Salaam, Everybody,



Welcome back after, I hope, a nice EID.
I was in Lahore this Eid on invitation of my son, Prof Muhammad Akram Ali Malik.

Joining Eid prayer was quite an adventure this time. We set out from our house in Model Town amid pelting rain. Mercifully we had ou car to carry us around. We entered the first masjid along our way in Faisal Town. It was crowded, but the second floor had ample vacant space to accommodate us and around 50 others.
The rain had stopped by the time we left the masjid.

In the evening we went to Fortress Stadium. Akram Beta does not like to go as the crow flies. He loves to make a longish detour to reach any destination in the city. That affords us a lot more to see and enjoy.Occasionally he stops at a roadside tea stall to get me my refill of tea.

Fortress stadium is ordinarily our weekly haunt. We visit Hyperstar to purchase our provisions. But this time Akram took us to a newly opened fashionable food franchise, named UK Dixy Chicken, for dinner. Being a late diner on a diet schedule, I got myself excused out of the sumptuous dinner. Instead I demanded another cup of tea which was brought for me from a chic nearby tea outlet.Reached back home around 10 pm.-10 JULY 2016

When we visited Centaurus in Islamabad on our way back from Murree last year, I said,”Isn’t it bigger than any shopping mall in Lahore ?”
Akram Beta had just smiled, for he knew better. And so he drove us to Nishat Emporium in Jauhar Town Lahore on the second day of Eid this year.
“Wow!” I cried,” This beats anything I’ve ever seen !
The Emporium is so huge that a whole Hyperstar, bigger than the one in Fortress Stadium, sits snugly in just one corner of it.
Commenting on this surprise I said :
“ یار واقعی لاھور لاھور اے “
In the evening I posted my picture of the occasion, commenting on which Prof Tahir Jahan Khan Niazi said, ” Sir, my house is just a stone’s throw from Emporium. I wonder why you didn’t care to visit my gharib Khana.”
(I wish I too were poor enough to have my own gharib khana in Jauhar Town)
I duly apologized to TJ Khan, and promised to see him soon.-
11 JULY 2016

Speaking of Kalabagh Bridge reminds me of a folk song that was created by some unknown folk poet in the days when the bridge was being built. Its opening words were :
پل بنڑسی تاں میں لنگھ پار ویساں
میں سوھنڑیں سجنڑ دے شہرویساں

I heard this song from the old people of Daudkhel who loved to recall the good old days of their youth.

The bridge is one of the most charming spots in Mianwali district. The mighty river Indus is so quiet at this spot that it hardly seems to be moving. And just a few kilometers downstream, the same noiseless river starts thundering like a furious cloud at the obstacle of iron gates that the Jinnah Barrage puts up to divert the water into the Thal Project Canal. The foaming, furious river rushes over the gates to plunge noisily down the other side of the Barrage. The thunder is heard miles around.

Watching the sunrise or sunset from the middle of the bridge is a breath-taking, unforgettable experience. The riot of colours between the river and the sky is an amazing spectacle.-14 JULY 2016

When I came back from the canteen, Bhai and Laloo Noor Khan were still in the room, planning their evening ramble.

Laloo Noor Khan Qatali Khel was our best friend in the hostel. He was specially very close to Bhai. He was a very nice pure Mianwalian in speech and manners but, like Bhai, he too loved the youthful Lahori fashions of that time. The two were always primly dressed in shirts and jeans of the latest design.

I was just what I am, a simple, fashion-less person dressed in nothing but shalwar-kameez at all times.

One day Laloo Noor Khan said to me, ” Oey Kaloo, why don’t you go out with us.?
( Laloo Noor Khan called Mumtaz Bhai ‘Laloo’ and me ‘Kaloo’, just for rhyming, otherwise we three were the same brownish colour ).

” Laloo, ” said I, ” I can’t make a fool of myself going around in my simple dress with two fashionably dressed young men.

Laloo was furious. ” Hell ! ” he shouted, ” Kaloo, you have something more precious than us within you. That’s why everybody loves you.”

” Yes, he’s a perfect idiot,” said Bhai with a mischievous smile.
( Picture, me and Mumtaz Bhai of those days ).–23 JULY 2016

” Laloo Mumtaz tells me you’re going to sing in the competition next Sunday?” said Laloo Noor Khan Niazi.

” Yes,” said I with a sigh . ” Have to obey Bhai’s orders, you know. Much against my will at least in this case.”

” Why against your will, I ‘d like to know ?” said Laloo sharply.”

” Laloo, I’m not a singer, for one thing . And ———-“

” Nonsense!” cried Laloo. ” If your Bhai says you are a singer, then you sure are one. He’s never wrong, you ought to know.”

” Well, I may be a singer without knowing it. Laloo, please,couldn’t you tell Bhai I ‘d rather stay out of the competition ?”

” Now listen to me, Kaloo, ” said Laloo emphatically. ” Don’t you realize how great a man your Bhai is ? Instead of being jealous, he wants to promote your talents ; to present you as a heroic figure. You ought to be grateful to him for that, and follow his advice. If you don’t, I have got a nice little pistol in my room. You ‘ll be the first person shot dead with that pistol, let me tell you. “

” And it’s I who ‘d fire the pistol,” said Bhai with a scowl. ” 24 JULY 2016

Bhai said to Laloo Noor Khan, ” Let’s hope he’s not so fond of getting killed with a pistol that he would refuse to sing at the competition. So now we have to choose the song that he should sing

” Laloo, ” said I, ” please ask him to let me choose the song.”

Bhai broke in. ” No” he said, ” you have the nasty habit of doing the easiest thing. But in this case you are to sing in a competition. Therefore,we can’t allow you to have your own way.”

” Yes,” said Laloo. ” I know your Bhai has a superb taste for music.So, you ought to take his advice in this regard. By the way, Laloo Mumtaz, ” he said to Bhai ,” Which song would you ike him to sing ?”

” Muhammad Rafi’s یہ وادیاں یہ فضائیں بلا رھی ھیں تمہیں said Bhai.

Well, that was really a superb song ; one of Rafi’s best, I should say. In a charming flowery valley, a dejected lover passionately calls upon his estranged beloved to come and join him. It’s a pathetic appeal in a passion- choked voice. I loved this song so much that I couldn’t refuse to try it
” Done !!!” said I

” How sweet of you Kaloo ! ” exclaimed Laloo Noor Khan,” If you do it well, I’m sure Mianwali will carry away the first prize “

” InshaALLAH !!! ” said I–Bhai folded me in his arms and kissed me on the forehead like a proud mother fondling her brilliant son-25 JULY 16

KOHALA : Under the red shades installed on the right bank of the river, people sit on charpaies and have lunch, cooling their feet in the water of the river. A branch of the river passes under the shades. The arrangement is managed by a nearby hotel. The mountain on the right side is in Azad Kashmir.

(Click by my son Prof Muhammad Akram Ali Malik, on July 28, 2016)-30 JULY 2016

الحمدللہ – Back home after about two months in Lahore with my son Muhammad Akram Ali Malik. On July 26 Akram drove us to Murree. Came to Islamabad last evening and stayed with my eldest son Mazhar Ali Malik. This afternoon Akram left for Lahore and Mazhar drove us back home. By the Grace of ALLAH had a pretty nice time all along everywhere.-31JULY 2016


Your words for Mianwali and Mianwalians