POLIO TO POST POLIO (MY MEMOIRS)- APS TO COLLEGE (PART 1)


 

PS.png

 

tahir.png

The next two years after matriculating from No 1 High School were in Abbottabad Public School, the best years of my education where I made lifelong friends. The most wonderful teacher one could envisage and bestowed by God, was Mr. Hugh Catchpole (the saint) who taught our class English grammar. An instant respect and love were the spontaneous feeling which his thousands of students must have shared in India and Pakistan. He was tall and lanky, with long hands and knotted square fingers. A very elongated thumb along with his palm was dominant. He had the sharp blue eyes and thin lips, two deep lines on both sides of lips going down and lines going up from his outside of each eye made my face reading very interesting. His division of face into three zones was another challenge for my face reading prowess. The lines going up from the corners of his eyes depicted his profound sense of humor and the lines drooping down by the side of his nose were showing his skills of expressions.

Catchpole.png

 

office.png

In my opinion he was a saint and most of the Abbottonians must have known now the fates of those who messed with him. His small office was located besides the big hall and the stairs were leading down from the gallery. It was the second or third day of my joining school when I dared ventured into his office. “Somebody is coming with heavy boots” he remarked (It was not Zia’s era, how did he know?? It was 1975). I was wearing heavy boots with special modification and gadgets. I requested him” May I come in, Sir” Yes he replied. Then he said “I know it is Tahir Rashid”. His eyes were flickering; his mouth was twisting with smile and his glasses were resting on his long nose. I did not reckon that I met a person whom I would adore all my life.

babri

My words always fell short when I write about Mr Catchpol. He needs no introduction; he was global and would remain so. The best attorney of the town was the reference to my father and “Paka Thug (hardcore criminal)” was my reference when I used to grow a beard. I had to take most of Catchpole’s extra English classes because of my slackness but never had the pleasure to eat his candies or sweets as I always flunked his tests. I used to envy Yahya (Babri), my dear younger brother, for showering the praise with intense love and respect by Mr. Catchpol. Babri used to get 100 percent marks by him which no other student did ever.I am always proud of fantastic Babri like his family and friends.

Once Mr. Catchpol asked me “Where did you learn this fancy English of yours which you write?” I did not know what he was referring and kept silent. There used to be a strange conversation between him and me bringing the smiles and laughter to my class-fellows. I used to talk to him in perfect Urdu and he as usual in English, he never minded it. But I had to mend my ways about English.

sab kahāñ kuchh lāla-o-gul meñ numāyāñ ho ga.iiñ

ḳhaak meñ kyā sūrateñ hoñgī ki pinhāñ ho ga.iiñ

 

Uncle-2.jpg

 

uncle-4.jpg

 

Uncle3.jpg

The corrector was Mir Adnan’s father Aziz Uncle who came to see my father in one of the Abbott’s serene afternoons of spring.
“I was alone in my house when the bell rang. I went out and saw an extremely impressive man with Jinnah cap on his head. He asked me for my father. After hearing that my father was in court but about to come around this time he opted to wait for him. I sat beside him, curious who he was as I was awed by this stupendous personality. His innate confidence was oozing out with his every movement. He briefly told me about him and I was clueless. He started asking questions from me. I was ordered to bring a notebook and pen after I told him that I was studying in Abbottabad Public School. I complied immediately having no idea what he wanted to do. He wrote for a minute or two and then handed over notebook and pen to me. He wrote five direct and indirect sentences each and I was asked to change them from direct to indirect and from indirect to direct. I casually written the answers and handed him back. I flunked in all ten sentences and he explained it in writing. I was visibly upset. Sensing my extreme embarrassment and after perhaps seeing my red face, he kindly said “English needs a lot of hard work, son just put extra “. My father got late and he left, promising to visit again. When father came, I told him about Mir Sb by pointing out towards his grandeur house. He told me about this great man a lot but I did not tell him that I failed his English test miserably. Something moved inside my head and my heart. I went to Mr. Catchpole after the short spring holidays were over and requested for more extra English classes; he was bemused. Firstly I was speaking English and secondly he knew that I abhorred his Extra classes. “What has gone wrong, Fancy Boy” he asked me with his typical twisting smile. He had different names for me, Fancy Boy, Paka Thug, Heavy Boot etc. and used to call me with any of those according to situation, well. He was really surprised with my zeal and enthusiasm but not missing some awkward feelings which I was trying to hide. He acceded to my request. I was never let down on this count again “Salute to great Mir Sb”. I was not surprised to read some absorbing and magnificent articles written by Mir Adnan in The News International and also when Asif Jan Bahi told me that Mir Imran Bahi used to teach English to officer in the Navy while he was a junior cadet (The pictures are with courtesy of Mir Adnan and one can discern why I was awestruck by this great personality not knowing his background at all). He was the first Education Minister of AJK (A rarity in Pakistan of a most befitting person occupying the political post) and a leading leader of Pakistan movement. He is standing just behind Farooq Abdullah in Quid-e-Azam photograph. In one picture he is addressing the mesmerized crowd.

Uncle.png

It was perhaps the introductory class of Mr Bader Uddin. We were waiting for him to come sitting in groups. Our group comprised of  Ifthikhar Alam (Khari), Ghazanfar (Ghana) and Umar Hayat (Soofi) and me. First Soofi and Ghana told where they were living in Abbott and I did the same. I was delighted to know that Ghana and Soofi belonged to Kunj and Kahal. Now it was the turn of red cheeked Khari and suddenly the sparkles in Ghana’s eyes started beaming. It was only Tony Curtis who used to have such twinkling eyes. I interrupted Khari “Oh! You are living in the street behind Taj Mahal cinema”. I heard there was a person living in that street with big moustaches and who keeps a stick in his hand, I went further naively. Ghana’s smile was growing broader and broader and he looked extremely bemused with some anticipation. Soofi was shifting uneasily on his chair with some worried looks. I was clueless as what was happening. They were all class fellows from last school! Khari’s cheeks were oozing out now blood but I continued with fervour. “Even slightly provoked, he would dash at you when you were least expecting it and would make you run like a rabbit”. Ghana’s smile was getting markedly cheeky and mischievous making me little slow and then I heard these words “Tahir sb he is my father” I could barely hear Khari and the winds started bursting my ears. All my blood must have disappeared through my aghast and embarrassed face. I wished for the first time in my life if I could run and would have run, for never coming back! It took some real gigantic effort to apologize. I could hardly listen to my voice. Khari is great friend since then and strangely his father turned out to be my great silent friend in the years to come. “My father says that there is no able civil lawyer in Abbott to whom I should go and consult” Khari told me. I was bewildered and little embarrassed as I knew that my father’s formidable reputation as a civil lawyer was known to everybody. After a long dramatic pause he continued “My father is of the opinion that there is only one adroit civil lawyer who is extremely busy and he gives me not only time but will never take any fee from me”. “I cannot go all the time to him, his name is Khawaja Abdur Rashid and he is friend of mine”. We just laughed for a very long time.

Abbottabad Public School is pinnacle of my life where I made great friends. Ghazanfar, Umar Hayat, Iftikhar Alam, Khatab, Peer Ishfaq Shah, Asad (late), Ijaz Mushtaq, Shahzad Qazi, Hikmat a very first line mentioned in the very long and illustrious list.

“Room No 2, Jinnah House” where Jozar fizzed.
Qazi, Sohail, Aqeel and Malik, Saad shared this room. Shahzad Qazi now very senior Chartered Accountant is one of the very few friends and class fellows from APS who is not either doctor or engineer. He is one of the best tax practitioners in Rawalpindi & Islamabad and is known for no non sense from income tax department. Besides his many abilities, this trait of being upright and honest makes me proud of him. God bless him. It was in room no 2 when Abid Ishauq (the footballer) told me a funny storey about a basketball match. He was not perhaps a regular member of Basketball team but Sohail induced him to play a match after smoking a funny cigarette. “Every time I netted the ball, the ball was in the net and me on the floor”. He recalled jokingly.

The APS was buzzed with Abid’s prowess of football. I had the pleasure of watching him play only once (I don’t know why, although I was sports crazy). The two Malik brothers (Malik Ismail & Malik Sami, both doctors) were on the flanks and he was in the centre. Junior Malik passed on a ball to him before the centre line. Abid took it in the air and I could not see the ball till it was slammed into the goal. I watch Messe and recall those moments and realize that what talent we have and how we waste that talent. Later on Abid broke his two legs in a football match and quitted football for ever. It is a shame. The sporting talent of my nephew Shehryar Rashid was wasted in similar manner. By the way Abid is the Chief Proctor of Abbottabad College for the last thirteen years. This, when he told me, I was on the verge of my typical laughter but controlled it. “Watch out any three young friends” I advised him and he obviously did not understand it (The three friends are mentioned later).

shahid.jpg

Another great name from APS sporting archives is Shahid Janjua. I thought he would make to the national hockey team but he had his own plans. Mr KMC (Late) was furious with the hockey team after Rehman House lost a match. I thought he was particularly unhappy with Shahid who promised him at that time that he would practice the game during coming holidays and he will see the difference. I did not believe him and neither did KMC. But then he was a changed player. His ball control, his dribbling and his passes were treat to watch. He remained true to his words as he was adamant to recover from two fatal diseases later in his life. His father Lathif Janjua Sb was a client and friend of father. I remember reading an oft quoted cited case of contract law of my father. The applicant was Latif Sb and the respondent was government. Father proved that although the construction was not completed in time but the “essence of the contract was not time” and Latif Sb won the case.

shahid school.jpg

 

The benevolent Shahid is running a school for blind girls with his own resources. It is his real fantastic solo effort and now his school is shifted to a lot bigger place. It was all due to his personal efforts. When I wrote about his mother in law and towering Mirza Uncle with picture of his now wife (who was barely two years old in the picture) which was forwarded to me by Asif Jan Bahi, I got threatened on the facebook. “Who are you and how you dared to post my wife’s picture on facebook?” I was scared and responded him “If you will ask like Janjua, I will not answer but this is now the wife of my worthy friend Shahid Latif” I knew he was joking and then he wrote “Khawaja jee moray Khawaja Jee” and I laughed.

