVDs in Penjikent;taking in Khiva's magnificent minarets and madrassas;and enjoying the bustle of bazaars and belly dancing.
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