Sunday, June 16, 2024

Professional Journeys’ Narrative – 19

(An account of journeys exclusively based on true picture of areas and the people there. No poetic or romantic false expressions are included, Excerpt from a book in process)


Balochistan natural resources

Seven members team responsible for maintenance of Micro Wave System had its headquarter at Dalbandin. There area of duty extended from Nushki to Iran border. All of them belonged to other provinces and everybody was below 40 years of age. They valued company and liked good humour. All outsiders used to have daily meeting in the evening. There was no club or community hall in this small town. So the meeting place used to be the teashop. Primary school headmaster used to be the undeclared head of the team. Various topics were discussed with interconnection to variety of jokes and funny incidents of life. Mr. Anees from Karachi mostly remained preoccupied about the girl engaged to him. During the evening group meetings, he appeared to be mentally in Karachi trying to talk to his wife to be. About twice a week he used to ring up to her to hear her voice but every time the phone contact was dropped from Karachi side. Mr. Farooqi turned out to be real brother of Ms. Raana Farooqi who was a regular writer for Akhbar-e-Jahan. Mr. Farooqi told me that due to a surgical operation, his sister had artificial breathing system in lower part of her throat. Gentleman leased from Air Force belonging to Jhang, was the healthiest person among us. Once I called him “Bazurg” (elderly) to which he promptly retaliated “You have abused me. Bazurg means Tissue of Goat, and I am not tissue at all.” It was all out of joke.

The agriculture officer, being elderly, never attended our group meetings at teashop. He knew a lot about poetry of various poets and besides that he was a dictionary of jokes. During my stay at Dalbandin, he used to have a short forenoon sitting with me regularly. He was a terrific smoker. It appeared that his wife was against smoking. So he used to enjoy his habit at my table by a full pack of cigarettes. Himself being from Sargodha, he had married a lady of resourceful local tribe. His 12 years old son used to come to my office for certain instructions from his father. He was a very beautiful healthy child knowing 4 languages just like mother tongue. He could fluently speak Baluchi, Pashto, Punjabi and Urdu. Fifth language English he had been learning. On visit to home of agriculture officer, I saw a photo of a very handsome young man hanging on the wall. When I asked about the young man, the agriculture officer smiled and said “He is my younger brother.” Then he smiled and told me that, that was photo of his youth.

Agriculture officer usually complained that farmers did not abide by even the most strict precautions advised in connection with spray of pesticides. They were supplied with all the equipment for sprays but they never used these. Over and above that they used to take ‘Naswaar’ (processed Tobacco) with the same bare unwashed hands. He told me that sometimes he shivered to heart.

The agriculture officer complained that his areas of supervision were extended far and wide and he had not been provided with any vehicle or traveling device. Now go through the account of his special adventure from himself: “I visit various areas on my own arrangements. I stay with some landowner and walk tens of miles daily. One day when I reached my place of stay, tired and fatigued, I was shocked to see a man massaging the legs of the landowner who never had any work to do. Disgusted I got to bed. Next day I did not have a program to go out. When I awoke I came to know that the landowner was away to meet some relative. In the forenoon a young man slightly bent at the waist, arrived and enquired about the landowner. I asked the man the reason for his visit. The young man said that he had some problem with his Navel and that the landowner is expert in curing it by writing on a piece of paper. An idea abruptly struck to my mind. I took a piece of paper, wrote something on it, folded it and asked the young man to tie it on his Navel. The young man tied it and immediately he stood erect, thanking me a lot.” Then the agriculture officer looked tensely into my face and asked me “Do you know the words I wrote on the paper.” I nodded no. He said “I wrote: Dear Lord! When legs of land owner are massaged and nobody cares for the extremely tired agriculture officer, a dagger is pierced into my heart.” ——— To be continued…

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Category: Travel

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