 

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

PONDERING PANAMA TWEAKS


 

panama papers.jpg

It looks that when wealth is enormous and stakes are very high, one tends to lose the heavenly characteristic of “Pride” which distinguishes the human being from animal. The same is true for the present Godfather and his family. Nawaz Sharif will not resign come what may and he is ready to face the humiliation of JIT which was assigned a task of solving the riddle of corruption, money laundering and tax evasions by the mafia Dawn family;

 

 

  1. How did “Gulf Steel Mill” come into being?

 

  1. What led to its sale?

 

  1. What happened to its liabilities?

 

  1. Where did its sale proceeds end up?

 

  1. How did they reach Jeddah, Qatar and the U.K.?

 

  1. Whether respondents No. 7 (Hussain Nawaz Sharif) and 8 (Hassan Nawaz Sharif) in view of their tender ages had the means in the early nineties to possess and purchase the flats?

 

  1. Whether sudden appearance of the letters of Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jaber Al-Thani is a myth or a reality?

 

  1. How bearer shares crystallized into the flats?

 

  1. Who, in fact, is the real and beneficial owner of M/s Nielsen Enterprises Limited and Nescoll Limited?

 

  1. How did Hill Metal Establishment come into existence?

 

  1. Where did the money for Flagship Investment Limited and other companies set up/taken over by respondent No. 8 come from?

 

  1. Where did the Working Capital for such companies come from?

 

  1. Where do the huge sums running into millions gifted by respondent No. 7 to respondent No. 1 drop in from?

Panama-1-640x372.jpg

All of the above will “go to the heart of the matter and need to be answered. Therefore, a thorough investigation in this behalf is required”….. (Page no 546 of the order of the 3 majority judges).

 

It is very clear from the outset that the burden of proving the evidences and proofs will wholly and squarely on the shoulders of Sharif family (Catch 22 in fact). No private legal aid could be provided on the spot. The majority order in paragraph 4 provided further “..It is further held that upon receipt of the reports, periodic or final of the JIT, as the case may be, the matter of disqualification of respondent No. 1 shall be considered. If found necessary for passing an appropriate order in this behalf, respondent No. 1 or any other person may be summoned and examined”… It looks that the three judges are mindful of the fact that they can reach the disqualification decision even on first fortnightly presentation of JIT report. No leeway was provided to Sharifs but to provide the truth, otherwise, face the consequences. The further irony for Sharifs is that if the JIT is satisfied, all three judges should also be at par, lest it is the flick of just one pen dash. The writing on the walls is very dangerous for Sharifs especially when it is directed that the existing documents in FBR and NAB can be examined, relied upon and made the part of the case. During the fortnightly hearing the bench can direct the JIT to examine certain documents and hence the affidavit of Samdi still hold the field and there is no question that it can be ignored or overlooked or interpreted in favour of Sharifs. Now we understand that why it was called the landmark judgement for years to come. I do not understand why PML (Nawaz) distributed and ate sweets and alms when a grave humiliation is just one stroke of pen away.

 

The majority order in Paragraph 3 provides “..The JIT shall investigate the case and collect evidence, if any, showing that respondent No. 1 or any of his dependents or benamidars owns, possesses or has acquired assets or any interest therein disproportionate to his known means of income. Respondents No. 1, 7 and 8 are directed to appear and associate themselves with the JIT as and when required. The JIT may also examine the evidence and material, if any, already available with the FIA and NAB relating to or having any nexus with the possession or acquisition of the aforesaid flats or any other assets or pecuniary resources and their origin”… (Underline is for emphasis)

 

The first question which needs to be answered is “how the Gulf Steel was set and how the money was transferred from Pakistan, if any”. This is about the money trail to fund this mill which was earlier ducked by Sharifs during the court’s proceedings. If the satisfactory answer and evidences are not provided it will be a foregone conclusion that the black money was used.

 

The questions no 2 to 4 are also interlinked and very interesting. It was required that what circumstances prompted the sale of the mill and the scale and the settlement of the liabilities. Was there any dime left as claimed after the discharge of liabilities which travelled on donkeys to Jeddah, Qatar and ultimately to the UK. The fall of Niagara is a fantastic view and the result is not beyond comprehensions if one falls with it but if no money is left after paying the liabilities, the Sharifs will be doomed.

hassan.jpg

Husaan-Nawaz.jpg

The question no 6 poses serious consequences through its wording as it depicts the thinking of three learned judges. The tender ages of sons of Nawaz were mentioned in reference to nineties. It means that the judges never accepted that the London properties were settled in 2006. This all is not pleasing for those who are at the receiving end after asking for this.

 

The questions no 7 & 8 bore sheer sarcasm of the court [The statements made by the gentleman from Qatar, page 25,.. On one of the dates of hearing of these petitions Mr. Muhammad Akram Sheikh, Sr. ASC, the then learned counsel for the children of respondent No. 1, dramatically, and with theatrical impact, took out an envelope from his brief and produced before the Court a document containing a statement of one Mr. Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jaber Al-Thani who statedly belongs to the royal family of Qatar and had remained a Prime Minister of that country in the past. That statement was made on November 05, 2016 and the signatures of the gentleman on that statement had been attested by the Ambassador of Pakistan to Qatar on the same day, Page 97 of the order (emphasized by underlining)]. Well the court was indeed bemused by the dramatic abilities of Mr. Akram Sheikh and to some extent seemed to be impressed by him. The myth of Qatari and the crystallization of certificates into the flats is to be probed here. Is there anything left? Yes indeed.

 

Who is the real and beneficial owner of M/s Nielsen Enterprises Limited and Nescoll Limited is the question no 9 with question no 10 probing that how “Hill Metal Establishment came into existence. Money trail or the guilty version is waiting.

 

Where did the money for Flagship Investment Limited and other companies set up/taken over by respondent No. 8 come from? And, the question no 11 pricked about the sources of working capital of all these companies.

 

Lastly the questioned is posed that how the money was generated for the hefty amounts of gifts made by respondent no 7 to respondent no 1 (from where it dropped, from trees I reckon).

So, these are those resources and means with which we purchased London flats if I recall Mr. Prime Minister’s speech in National Assembly in front of many stooges. Well, hopefully we do not have to wait two months to get rid of Dawn and its cronies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

FROM THE ARCHIVES OF GREAT FRIEND AND A SOLDIER (AN ABBOTTONIAN)


 

soldier-1.gif

THE SOLDIER

When young he used to frolic whole day: brat as he was contemptuously called in the neighborhood; for his obstinacy, carelessness and scrimshank attitude. Parents had once high hopes with him, but it soon dawned on them that he can be no better than a drain on their hard earned money. Despised by all he had but one love resort, the stray dogs and the pigeons. Not men but animals could probably smell some loyalty in him. To the down trodden like him he had once heard that there was a refuge  — “Army” as known commonly.

 

Uncertain of his luck he applies for his love and Army like a benevolent mother embraces this forgotten son of soil. If not natal it soon becomes his foster mother. The companionship of his comrades is a panacea for his deep rooted wounds and he soon recovers from the curse of negligence. Now why should he not be infatuated with Army which has restored his self respect and given him a cause to live? The child playing footle among others, the boy detested by his parents, the young man stigmatic finally became a soldier.

 

Envied by few, despised by many, he becomes a controversial figure. For sociologists he is a perpetual menace to peace, for economists an unacceptable burden, for environmentalists a future at stake, for corrupt politicians a threat to status quo and for mullahs may be a harbinger of Islam but a symbol of mockery for the general public.

 

Imbibed with love of his country, unhindered by the feelings of others, he continues to excel in the defense till the day war comes like a thunderstorm.

 

The same despised son of the soil is now the apple of every one’s eyes. To parents a proud son, the sisters guardian of chastity, the politicians a custodian of their ill gotten wealth and for economists an investment well conceived.

 

As the war ends and smoke lifts, there lay many who would never see another day, some lay crippled while few unlucky ones return to this inhospitable world.

 

What nation gives finally as a tribute to the soldier is a wreath for the dead, crutches to the crippled and few decorations for those who are still alive.

 

Sooner the brave soldier goes again in oblivion. He is no more adored, sung after and remembered.

