Memorable tour of HPS
Posted March 9, 2012on:
It was 1998 June. Schools were to close for two months for Summer Break. Ali Bahadur and Saleem Jatoi having good reputation in arranging tours planned a trip to beautiful and picturesque northern areas of Pakistan . Tired out minds needed some recreation so interested teachers joyfully agreed. Students showed their excitement and willingness too when they came to know about the program.
To take students with us needed approval of higher management which seemed intricate. Fortunately Hakim sahib visited the school that day so I availed the opportunity hence asked permission from him. He agreed on condition that if I am going then only he will allow. So the news spread like rumor. The joyfulness among students was like winning the world cup J
I invited parents of interested students to my home to get their written permission and also to share the likes and dislikes of their child. Any special instruction or anything they would liked to share about their child. So it was all settled contentedly.
We were all together 40 people including teachers, students and one support staff, Imam Bux. The students were Nazeer, Muneeb, Ali Asghar, Ayaz, Sair, Zahid, Shuja, Ali Mughal, Omair Naveed, Saadat Ali Shah, Baber and Umair. I am extremely sorry to admit that some names of students I fail to recall who were with us in that trip. (I request all those whose names are missing to please remind me so I can add them)
Among teachers were, Sabiha Qaiser, Aijaz Fatima, Lubna Punjwani, Amber, Farzana Hussain, Ali Bahadur, Saleem Jatoi, Shabnam, Sadia, Fauzia Khan, Saba Masroor, myself, my son Yasir Ali and daughter Nadia Rauf.
We started off in second week of June by train. One whole bogie of first class was reserved for us. First destination was Lahore . The sizzling heat of June welcomed us as we stepped down the train at Lahore railway station. Ali Bahadur n Saleem Jatoi had already booked rooms for us in Youth Hostel. But humidity and scorching heat was unbearable so that very day we head off for Islamabad ’s youth hostel.
It was very hot there too but not as bad as Lahore . We stayed there for few days. Teachers helped Imam Bux in cooking. We had taken ration and other necessities from Karachi . Which saved time and money in searching or bargaining.
I was very responsible through out the trip by doing nothing looking very busy J
From there we went to Murree and stayed there for few days in already arranged rooms.
Children were very happy so were we. Fresh cool breeze and clouds full of moisture when caressed our faces, the souls relaxed!
Every night very dutifully I used to go from one room to the other room to see if children were comfortable. And every time I forgot whose slippers I was wearing so wore some one else’s slippers unintentionally going to other room. Children followed me where ever I went like lambs followed Mary J to find their slippersJ. While I being carefree as ever, believed in the famous great boxer Muhammad Ali’s song: “Catch me if you can—-J”
I was deployed by teachers, to scold children if they played pranks or didn’t like to eat what was cooked. So Muneeb gave me the title of Sadar Tarar, the then president of Pakistan . He would announce when all gathered for my scolding lecture—“beware Sadar Tarar is comingJ” It was an open secret. I didn’t mind rather enjoyed.
Our next destination was Swat. We reached Mingora in the evening. So we went from Mingora to Kalam by bus at night. It was pitch dark when the bus was crossing the hanging bridge. Every one recited all holy verses he/she remembered from Quran. The thunderous winds and roaring River Swat under the bridge and the darkness all round where nothing was visible to naked eye scared us to death. It was a frightful journey.
Each one of us heaved a sigh of relief when reached the reserved Ali hotel. How ever the morning was just eye captivating. High mountains, silver water waves of river flowing and greenery all around refreshed our body and minds. Tikala (means roti or bread, in Pashto) restaurant prepared delicious dishes for us. We all thoroughly enjoyed the stay there. We met Farhana Abidi the librarian of our HPS with her friends in Kalam. We enjoyed the full moon singing old songs and listening to Farhana’s poetry. From Kalam we proceeded to Utror and Mahudand valley crossing the glacier. It was fun to see the snow being carried to make ice lollies and also used as path way to Mahudand. Mahudand valley has stunning beauty. The tall pine trees’ reflection in the lagoon made the whole view green. Snow clad Falak Sher mountain in the background added mesmerizing look to the valley. It was getting cold with the setting sun so we started our journey back to Kalam. One of our students got sick so we looked for the doctor but amazingly there was not a single doctor to be found in Kalam. The reason was their simple living. Eating healthy breathing fresh air drinking fresh water resulted in healthy life. There was no confectionary shop too. No bakery no junk no pollution no aliment so no doctorJ
That child got better soonJ with care and rest. One other student had some health problem but as he wanted to enjoy and be a part of our group so his parents having confidence in us allowed him to join. They were in constant contact with us. They had asked us to send the child back by air if he feels sick. One day he didn’t feel good. Judging his condition Saleem and Ali Bahadur took him to Saidu Sharif n saw him off for Karachi . His parents were satisfied with our caring of their child.
Teachers and children did lot of shopping for their dear ones and enjoyed every single day together. We reached back home safely alhamdolillah. It’s one of the memorable tours of my life. We never experienced such beautiful trip after that.
I am grateful to my colleagues who were so caring. No complains from any one was reported. My admiration and love for my dear students who behaved so well throughout and I thank myself for being born sluggish and among so many loved ones. I enjoyed every moment I was with them all.