Archive for the ‘learning’ Category
Monday, 06 September 1965, was a special day for me, the first day of first year in Edwardes College, Peshawar. Ready to be made first year fools of, I cycled to college in a smart and fresh college uniform of white shirt and militia trousers. Apprehensive, a bit fearful, and dreaming of a future that only boys of 17 stepping into college can dream!
We were given a few jumps in the ground and a run round the quadrangle of the hostel, and then herded in to the hall for the principal’s address. Dr. Phil Edmonds strode on stage followed by the faculty, and Titch (his white poodle, that went everywhere he or his wife went); we were awestruck to see he was wearing the same college uniform that we were all wearing. We never saw him wearing any other dress during college hours throughout the four years we studied there.
Regular classes with orientation in each class then started, and at 12 we were let off.
Cycling back, I was surprised that there was no traffic on the roads, an eerie silence as if a calamity was waiting to happen with bated breath!
I reached home, and contrary to the hope that my mother would be standing on the door to receive me, I saw my younger brother rush out of the house and shouted, bhai, come quick, India has attacked Pakistan, President Ayub is about to address the nation. I almost threw the cycle down and ran into the room, surprised to see my father there also. He had come from the office to watch the address and reassure us that things were well, and Pakistan would be safe!
Later that afternoon a ‘fatigue’ party from the unit came to the house, and dug an air raid shelter in the walled compound on the side (the compound was bigger in size than most plots on which we make houses today!). For the next 17 days, every time the sirens went off to warn of an air raid, we would go down into the shelter and wait for the clear siren before coming out again. We even had two big shrapnel’s from bombs on two different occasions fall in our compound (I wonder where these would be now in fathers store, till mother was alive things like these, and other mementos were kept carefully!).
Edwardes College remained open for all the 17 days of the war in September 1965, and after and it was studies as usual!
Some of us friends then decided to become part of the war effort, and our contribution was to go to the Peshawar railway station, just across the road from Edwardes College, and help load stuff, like Jerry cans of petrol, eggs, and etc., in trains which were then taken down country for supplies.
Heady days, the few of us army brats, had a special place in the hearts of all, because our dads were fighting the enemy!
Today, when I see the fragmented and disheveled state of things in Pakistan, I feel sad – not only for the times when the people stood united as a nation, but for the loss, disintegration, insurgency, extremism and what have you, that has divided us into factions, with a loss of Pakistani nationality.
To the peg of life
To a state
That what is wished
Leaving no place
To be had
Thoughts to bloom
Just a void
Where wants should be
Desires acceded to
But the schemer
Which defy thought
Leaving another void
In which we
But the schemer
Turns another leave
Of his book of schemes
March 16, 2013
a deep troubled slumber full of
tossing and turning in the night
dreams disjointed and flitting
unconnected and rushing
unremembered shadows of darkness
peeking from behind unknown slats
chasing each other till it was dawn.
and the cacophony to challenge
the faithful to a lot better than sleep
erupted from loudspeakers all round
vying to drown the call of the other
intruding blissfully on the state
in which the night had passed
finally spent and tired of the fitfulness
i turned in bed and slept,
17-Dec-12 6:45 PM
I met Ms. Uzma Yasmeen a student of the National Defense University, Islamabad at the public talk on the subject of “Security architecture for South Asia” by Mr. Farooq Sobhan, Former Foreign Secretary, People’s Republic of Bangladesh organized at the Institute of Strategic Studies (ISSI) distinguished lecture series on November 1, 2012.
In the last one month Ms. Yasmeen has become active in promoting PakTSN and she arranged my meeting with other students on December 06, 2012.
It was a wonderful interactive session, which lasted for longer than I had anticipated, but it was worth each minute of it. At the peak there were 6 students (some students were detained by the faculty for other work) round the table while few sitting close by had their ears on our discussion. We talked of terrorism, reason for my becoming an anti-terrorism activist; why I speak for survivors; about PTSD; steps that can be taken to create awareness about the ‘human cost of terrorism; rational for reaching out to youth; role of youth; how we can pool our resources to reach out to other educational institutions in Islamabad / Rawalpindi, and surrounding areas; and generally about issues facing Pakistan.
I cannot appreciate enough the interest and desire of Ms. Uzma Yasmeen to work with us on this important aspect of human interactions post passing away of a loved one in an act of terrorism. May Allah help and guide us in this endeavor. Aamin
I look forward to the participants’ inputs on broadening this undertaking of creating awareness of the human cost of terrorism particularly among the youth of Pakistan, and to our meeting with more people in the future.
we had a follow up on 29 Nov, to the 04 Oct, interaction with students at SIL.
well attended, and great interaction session, the students came prepared with the questions i had sent, and their search was in the right direction.
the questions answer session was intense and informative, and i found this group of youth to be fully aware of the ill’s of extremism, and active in “Saying No to Terrorism”
lord of being
and all that has been
or will be
how can one
of the sway
at His disposal
when one can not
the deep dark inside
of one’s own self
hidden under a sheath
a thin sheen
dulled by time
dust and grime
running after what
should be in our watch
forgetting what is for us
to be in the scheme
made on the day when
He molded the clay
to form till eternity
all, to obey
but mortals we
not doing and
what went wrong?
23-Nov-12 6:58 PM
i was on the panel in azm e alishan behtar Pakistan episode 6 telecast on november 17, and 18, the link to the episode:
comments welcome. please circulate widely to give voice to our anti-terror crusade.