 

All his life he has been pursuing only one cause, the cause of Islam, federation and integrity. Money and fame were irrelevant to him and all that mattered were self respect and honour. Retired how content, he is to take back with him few pairs of khakis for national emergencies, ribbons as reminiscence of days gone by, and a souvenir to remind him of his unit.

 

If dead – walking behind his funeral is his bereaved family, his comrades in arms and may be few stray dogs that have lost a friend. A passer-by may justly remark, there goes a soldier, a person trading life for the honour of nation (a nation zonked and completely oblivious to its loss).

 

0300 hrs 24 Feb, 93

Ibrahim Sec HQ

sardar.jpg

Daughters – What They Are Really?

Long before she is born the celebrations for a baby boy are in full swing. Boy which is the center of all our attention is considered strong, the heir of family property and believed to be patron of all parents. As compared to him, who would welcome a feeble creature like a daughter? All relatives including the parents are obsessed with the idea of a male from the choosing of a name to the selection of a maid. Then the fateful day comes, when even the heaven cries for the nameless little baby girl. Her first cry in this world goes unheard, relatives turn a deaf ear, father fails to reconcile with this gruesome idea, mother ashamed of her undone crime feels reluctant to suckle this humble gift of God. Clad in unbefitting garments she opens her eyes in this hostile world —- and may if capable, ask inquisitively —– why has she been condemned to life.

 

She is however not alone to bear the brunt, the ordeal of mother goes unabated —– for she has failed to bring an heir to the family. She knows with agony that this ordeal would repeat the next year and the year after until the hopes bear fruit.

 

Singing lullaby to the baby, mother is the first one to share her gloom with her. Love between them is inevitable being guilty of the same crime.

 

As she grows up under this shadow of oppression, she demands very little lest she offends any one and cajoles all in attempting to be owned at last. Her efforts fructify after all and the father if not all falls in love with this humble being. Her unselfish, undemanding and innocent nature so moves the father that he forgets soon the promised heir to the family and believed companion of old age.

 

She alone is now the apple of his eyes, crutches for old age and the layer of wreath on this cemetery.

 

Once buried alive, now tossed un-owned in trash or born nameless to a hostile family is in fact the most marvelous gift of nature. It emanates love, sacrifice and devotion known only to the gifted few ——- parents the lucky ones of daughters only.

 

0300 hrs, 24 March 93

Ibrahim Sec HQ

Siachen

 

khari father.jpg

Excerpt From My Memoirs ( My first introduction with Khari in APS)

It was perhaps the introductory class of Mr Badruddin and we were waiting for him to come and were sitting in groups. We had introduction and were chatting. Brig (R) Sardar Ifthikhar Alam (Khari), Dr Ghazanfar (Ghana) and Dr Umar Hayat (Soofi) and I were sitting on one table. Soofi and Ghana told where they were living in Abbott and I did the same. Now it was the turn of red cheeked Khari and suddenly the sparkles in Ghana’s eyes started beaming. It was only Tony Curtis who used to have such twinkling eyes. I interrupted Khari “Oh! You are living in the street behind Taj Mahal cinema”. I heard there is a person living in that street with big mustaches and he keeps a stick in his hand, I went further naively. Ghana’s smile was growing broader and broader and he looked extremely bemused with some anticipation. Soofi was shifting uneasily on his chair with some worried looks. I was clueless as what was happening. They were all class fellows from last school! Khari’s cheeks were oozing out now blood but I continued with fervor. “Even slightly provoked, he would dash at you when you were least expecting it and will make you run like panther”. Ghana’s smile was getting markedly cheeky and mischievous making me little slow and then I heard these words “Tahir sb he is my father” I could barely hear Khari and the winds started bursting my ears. All my blood must have disappeared through my aghast and embarrassed face. I wished for the first time in my life if I could run and would have run, for never coming back! It took some real gigantic effort to apologize. I could hardly listen to my voice. Khari is great friend since then and strangely his father turned out to be my great silent friend in the years to come. “My father says that there is no able civil lawyer in Abbott to whom I should go and consult” Khari told me. I was bewildered as I knew that my father’s formidable reputation as a civil lawyer was known to everybody. After a long dramatic pause he continued “My father is of the opinion that there is only one adroit civil layer who is extremely busy and he gives me not only time but will never take any fee from me”. “So I cannot go all the time to him, his name is Khawaja Abdur Rashid and he is friend of mine”. We just laughed for a very long time.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

POLIO TO POLIO- MY MOMOIRS


Photographs5.jpg

My father used to tell his friends (quote from dear mother) “My son Tahir is amazing, he is more beautiful than me and his mother, he sings like Rafi, runs like me and kicks football better than me at such a tender age”. I was just two and half years old.

I remember only one incident before the demon hit, ramming me onto the bed “spineless, legless and half faced”. My father called from the drawing room when he was sitting with one of his friends, I just popped my face in between the door’s curtains. He asked me to come in and sing my favourite song. I blushed and flushed and ran back. Suddenly I was grabbed by our family worker Uncle Akbar and he shipped me to the drawing room but I was too shy and again ran back to my mother. After a few minutes when there was no demand for me! I thought it better to go to the drawing room and sang. I stood behind the curtains of the door and started singing “Meeri peeyari peeyari surat ko Kisee kee nazar naa lagay, chashm badoor”.  Somebody and most probably my mother must have suggested me to change “Teeri” to Meeri” but it did not work out and it happened what was destined for me.

 

In 1962, it was monsoon in Abbottabad and after getting fully wet, playing under the gushing rain; I went to the bed and slept. A hell unleashed on me when I awoke up. I could not speak and neither could move. Polio virus wrecked my two legs, chucked out all the muscles from my left side of face and then made abode in my backbone. My legs were gone, my backbone was dysfunctional and the left side of my face was completely jammed. Years after years my physiotherapist in Lahore informed me that one in a million would survive this kind of polio! I survived anyhow.

 

The next morning the room was filled with ladies. I knew all of them but did not like them at all at that horrible time. I could not drink water as my left side of the face was frozen and it spilled on me instead of going into my mouth. I cried and cried and hated all those worried and concerned faces around me. I was not crying only when I was asleep. The doctors suggested a concave mirror for my face therapy. I was made to look in that mirror and I could see the most horrible and scary face and used to cry with shrieks. This agony was ended when my father heard those screams. I remember a black goat tied with my bed and the sight of her was frightening and terrifying for me and my hand was forced to brush her. I abhorred her and was relieved when she was removed from my sight.

 

My mother cried as much as me but sprang into action with grit and determination. She started messaging my legs with olive oil and continuously exercised my stale legs. She stopped cocking, visiting anywhere and remained with me for the next one year. Her efforts bore fruit.

 

One day, after one long year I managed to sit up by myself and managed to sit without any support. The roars, laughter and clapping was so intense and loud that all our mohallah Kunj Jadeed (locality) was terrified and the ladies rushed into our house. My mother was crying but I was not! I was ecstatic and on top of the moon. I was sitting on the bed without any pillow behind me. I saw proudly at the ladies entering into the room with disturbed looks and they all sat and stood besides my mother. What happened and what was this noise? A lady mustered the courage to ask. My mother pointed out towards me, with tears rolling down constantly from her eyes “It was Tara (my nick name) who sat up without support”. It was a beginning and my mother never lost hope and neither me.

Image result for kunj Qadeem abbottabad

 

I was able to stand up on my legs with the help of beds and started to walk with the aid of doors and walls and whatever I could grab. The journey was steep and uphill but my God endowed me an extraordinary will which kept me going. With passage of time I started to walk few paces without any support. Kaka (my yet another nick name) was walking now, many bemused exclamations came into my ears. A nicknamed girl Gudo, I never knew her real name, a very cute girl was also struck with this polio at the same age as mine. She was our neighbour. I used to inspire her to walk but she was afraid of falling down. I don’t know how many times I fell in a single day and why my fragile bones were not broken. I reckon I had very strong arms and with passage of time I realised and learnt to shield my lower body by landing on them. These are the ways of nature. Gudo could not survive and left in agony, for good. God must have blessed her with one of the highest places in Jannat I am sure.

 

 

 

A debate began when I was about to be five years old. I had to be admitted in a school but what school. I could not walk to Junior Burn Hall School and father did not have car at that time. Another question was the status and it was thought that I might be ridiculed by same status of kids. My mother’s wisdom prevailed and it was decided that I should be admitted in Government Primary School, Kamila which was situated in the same vicinity.

 

 

Well I was not ridiculed by my class fellows but my mother’s wisdom failed. In Kamila School I lost my memory, how my teachers struck me with sticks those legs on which I could hardly. It was discovered by my mother when she was bathing me. My legs and feet were full of blue scars. She was furious and enraged. She did not tell the father as she knew his kindness and forgiveness.

