Thursday, October 21, 2010


Photo: David Coleman Headley and Tahawwur Rana

by George Mapp
Magic Manali

Indian investigators, former Mrs. Headley and me 

David Headley is a US national living in Chicago. India accuses him of being an accomplice in the 2008 Mumbai attacks. According to Indian media, he also carried out a reconnaissance mission in Goa.
Faiza Outalha, his estranged wife spoke out after the Mumbai attacks. On 3 Jan 2010 the Times of India reported: "On the basis of Faiza Outalha's statement, the NIA team has also quizzed an American national working as a masseur in Goa who knew Headley and has been hopping in and, out of India and had stayed in Goa ... The American, George Mapp, now gives his story ...... 

Old Manali, India May 2008 - Old Manali is a small village in the Kullu Valley which is in the state of Himachal Pradesh, India. It sits approximately 2,000 meters above sea level and is located in an auspicious location with an awe-inspiring and magnificent view of the Himalaya mountains.

Old Manali is dubbed 'magic Manali' for a variety of reasons, however, one of them being the majestic view of the Himalaya mountains which are snow-capped for nearly most of the year. There are other reasons of course why it is called 'magic Manali', perhaps I will mention more later. It is here in May 2008 where I had the unforgettable and sometimes regrettable experience of meeting Faiza Outalha.

Faiza, well at least when she let her burqa down, was a very outgoing, friendly, dynamic, voluptuous, charismatic, warm beautiful young lady with very large bright gorgeous eyes and a full head of dark wavy hair. Faiza was at times very flirtatious, at least towards me, and had a warm and gentle smile that could make you do almost anything; even if you know that you shouldn't. At first glance I thought that she was Israeli but she later revealed to me that she was Moroccan and currently living in Pakistan.
It was through a mutual acquaintance of ours named Nickey that we met. I was staying at Double Dutch guest house and Nickey at nearby Prakash guest house. Faiza lived directly in the room next door to Nickey, thus the three of us became very well acquainted rather quickly.
Faiza occasionally mentioned her ex-husband but was often vague and revealed very little details about him to me. I do know through a reliable anonymous source in Indian intelligence that she was much more specific with another acquaintance of ours who I will leave nameless. Perhaps, it is because Faiza felt differently towards me than our mutual acquaintance and chose to talk to me about herself rather than her ex-husband.
Faiza and I became very close and spent a lot of time together, we ate dinner out in Old Manali village, frequented each other's respective rooms. Therefore, it was the world's worst kept secret that we knew each other. In fact, the entire village of Old Manali knew we were very close including Nickey. One evening when the three of us were eating dinner together at People's restaurant, (which is located directly opposite Lazy Dog restaurant) there was a dispute between Nickey and Faiza which was witnessed by mutual friends. It was caused by Faiza apparently being too flirtatious towards me in front of Nickey. Which ultimately lead to Nickey storming out of People's restaurant.
Faiza and I knew each other only about six weeks but anyone who has traveled and befriended other travelers knows that it is possible to become friends for life in an extremely short span of time. In fact, I have well over fifty friends that I met whilst traveling, mostly in India, that I remain close to and in contact with to this day.  As far as my relationship with Faiza Outalha, I will not go into very many specifics at this point. I am saving that for my book project where I plan to delve deeper and divulge  information in much greater detail

Chello Pakistan

I was with Faiza in front of the infamous English Bakery (which is located towards the top of Old Manali and across from Om's Acme Travel) waiting for her taxi on the night that she was to go back to Pakistan. I was the last one to say goodbye to her as she entered the taxi that was going to drive her all the way to the Wagah border where she would eventually cross back into Pakistan.
Chello is Hindi for to go, or leave, thus chello Pakistan could be expressed as, for Faiza to leave to or go to Pakistan. However, it is slang and used quite regularly in North India. It is similar to saying: c'mon, let's go or I'm outta here or I'm Audi 5,000. It can also be used rather impolitely, like get out of here or go to Pakistan basically like telling someone to f*** off. Many parts of India are not so acceptable to this phrase and it could be life threatening or cause you to be arrested if said in the wrong company or said in the impolite context.
Chello Pakistan was an inside joke between Faiza and I. Since I spent a great deal of time in Old Manali and since it was quite acceptable and a commonly used phrase, my nickname for Faiza was 'chello Pakistan'.  You see, Faiza was the only person I met that was actually leaving to or chello'ing to Pakistan.
Ironically, months later when the India's National Investigation Agency (NIA) first questioned me about Fazia, I still had her number in my phone saved as 'chello Pakistan'.

Sajid Shapoo and the National Investigation Agency

Eventually India's National Investigation Agency (NIA) also got wind of the world's worst kept secret, that I knew Fazia Outalha. When Faiza was still in Old Manali, her and I spent a great deal of time  communicating to each other if we were not physically with each other. We called and sent each other numerous mobile text messages frequently at all hours of the night and day. Once Faiza returned back to Pakistan, we continued to call each other communicate via mobile text messages but a lot less frequently because of the cost's involved. Eventually the communication dwindled and eventually halted completely. Our last communication was via a Facebook message where Faiza said goodbye to me less than two months before the horrific Mumbai attacks. I will talk more specifically about this last letter at the end of this article.

Next: Part II

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