 

All the maternal uncles used to come in our house to play carom board. I was in the school but knew what must have happened. Every uncle who came was told by my mother about what happened and nobody played carom board on that day, they came down running to my school. I was shivering all day as I saw punches kicks and slaps and slaps. There were two doors of my school and one could go out from one door and come in from the other. The incumbent teacher was running out from one door and entering from the other in the school. Finally one teacher popped out and yelled some Khawaja was coming. I could see the frightened look on my all teachers’ faces, the door was furiously kicked as it was locked from inside and then the lock could not hold. The gringo barged in, fists waiving in the air and he smashed everything what was there. Then he went out after the guilty one who was fatigued but was running for his life, round and round the Kamila School. Firstly he was punched (normally one slaps to subdue others but it was not subduing, it was meant to be punishment), slapped and kicked and then was made football. This all happened in front of me and I was awe stricken. This was the first year of my schooling and after watching all this I never had any trouble by my school mates.

 

The teacher community decided to transfer a notorious teacher (a known ruffian among teachers) in the school. I remember before his joining the school the talks among teachers and every teacher used to point out finger towards me. I was scared. When he joined, I could see the weird look on his face after I was singled out. He was tall, square faced with cheek bones bulging out. He said with stick in his hand looking at me, no problem and I shivered and neither could inform my mother as I did not have any courage. I was only frightened to death.

 

It was a one beautiful morning of Abbot when the Sun was blazing down in winters. The gringo was assigned my class. After asking some questions to my class fellows he turned to me and asked to recite something. I stood up but could not fathom anything. He said to me to expose my hands and I did. Sun was roaring from East and the moment he lifted his stick in the air, there were shouts and yells, names and what not! “I cannot repeat those words”. In seconds somebody was there with her manual grass cutter and I heard these words “If I ever see you, trying to strike Kaka I will slit your throat with this grass cutter” and the glass cutter was on his neck in a flash. He was trembling and wobbling but I was not. That hired gringo left the school and never came back. I saw him running in sheer disgust and in fear, his face was all pale.

 

I used to call that lady “Khala” and her daughters loved me specially Nusrat Baji. I will never forget that family. They were known for many things and the gringo knew that she was capable of doing what she said. The ultimate judge is God and I can only pray for her” God give her the best place in Jannat”. I never feared her son who was later murdered but her husband although he was always very kind to me always. I had no idea at that time that father had extremely good relations with everybody without any bounds of character. I saw very sad, the Uncle whom I feared and his son whom I did not fear.

 

I was sitting on a wall near my dear Kamila School in a nice sunshine of spring. I saw the tall son of Khala, Mr Safdar approaching me. I never saw him in day light. He hugged me and sat beside me.  After few minutes the Uncle came and gently tapped my head. His son stood up spuriously and I heard almost a whisper because Uncle’s voice was very low. “Khawaja Sb’s daughter is very ill and he is taking her to Rawalpindi” what I heard. Both of them were very sad and I could not understand it. Obviously it was my father and my sister about whom he talked but I was clueless. When I started to walk towards my house, saw the ladies and all the mohallah was saddened. Sadness was in the air I could feel that something was gripping my heart and eventually I reached my house.

 

It was my elder sister who got heart enlarged and was severely ill. She fought with this illness for more than 50 years but then left us; God must have given her a suitable place in Janat. All my three sisters are wonderful but she was a different person. In spite of her heart enlargement she was the one who took care of me like my mother. She was master cook and everybody loved her food. She took after the father most. She was calm, quite and lively, her fingers and palm were just like father but not the lines. Unfortunately she had a hollow hand and hollowness was on her health line. A sinister looking heath line was emanating from base of little finger and was attacking the life line in mid sixties on both hands. Her heart gave in to the many misfortunes of her life and then she breathed her last. It was devastating for me like the death of father. God must be taking good care of her, I am sure. That is why I gave up palmistry my Peer “Dear Ishfaq Shah”. I will refer back to my Peer.

 

IMG-20161006-WA0004.jpg

 

IMG-20161006-WA0006.jpg

 

I got admission in No 1 Government School in seventh class. I was physically doing well at that time. This School was perhaps the most oldest and the best in Abbottabad and many a distinguished people of Hazara studied here. But at that time it was wrecked by all standards. As it was a government school and extremely cheap, it was dominated by the periphery villages. The villages were called “Mairas” in Hindku, the language of Hazara and the students from these were actually gangs who were not interested in studies. One dreadful morning when I was going to my class, the sport teacher stopped me and showed me a paper. It was Thursday I recalled and the paper was blank. He explained that this paper was meant to mention the names of the students who left the school and ran away from the backside. It had been almost two months, he further told me that nobody had reported me and so I was assigning this task to you. I was surprised but accepted the challenge without thinking.

 

I was sitting on the side of the stairs leading to the back of the school. The first student who came, I stopped him and asked his name. He was senior and I wrote down his name. I told him if he did not come back, I will report him. He just measured me from my face to my legs, smiled and left. He never came back to school. He was a dagger master and was murdered at a very early age. This was the school I was studying! Then came the gangsters from villages and I wrote down their names and they jeered me. I handed over the list to the teacher and he was perplexed.

 

It was only the next Saturday I realised what I did. In the morning assembly, the names were called from the list and with every cry of the punished, my heart was flinched. It was not because of guilt but for the consequences. When the school was finished, I deliberately waited my exit as I knew the boys must have been waiting but my father would not go without me, it was a calculated risk. Beside in the rush I could have been downed by a little obstruction to my legs. I was one of the last students who came out of the gate of the school. They were all waiting for me and they were quite in numbers. I could see my father getting out of his car on the other side of the road to purchase the water mallon (his most favourite), I wanted to make sure of father to be there in case of any emergency. I pulled my cap in my hand and decided to walk through them instead of avoiding them. I heard “This is the one and this is the one” but nobody could beat my confidence. I crossed the road unscathed and joined father and my dear elder brother Shahid Rashid. The next morning I was asked for the same duty and I refused with firm resolve” Never and never”.

 

I stood first in the matriculation examination like Shahid did it last year but I was stuck with the courage of my brother. It was science paper and I was solving it with my head down. Suddenly I noticed that there was nobody in front of my row and then I saw only Dr Raja Sijjad and another student from pre- engineering. Out of my curiosity perhaps I looked back and to my sheer surprise, the hall was empty. That hall could accommodate more than 200 students and in the morning it was full. I again concentrated on the paper but somebody stopped me. He was the head examiner and went thoroughly what I had written. He patted me and said if I could come in front seat just opposite to his desk. I happily obliged and finished off my paper in less than 3 hours. I was ready to leave after finishing my paper when the Head Examiner asked me to sit down and then informed me that he would also take practical side of science. My fear with practical examination was gone by hearing this but he told me astonishing facts. I had no idea of this story. “I was the only one in the Province who accepted the duty of chief examiner and I constituted my team” he happily gossiped. Why was the question in my mind only when he answered “Everybody refused to come here because last year the students took examination with guns and daggers and most of the invigilators were severely beaten up”. I thought about my humble brother who got the highest marks last year in spite of all these disturbances. I would have stood up in this situation I knew without any fears of guns and daggers but my brother must have taken it calmly and stayed focussed.

Image result for jhangi syedan abbottabad

I remember one horrific incident of Syed Match Factory where we used to live before moving to Jinnah Abad Colony. The nights of the summer in Abbott used to very beautiful especially in moonlights. When everybody was asleep, I would walk to the small hillock behind the Army Burn Hall School, one of the best educational institutes of Pakistan. Nobody in his right mind could go to that place, at around 12 at night and where there was also a thickly forested cemetery which was without light even during the day.

 

On that dreadful night, I reached my favourite spot, unscathed in spite of extremely heated arguments on the way. I never realised that the last house was on the edge and it was just the last one before the cemetery and the hillock. I did not like the dog barking at me from that house and that night I really got furious, my mistake. I had a hockey in my hand and two daggers, left and right. I was challenged by a woman, not physically I remember. I was still furious when I told her to control her pet and she said do not go back the way you normally come and you would face you deserve! I accepted her challenge without thinking and I am sure she must have smiled.

 

On the way back I took the path in between the fields leading by the sides of village Jhangi according to the challenge. After few minutes, I heard many muffled voices which turned into roars when I was reaching near Lower Middle School. I was enjoying the ecstasy of nature, moon coming down, me alone and hockey in my hand, daggers dangling from both sides of my baggy pant (Shalwar), of course inside it. I reached the corner of my familiar Lower Middle School and it was the last shadow which I had to clear and I was in the moon light and under all clear moon light. That woman, I had to see her in the day light and learnt about her misery. I forgave her for what happened next that night afterwards although forgiveness was never my trait.

Image result for pics of barking dogs

I came down with the help of my hockey from the corner of the school into the Kassi (a shallow dry ravine). It was broad moon light and I was awakened with utter aghast! I was in front of School, a lone human being confronted by numerous beasts as I envisaged them. Now I realised what were the roars I heard on my way. Perhaps no dog would have been left behind in the village Jhangi as they were countless.  Consisting of all sizes, all ages and all kinds and dimensions, they were all barking at me and me alone. Those sounds are still in my head, slick & nippy, ruff, gruff sneering and what not. They were all rearing up at me particularly the young ones. They wanted to tear me apart but some divine force was keeping them at bay. I was cool as I knew that nobody would come to my rescue at this time. I could see small dogs coming at me barking and then running away when I stood firmly with the stockiest of them. I had to slide backward step by step trusting my legs and my eyes as I knew the moment my fragile legs tumbled, they would rip me apart. I loosened my daggers but the worst fear kept on dangling”a pedigreed dog or a hero dog” and I would have had my last. One or two, I could have dealt but not with these many and particularly if they attacked in unison.

The distance between me and the hollowing packs was gradually increasing as they were not ready to cross their boundaries and I was slipping away from the red zone. It took me almost half an hour (it felt like ages), standing where I could see the school on the other side of Kassi.  I never ventured again in that moon light but met that lady and her crippled father in the day light to convey my apologies. “Nobody ever dared pass our house after 9 in the evening because of our dog” she told me proudly except you which confused us. I finally excused myself for my outbursts the other night but did not tell her what happened to me afterwards. I did not budge from my resolve not to confuse that respectable family.

 

In my hurry and scurry, I forgot to add my wonderful memories about Dr Ijlal, whom I refer as Persian Prince.

 

” DOCSEE FROM ABBOTT

I was reading comments on face book on one of my friends’ picture when I was struck by a very familiar face. He was handsome and good looking. My memory started ticking back, years by years. It was not long before I realised that who is this Persian tinge.

Abbottabad is the city of serenity since it was founded by Sir Abbott in 1880. One of its exhilarating beauty was Mansehra  Road and particularly its patch from Machis Factory to Mandian. This was abounded by the scintillating beauty of Cheers and Safaidas. There was Jab Pul (bridge on stream) and famous Burnhall School. Adjacent to Burnhall was Haidri Petrol Station.

During the splendid autumn evenings in Abbott, I used to stroll from my house (situated at that time near Machis Factory) to Burn Hall and back for hours. Whenever I would be nearing the Haidri Station, I used to get excited.  The excitement was for watching three beautiful kids again with the same motions. I watched them time and time again but the scene was repeated with the same intensity, unchanged. The two wonderful and beautiful sisters used to push the tri cycle of their brother one by one. And the Brother, the Persian Prince, unruffled by the dedication and love of the sisters, was just riding his luck. My evening saunter would always gleefully end when I saw them while going or coming back to my house in the same vicinity.  Their delectable love remained the source of inspiration for me for the rest of my life.

The Persian Prince was Ijlal Haider. The Syed with Persian connection graduated from Ayub Medical College Abbottabad and later qualified as surgeon from UK. Once one become a doctor, will die as a doctor is embedded in Pakistani culture. But the highest professional achievement had not deterred this princely looking doctor to adopt another profession very different from surgery.

This is the manifestation of diverse talent, extremely strong will power, faith and fearlessness. Nobody plunges into waters of uncertainty from a settled position in life. But Ijlal did and sailed. It is impossible for me to muster about a few recipes and he had thousands of them. It is only Ijlal who is capable of that, now the owner and executive chef of Dorrington Old Hall Persian Cuisine. Moved and inspired by his mother who was Iranian, he showed his intense love and affection by devoting himself to a cause which could always remind him the wonderful Mama.

 

At Dorrington he offers a relished Persian cuisine not available anywhere in UK. He is not only expert chef but is adroit in marketing and a skilful manager. “I took the path less travelled by….” but the difference had shown what Dr Ijlal haider is! ”

 

Next journey is from Abbottabad Public School to Abbottabad College”.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

FATHER I MISS YOU


MY MEMOIRS

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

It was father’s day in June 2012 and I was missing my father on that particular day like all those days when my father used to come into my memories. It was fretful day, my heart was aching and my mind was blurred. Tears were on the brim of my eyes and I was writing hither and thither on my Facebook. Sometimes one cannot stop ruing even though one knows that it is a fact of life. I remember a conversation with him. He was severely ill and bed ridden and could hardly speak. I said to him “These offspring of a man are very selfish”. He lifted his face and to my utter surprise he asked me in his deep throat-ed voice, why. I replied that we are so selfish that out of sheer love of our parents, we wished they should not die in our lives. Although knowing well that if we died when our parents are alive, it would be intolerable pain and devastation for them. He reflected calmly nodded and then smiled.

 

It was one of those days when I was smacked by his memories. It was Father’s day all right and my mood was at lowest ebb. I did not know what I was writing on Facebook and suddenly a light appeared. A girl, whom I hardly knew, started messaging me. She had the answer to everything and she treated me in a way as if she knew me since ages although she was very young. She was full of care and love and I was calmed down like water on the planes. I did not realize what had happened and then I slept in the hope that my dearest father would appear in my dreams. Next morning I was sober and in my own self, forgot about this kind girl.

 

Oh my dear God, I remembered suddenly about this benevolent girl after three months and I was ashamed that I did not thank her for what she had done for me. I messaged her with apologies and she graciously said “don’t mention it”.

 

Miss Saadia Munir, one of the greatest and finest persons I have ever known showed me the tunnel of light on that dreadful day. I feel extremely proud that I was taught by a saint Mr Catchpole who used to call my father as the “best attorney of the town” and am sure that the students of Miss Saadia must have the same feelings. The angels have no gender and they are only known by their divine characters. She is lovely little Angel for me and I pray for her and adore her for her amiability. It requires a real courage and confidence to sympathize a Pakistani male by a Pakistani female without any relationship, with our cultural and habitual bounds I am afraid. I will always be grateful for to you my dearest Madam and there is no way that I will forget you. You are heavenly Madam, God bless you.

 

I was five years old and fighting with severe polio. I came down to playing ground of the Mohalla Kunj Jadeed in Abbottabad. It was a beautiful evening of summer in Abbottabad and all the ladies and children were out of their houses, playing and gossiping. Suddenly a voice was echoed in the air ”Khawaja Sahib is coming”. I was sitting on the ground as I was exhausted and turned my head to the direction where it was pointed out. What I saw was a huge gigantic muscular man, broad as earth, tall and with his head and eyes buried down into his chest. The ladies were inside their houses in a flash and glued through their windows to have a glimpse of Khawaja Sb. The children were packed in their houses for the sheer respect and love for Khawaja Sb. I had seen this once but the ladies must have peeked through their windows many a times I know for sure.

 

Hailing from a very small village in Haripur, now Ghazi district, he was the only son of his beautiful parents. My grandfather died when he was six months old and the great grandmother was wonderful and courageous enough to bring her sole child proudly. Her eyes I remember were deep blue just like an ocean, Oh Maa Jee my lovely Maa Jee. Her hands and father’s hands were alike. They were tapering long figures with the tapering nails on long hand with pads inside their fingers’ tips. They had no hard texture in their hands. I long for those wonderful parataas and fried eggs of my Maa Jee whose son made a history. “I really do not have enough words to describe your personality Maa Jee”.

 

He was the second person who did matriculation from the village Mian Dheri but his athletics was discovered accidentally. It was only after this incident he realized that he can run like a dear. In Aligarh Universty, very distinguished five students visited him who later on retired as Brigadiers. We came to meet Khawaja who runs like dear and write like Shakespeare and they remained friends all their lives.

100 yardsislamia

While coming back to his village from Ghazi town with his many friends they felt that the day light was fading and they have to hurry. They all decided to run. How he described this incident “When I reached Mian Dehri bus stop, the day light was still there but my friends were not. I had to wait for them in the dark”. It was the beginning of his athletic career. He was enrolled in Islamia College Peshawer and was trained as 100 yards hurdle race athlete. He spent 5 years in Islamia College and won All India 100 yards hurdle race for consecutive 4 years. I don’t know that his long jump record is yet broken or not. The principal insisted to keep him in the college for the sixth year but ultimately he managed to convince him to allow him to join Aligarh Muslim University. He was the first one who was uniquely honored by Islamia College as best athlete and best student.

kabadi

His athletics were not confined to Islamia College or Aligarh University. He was known as the unbeatable Kabadi player of Jaj (an area comprised of now Attock and Haripur districts of Punjab and KPK Province respectively). His first cousin Makan Shah Chacha (uncle) was his partner in this local and very popular sport. One day on my insistence, he narrated an incident of playing Kabadi while he was in Islamia College and he regretted it. He reflected” I went to a village on the hills of Ghazi town along with a marriage party to bring the bride. The tradition at that time was that the relatives of the bride used to challenge the marriage party according to their strength. They all knew about me and my cousin and they challenged us to play Kabadi or they would not allow the bride to be taken. He further recalled that they were Sikhs and all those young Sikhs looked very powerful. The dilemma he faced was that the ground was full of stones with sharp edges and he had to play barefooted. He tried his best to avoid it as he feared that he might be injured and his athletic career would be jeopardized or finished. He had to accede and he was not bemused when disclosing that he said to the cousin to be quick and little harsh. He was not proud to tell me that they were so many and he slapped them real hard. The game was ended when My Chacha (uncle) broke the two legs of one of the players by clutching him with his legs as per rules of the game. The poor guy, he reflected with heavy heart, could never play the Kabadi again.

Unknown

Unknown

He did his LLB and masters in history from Aligarh University. He was again a star here. His international athletic career was hampered by the Second World War as the Olympics were cancelled but the champion of All India was also champion of Aligarh. He was known for his finesses in academics and running, his friendliness and his looks. He was the most popular figure in the University and everybody respected him and nobody ever thought to be messed about him except the one.

 

An Indian Patan known as Johny thought that he can challenge Khawaja Sb in the mess and became more popular than him. I reproduce the words of father of Rao Amin Hashim (retired as IG Baluchistan) Mr Rao Hashim (an ex MNA of PPP) whom I met in Abbottabad when Amin Sb was DIG Hazara.

Rao Hashim.jpg

“I was a professional boxer and I introduced boxing in Aligarh as sport. One afternoon, I went to mess and as I entered the mess I saw Khawaja and bully Johny standing face to face. Johny was taller than Khawaja and everybody used to fear him. I was standing away and could not listen what was the conversation and all of a sudden Khawaja started thrashing that bully. He was getting furious and furious and ultimately Mr Johny could not take any more and fell unconscious,  Khawaja then left.

During that brawl, many a Patans gathered and they wanted to assist Johny but I showed them my fist and told them that both of them were fighting squarely and you do not need to interfere. Johny never came to University after that dreadful day. The same evening news broke out that Punjabis had beaten the lone Patan and I was singled out. When I heard this I went to khawaja’s room and scorned him that you had beaten him and you leveled allegation against me. Khawaja just smiled and told me to wait in my room and he would find out. After an hour he sent me the message that it was right and they were coming after you. He asked me to stay in my room as he was coming with his friends. All his friends were from Hazara district of KPK province and were very strong. Khawaja told me that these people were coming with sticks and knifes but nobody should be able to enter the room. He knew how popular he was particularly among the Patans who used to consider him one of them. When the mob reached outside my room, the news was broken that it was Khawaja and not me, half of them left for the sheer respect of Khawaja. Those who did not pay heed to the message attacked my room. Khawaja was standing in front and anybody who could avoid Khawaja’s kicks fell to my knuckles and bare knuckles without gloves. This episode lasted for two hours and some minutes. The VC of the University was informed and he came there with the staff and the saga was ended. Most of the attackers were expelled and some were rusticated from University”.

 

This was on physical side and on the academic side another story was brewing. He was known to be a leftist and he had to pass Islamic history paper to qualify for his masters. The person who was the teacher and was to check the paper was abhorrent to his ideology. He was advised by his friends to show more radical attitude. He refused and told them that even I could not get this masters, I would remain honest in my views. The Moulvi teacher (the Islamic preacher teacher) awarded him the record numbers and he got masters with distinction.

 

He landed in Haripur to start his law practice but found the city not to his liking. Within a year he moved to Abbottabad and started his practice with a Hindu lawyer. After partition he got his teacher’s law library and refused to accept any other thing. He spent a brief stint with Qazi Rehmat, the great civil lawyer from Abbott who died very young, the late father of Qazi Jamil (ex Attorney General of Pakistan) and Qazi Zaheer (ex Chairman of HMC and Life Insurance of Pakistan) and his great doctor son Qazi Bashir named his hospital for him. The great teacher was full of praise” That young man from Haripoor speaks and speaks extremely well and above all he has the neck for law”. Qazi Sb was very fond of speaking English, hats off to him.

faiz

He was the member of the Pakistan Communist Party and this party was banned in 1951 and under caption of Pindi Sazish case, all the great intellectuals were jailed including Faiz Ahmad Faiz, Major (R) Ishaque and so many others who left for India after their release, for good. Dear father went into hiding as he hated incarceration of any kind.

 

Before Ayub Khan imposed martial law, he was preparing to contest the elections for PM slot. He quit politics for good then and concentrated on his law practice.  Not strange that his first case was quoted in PLD in 1948 in the year when he became the High Court lawyer.

 

His practice spanned over 52 years since 1946 till 1998 as a civil lawyer and many of his great friends were his clients. He personally and instinctively knew what dispute resolution was and he practiced it. He resolved and settled his most of civil cases out of court thus obliging both the parties. This used to be resulted not only ending the disputes but a lot of hassle and money of the clients were saved. It was one of his fine traits which made him stand taller than any other civil lawyer. He literally ruled PLD Peshawar for decades wherein his cases were cited every month until he suffered throat cancer because of excessive smoking. There was a temporary pause in his practice as he had to go America for the throat cancer treatment. He returned after 4 months after being successfully treated but lost his saliva. It was quite ironic to watch him sipping water continuously in order to moist his mouth. But as the fighter he was, got normal and regained his practice after few years.

 

It was the most dramatic scene at the courts when he used to argue. A pin drop silence would prevail in the court room and nobody even dared to move. His absorbing deep throated voice pitched at the same level with his long hands searching the file which was never indexed was a treat to watch. He was always able to find the required documents at the proper time. His arguments were orchestrated with Mirza Ghalib verses and humor. The silence used to be broken into laughter only after his extempore and hilarious expressions. The silence would be back as soon as he was to start his arguments again. His arguments were reproduced verbatim by the judges in cited cases. It was widely rumoured and believed that Judges requested him to write their orders but I did not believe this. Justice (R) Nasir Ul Mulk, Justcie Sardar Raza or Justice Shah Abdur Rasheed, a few names to mention, would not have allowed anybody to do such favors.

WasimSajjad

His friends were all over Pakistan. One of his friends for whom he had always a lot of praise was Justice (R) Sijjad Ahmad Jaan, the father of ex president and ex chairman senate and of course the esteemed Supreme Court lawyer Mr Waseem Ahmad Jaan.  He was the Chief Election Commissioner when Mr Bhutto was prime minister and he later resigned in disgust as the Mr Bhutto asked him to rig some bye elections. I was 10 years old and it was spring in Abbottabad, the city was laden with flowers and greenery. We were living in house at Syed Match Factory Mansehra Road. Our lawn was full of red roses like the neighbor’s. I tried to figure it out many times after 1975 that how I used to climb the boundary wall of the house which was more than six feet; and that too in a flash. And then I used to sit on a structure where the main gate was infused and it was almost seven feet. I could never! Shimla Hill was used to be on my left side where I sat and one could easily see the dominant Governor House there on top of it. During one such afternoon, I was sitting at my favorite spot talking to my best friend. A lifelong friend and I have to admit that there will be very few girls as beautiful as she was. I was chatting with her when I noticed a black car had reluctantly entered into our street and our street which looked dwarf as compared to its size. I had no idea that it was a flag car when it halted just short of our gate. The driver came out and asked me if Khawaja Sb is available. The car’s door was half opened when I replied by pointing out my finger towards the Governor House “Khawaja Sb is not here, he went there to meet Chief Election Commissioner Justice (R) Sijjad Ahmad Jaan Sahib”. A silence ensued and the driver closed the door. After a few minutes the driver again popped out and I could clearly see that he was struggling with his expressions. He said that he had to reverse his car so if I could open up the gate. It never happened to me to ask who was inside those tainted glasses. I came down scurrying, opened the gate, the car was reversed and I whizzed to my dearest spot. The car started rolling. Before I could start conversation with my pretty friend, I noticed that the big black car stopped and was reversing. When it halted in front of me, I saw the tainted glass was sliding down from the back seat and my ears are still reverberated with what I heard “Tell Khawaja Sahib when he comes home that Chief Election Commissioner Justice (R) Sijjad Ahmad Jaan came to visit him”. A black complexion person had said this and then he burst with laughter. I had a glimpse of the driver who could not control himself. I was stunned and flabbergasted, came down very heavily from the wall and although my friend called me many a times but I did not answer. She never stopped jiggling and laughing as she had seen my innocent expressions many a times.

12193736_776727615807245_997986044384561703_n

Her father and mother will abide in my heart for ever for the love and smiles they gave me. Years after she asked me “Tahir how you used to climb that wall and I replied; no idea whatsoever”. I am as perplexed as she was. God keep her in best of health.

 

It was a very painful evening for me as I could not get out of my house for the fear that father would come and the first thing he would ask was about me. I was confused and in agony when I heard the horn of my father’s car. I climbed the roof of the house and from there on the water tank which was at least 4 hundred feet high. It was night and all of a sudden all the home workers started calling me and looking for me. I shivered but stuck there. Then I heard the husky voice of my eldest brother “I know where you are and come down before I come up, father is asking for you and it is very bad that you are not responding”. For a moment I thought about it and then decided to face the heat. I climbed down through my favourite pipe instead of stairs as it was quick. My mother was only smiling when I entered his room and he was not only smiling. I saw him never laughing but only smiling, asked me what did I say to Justice Sijjad and then he was laughing. I was blushed and could feel that all my blood was running to my face. I do not remember what happened afterwards during that night.

 

His all numerous friends whom I met were respected, loved and adored by me. But I reckon for me two were singled out, Justice (R) Shah Abdur Rashid and Justice (R) Mirza Abdullah Jan. I think I cannot canvass them together.

 

Justice (R) Shah Abdur Rashid was from Mansehra and they were friends since 1940. Then they were together in Aligarh and both started practising law in Abbottabad. Shah Sb then joined judiciary and retired as Justice of Peshawar High Court. I remember whenever we visited Rawalpindi, the first demand of my father used to be “Let’s us go to meet Rashid” and I had to obey happily. I can never forget that how Shah Sb saved me and protected me when I was involved in a bad incident of my youth. God give him long life, I am still in touch with him. Father always used to tell me” Don’t go on Rashid’s looks.  He does not look like but he is the most intelligent person I have ever known”. I never really understood this till I went to him for a legal advice. I had some issues with the owner of my office and wanted to give him recovery notice for my fee arrears as I was handling his income tax case. He was the best employment lawyer and I had seen many top ranking bureaucrats sitting in front of him with their hands clutched together in their laps. He asked me to narrate the facts and put some questions here and there. After I was finished, he asked me to take a pen and paper. He then dictated the legal notice which was amazing. I told him a very long story and he calmly put in paragraphs with exact dates and events. Then he gave me his two letter heads to print it out in my office. It was an amazing piece of legal language and the respondent would definitely shiver with the awe of consequences if the conditions in the notice were not complied with. I read it many a times and decided not to send it. The respondent owner was too timid and meek and I feared he would have suffered heart attack if I sent this notice to him.

 

When I was extremely frustrated with Pakistan for various reasons, I decided to migrate to the United Kingdom. I knew had my father alive, he would not have allowed me to do so. This was in my mind when I went to meet Shah Sb to break this news. I told him that I got admission in LLM in Manchester University but skipped about my migrant visa. During my second visit to Pakistan when he asked me when I was coming back to Pakistan, I had to tell him about my reasons and reservations and he kept silent but nodded positively at the end, I was so thankful.

Jan 1

Another blistering and heavenly personality was Justice (R) Mirza Abdullah Jan. Known for his unique hilariousness; he was the maven of criminal law our province had ever produced. He would intermingle with junior lawyers and made them laugh continuously. He used to boost their confidence in this way. He used to talk in Peshawari Hindku and one would never know what was coming next. Once during a marriage ceremony I was waiting for the food on the same table with many junior lawyers around him. He started to describe the sex attributes of eating watermelon and I had to leave the table because I could not dare laugh in front of him. When I was finding my way where my father was, one of my friends asked me why you are laughing by yourself. I only managed to point out in the direction where Mirza Sb was standing and he spontaneously understood and laughed.

Jan

He was the most loving father besides having many other fine qualities. A tribute to him can be read in the link (https://legpol.wordpress.com/2012/07/01/bagwan- god-on-earth/), a friend to everyone, a most respectable entertainer who instilled confidence and knowledge of law in young lawyers in a very subtle way. I am sure both the friends are together now.

11227633_10205853682172801_7127455639591650896_n

afic

As God has many ways to bestow his virtuous and sinless people, he was gifted a son in law in the garb of General (R) Masud Kiani. He was born in Abbottabad and did his MBBS from King Edward Medical College Lahore. He rose to prominence as a member of doctors’ team who carried out the first open hearted surgery under the astute eyes of General (R) Zulfiqar Khan. Due to efforts of gifted General Zulfiqar Khan, Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology Rawalpindi was established and he was the First Commanding Officer. General Masud Kiani eventually became the CO of AFIC and afterwards retired from the army serving on the same slot. He then joined the Hearts International, Rawalpindi with other friends.

 

He is calm and compassionate, eloquent and master of languages he knows. His memory is amazing and lady luck always smiled on him. His quiet inspiration was so intense that now the doctors in his family are in huge numbers. His versatility is manifested in his home he had altered in Rawalpindi and the one built in Abbottabad. You name any flower and it will be there in his garden. He remained a very firm friend of father and very kind and helpful to all the family. We are all proud of him.

 

One incident of Heart International I will never forget. He asked me that when you had undergone your medical tests and it was quite a while and I told him so. I was ordered to visit HI the next morning and I obeyed. I reached the hospital and his PA Mr Riaz was waiting for me. He took me to the x ray room first and I was thoroughly x rayed. The next test was for heart. My chest was wired and I was asked to run on machine. I was physically fit at that time but the young doctor increased the speed disregarding my polio. I frantically requested him to stop it. In his report he had written that his heart was all right but he was fatigued! The next stop was kidney scan and after discovering some stones in my kidney I came out of basement.

 

It was the office of a retired Colonel, an orthopedist, I did not know that he was very good friend of father. His PA nodded me to enter the room and I did so. The first thing I heard in the room was “Get rid of your shirt” I did. “Remove your paint” was the second command and I did what I was told. I was left only with my underwear. I had to point out to my underwear and asked “What I should do with it”. No Keep it on was the next order. “Now sit down on the floor on your feet” and I had to sit. Now stand up on your legs and I smiled and said that I can’t. He asked me if I needed any help but I stood up with the support of my arms. He is doing extremely well with 35 years of polio; he told General Kiani Sb who silently entered the room. I put on my clothes on and went with General Kiani Sb to his office noting on the way that there was a gynecologist available but her room was apparently locked. My weird sense of humor cropped up. We sat for a while in his office and he asked me how everything was and I said “fine”. I shook hands with him and opened the door and then came back. He was little surprised. I asked him “Is any gynecologist working here?” He said yes but she had gone home now. Can you call her, yes but why? I said there was only one test left and that is ultra sound for pregnancy. His confused look changed and he started laughing when I left. It is too painful to be a VIP.

group

shahid

Azar r

Father had left three wonderful brothers for me which makes me proud of him.  Major (R) Sajid Rashid is Johny hunter and floored many a many Johnies and then left. He became a very successful businessman after getting retirement from the army. Brigadier Shahid Rashid is a psychiatrist and affable elder brother although he still admonishes me at will, at this age even. Khawaja Azar Rashid is caring toddler brother whom father wished to become one of the best lawyers of the country. Azar who was only versed in English when he was seriously advised to learn Urdu as this was the language of the court. Azar never failed in his uprightness, honesty and professionalism. He became the fine Supreme Court lawyer whom one can trust, thanks father.

ahsan

Father when you died, all the newspapers were full of your praise and your legal prowess, it was a known history. But I will remain indebted to Ahsan Rashid whose achievements brought your heroics back to newspapers when it was disclosed that he was your grandson. Ahsan Rashid was the star of Abbottabad Public School and all the institutions where he studied afterwards. Thanks Ahsan Rashid to make us all proud of you.

tahir

Every Pakistani deserves father like mine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Goroon Kee Baarat (Uwe’s Wedding)


MY MEMOIRS

8.

I am a lucky one who has the friends all over the world. Dr Uwe Greier is the most special one. Hailing from Germany, I met him in early nineties in Islamabad at the Tourism Fair as I started my tourism business by the name of “Tours De Pak”. It was due to the courtesy of our mutual friend Mr Najeeb. He seemed to be very nice and amiable and he proved his traits over the years. I know no person who did PhD in Pakistani tourism in Pakistan but he did in Germany. His mother is also from another planet who looked after me in Germany and in Pakistan like a mother. Bubbly is another heavenly person who cooked haleem  and all the Pakistani food for me in Germany after her marriage.

 

It was a dramatic evening in Pakistan when I received a call from Uwe who informed me that he is going to be married. I was excited and juiced by this news as another German tour was in an offing but to my utter surprise, something else was told to me. Uwe told me that he was going to marry in Pakistan with Shaila (Bubbly) whom I never met. Well, well, well, I had to respect what my friends decided to do, no two ways about this.

 

Uwe sent me the dates and asked to suggest the itineraries. I sent him the package and he returned with most motley tour itinerary. It was raggle-taggle as some of his guests were coming from Sri Lanka, some were coming from other parts of Europe and they were to land in different cities of Pakistan; and they had to fly from those cities at the end of trip. It was strenuous even to think of this incongruous tour itinerary. Uwe booked 22 of his friends including his troublesome ex girl friend (Mika) and I made all the arrangements.

24

Uwe arrived with his mother and some friends early in April, 1994. The first leg of our trip was started as we left for Peshawar and Khyber Pass. All enjoyed to the brim and returned to Islamabad after few days.

27

The most intricate and complicated part of the trip now started. After collecting all guests from Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad, the “Goroon Kee Baarat” embarked to Sargodha, where Bubbly lived. We had a delicious and lavish lunch at Kalar Kahar, which was arranged by my PTDC friends, on the bank of Kalar Kahar’s lake. Finally the Baarat reached at Sargodha. The setting was serene and the beauty of the lake was awful.

17

We were ready for dinner when I saw Uwe’s mother fuming with rage. I hoped that I had not done something wrong and thank God it was not me. It was Uwe’s ex girl friend that was gruesome. I had to go to her room and calmed her down and afterwards it was a horror tale dealing with her.

 

5

The wedding ceremony begun and the “Janj” (Wedding Party) started for the periphery of Sargodha wherein I recalled the silhouettes of my village. These were my childhood memories when my village was like that. I was thinking about sixties and it was in nineties. Different rituals were celebrated on two days and I saw Mr Uwe all in smiles all the time. Since the Barat came to hotel, Uwe disappeared and I managed to meet him in Rawalpindi after Lahore leg. They both flew to Bali Islands for honey moon.

 

The whole event was out of this world. I recalled the saying that the couples are made by God and this was an absolute manifestation of it. Bubbly’s family and relatives welcomed us with such love which I never expected. I was completely watered by holly water and did not remember anything else.

18

19

After this beautiful and wonderful marriage was over, according to the itinerary, I had to tour to Lahore with our guests. It was not unusual to go to Lahore for me but it turned out to be dramatic. It was all normal and as usual I was sitting on the front seat besides the driver being a tour guide, when our couch had to be stopped due to road works at Sheikhupoora, a town in between Lahore and Sargodha. A truck driver right in front of our coach was in scurry. He perhaps wanted to manure his way out from those traffic debris and he reversed his truck and his conductor asked him to be reversed. Our driver, an old man, when he realized that the truck was reversing, applied the reverse gear, but pushed the first gear instead. It was a bang and the front screen of the coach was smashed and all the scattered pieces of glass were over me.

 

I went out of the coach and approached the truck driver who humbly told me that there was a Truck Adaa (Trucks resting place) ahead. He said to me that he will settle down this issue there and I accepted his request innocently and gleefully. What the drama ensued, it was beyond my imagination.

 

As soon I got out of the coach, the truck drivers of all sizes, kinds and volumes surrounded me and they were too many. At my age, at present, I will never think of confronting such numerous truck divers but it was the pride which was at stake. I was challenged by them through my innocence and I could not be subdued by many a many. There were giggles and jiggled but my confidence did not budge. The drama was getting longer and longer and I ordered tea for the guests. The owner of the Adaa who must have been a very strong man and was, witnessed all this. At the end when I managed to subdue all the hooligans and forced the impugned truck driver to deposit his vehicle registration documents with the owner of that place, my ears were reverberated. The owner shook hands with me and said “I have never met and I knew I would never meet a person like you”. I never met that gentleman again.

 

The couch was replaced as soon as we reached Lahore and coach owner later told me that it was their family business since ages but they never got compensation of any accident. In Lahore I had to take special care to Uwe’s ex girl friend and she was all pain.

20

22

21

We reached to Rawalpindi by train and after seeing off the most of the group to Germany, I took 5 of the guests including Uwe’s mother to Murree and then to Islamabad via Abbottabad.

 

After saying good bye to all at the airport, I was down with severe fever for good two weeks I reckon, due to fatigue and awe of the events. God bless you Uwe, Bubbly, your daughter and mother. You are jewels.

 

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

DON’T MESS WITH SAINTS


Catchpole

Sardar Moazam advocate passed away (God rest his soul in peace). It was protracted cancer and unfortunately the jail was his last abode. Hailing from Haripur, a son of a lawyer, he also chose the law as his battle field. He was a fearless genius, a sparkling lawyer and a dare devil, whose domain was not only Hazara but the whole Pakistan.

 

When the notorious brother of the then serving Chief Justice of Pakistan, Ibna Ali was murdered in his fort like house, his name was rumoured. Dear Arshad, who was not capable of holding a small pistol, was named in the First Information Report. Arshad was ultimately sentenced and spent more than five years in jail. He was released as a result of compromise with ex chief justice’s family, courtesy of Mr Abbassi the ex chief minister and governor of KP. Arshad, who cannot speak a single word of Pashto, narrates in his moods, the saga of that night. “Deeds and misdeeds of somebody from Nawanshahr”.

 

Sardar Sb had been riding his luck with impunity making money and satiating his lust freely and at his will. But then his luck line stopped by the head line and a big square manifested itself touching his life line. The square was much larger than Arshad’s. He should not have done what he did to Saint Hugh Catchpole. It was simply rage and wrath of nature what subsequently ensued.   

 

Mr Catchpole died at the age of about 90 after dedicating his life for education in the subcontinent. He was dear and near of every student who studied in Abbottabad Public School besides thousands of thousands others scattered in the subcontinent. There are very few, I reckon, through their dedication to humanity, bring them very near to God and Mr Catchpole was perhaps one of them. Even the very bad Abbottonian like me loved him though I hated his extra English classes. I wonder that how he could remember the names of his students years after years. His honesty, nobility, humanity and uprightness were few of the traits which distinguished him.

 

Sardar Moazam used to challenge the strong persons and it was his strength. Here he misjudged and against his strength he tried to exploit apparently meek and weak and very ill Mr. Catchpole who was very eager to distribute his last savings through will.

 

Sardar Bahadar advocate was contacted by one of the judges in Abbottabad to write will for ailing Mr Catchpole. Sardar Bahadar sent his son who was also an advocate to take instructions from him and write a will. Moazam Sb when met Mr Catchpole, found that he was very sick and cannot see or read properly, fathomed some other ideas.

 

The will was written and read before Mr. Catchpole and he signed it. What was read, it was not written as in writing all the money was to be transferred to Sardar Moazam. But after his death, the will had to be validated by the court. The great Mr. Catchpole died and soon after Sardar Sb managed to transfer all the money to his account even before the validation of will. Abbottabad was rife with rumours which forced Moazam to present the will for validation. He himself presented the application to the Senior Civil Judge Mr. Khalil Khan. Knowing Moazam, nobody could believe that a person like Mr. Catchpole would leave him even a single penny. Khalil Khan took the will to Senior District Judge who asked him to leave the will with him. Abbottonians who loved Mr Catchpole smelled something bad and moved an application to the civil court. Thereafter, an application was moved in the High Court Abbottabad by Abbottonians before Justice retired Nasir Ul Mulk who after the due consideration found the will infructuous and fraudulent and ordered to incarcerate him till he paid the money back. Sardar Sb’s connections in judiciary and police could not work. Iqbal Mahmood, the then SSP of Abbottabad (whose last posting was an IG Sind), refused to release him on the request of Justice Luqmani and Rao Hashim the then DIG Hazara (retired as IG Baluchistan) excused himself plainly to Luqmani sb. They were dining together with the civil judge who caught the demon. It was beginning of the end wherein nature gave some really tough messages. Sardar Bahadar sold one of his properties and after payment of more than fifty lacs, Moazam was released.

 

The rain in Abbottabad is quite frequent and during one rainy night when the rain stopped and it was all serene around. Sardar Sb ventured to visit Abbottabad Medical Complex. The visit was for the purpose of meeting a girl who identified her later in the court as his wife. The weather in Abbott makes you tipsy and high and Sardar Sb was in a hurry to meet this girl. In his scurry he could not see two doctors walking after the rain stopped and his car jumped on uneven road and splashed water quite inadvertently on these two. When he stopped in front of the Nurses hostel, he felt paranoid as there was no way that lady could come out of the hostel and meet him, it was too late. After saying good bye from a distance, he started to drive back. The two doctors waited for him and when they recognised him, they yelled at him and abused him. Sardar Sb stopped the car and got out and after a little exchange of words he was infuriated. He went to his car and pulled out a gun and shot both of them at legs. The words echoed in space” If you do not know me, I tell you, I am Sardar Moazam”. He left without bothering further. Incidentally one of the injured doctors who subsequently died, was the nephew of Justice Nasir Ul Mulk.

 

The injured doctors were shifted to emergency where one of the doctors died from excessive bleeding. It was negligence of doctors and not the intentions of Sardar Moazam. The riots broke out in Abbottabbad and Sardar Sb’s house in Jinnah Colony was burnt. He had to run away from his Mir Pur house as the rioters intended to burn that house too but the police saved it. He fled and gone underground.

 

The pressure on the police was very intense and our dear Qazi Sb had many scores to settle with Moazam. Koca, the car painter, a very close friend of Moazam died after a massive heart attack when police raided his house in the wee hours of one morning. DIG Hazara was Rao Amin Hashim who would not succumb to any undue pressures and he asked his deputies to found out Moazam. A case was registered in the anti-terrorist court and non bailable warrants were issued for Moazam. Under the intense heat, Sardar Bahadar Sb was admitted in the hospital although he was not feeling well but it was more of precaution. The message was sent to Moazam.

 

Moazam was spotted in Mansehra and challenged by the police. He produced his pre arrest bail papers but to his utter surprise he was told that the police had got his non bailable arrest warrants. He was arrested and produced before the court. He was remanded to police for few days but during those few days he was kept six inches above the ground. His nerves were shattered by the same old police who always protected him but this time the bosses were different.

 

A sensational trial began at the anti- terrorist court. Mr Tanooli (late) was the defence lawyer who advertently or inadvertently led to his coffin. Moazam denied all the charges and produced his witnesses. The hospital girl was questioned by Tanooli Sb and she confirmed that on that dooms day, he came to meet her. She also confirmed the time which matched with time given by the guard at main gate. The car and weapon both were recovered and the empties from the car were also forensically tested the same as recovered from the body of the deceased. He was given a death sentence. The high Court maintained the death sentence on appeal.

 

The Supreme Court of Pakistan converted his death sentence into life imprisonment but the learned Judge forgot to add word concurrently. What happens if you are on the wrong side of the nature! After completing his sentence, he was to be released but this word concurrent gashed his hopes to be a free man. He was sentenced for few years in Mr Catchpole case and for not being concurrent, this sentence started now. Before this could be sorted out, Moazam died leaving lesson for many a many.

 

(Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less travelled by,

And that has made all the difference

—Robert Frost)

This road led to hell for sure in this world, and in the ultimate world, God knows.

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized