Spoke to Meraj Bhai a lot before leaving and in the flight my only prayer was “ Allah izat rakhna”.
Family: I had just returned from a 2 month tour of Pakistan & Oman, so my plan to head back to Pakistan was news to them. They had no clue to my agenda or what task was at hand. Only a few trustworthy friends knew, and they supported me all the way.
Accommodation: I didn’t make any accommodations and figured I’d stay with whoever offered bed and breakfast. Most nights I slept on the floor, but there were some comfortable nights. For me it was like “Return of Old golden days “. Brought back memories of sleeping on the floor with siblings in a 2 room apartment at Haqani Chowk. And the days of Scouting, which played an important role in making me rough and tough.
I asked Qadir Bhai to arrange a TENT as my temporary accommodation in the School so I could monitor the work. Principal Mr, Imtiaz was also kind enough to arrange a CHARPAI.
Food: Being an early riser I often stopped at Pakistan Chowk for Paratha, Mallai and Dood Pati Chai.Enjoyed lunch sitting on the floor with workers. We also went out to Fresco on bike and had Samosa mixed with Dehi Phulki. Pathan ki Chenuk has always been my favorite.
Transportation: Traffic and the high rates took Uber/Careem out of the picture. So I bought a Honda 70 cc Motorbike from Akbar road. I was able to make an agreement to return the bike within two weeks at the completion of the Library project with reimbursement of 5K. I was back to my days of College when I had a beautiful Triumph Tiger Cab. The driving conditions were horrible so it took a day or two to get the hang of it. Bike helped me accelerate the work with no excuse and allowed me to acquire the Vendors needs with no delays. Bohra Pir market was the closest by all means.
Search for CMS Alumni: Morning was the best time to hunt for the lost Class/School mates. I remember Parwiaz Karamat and I got selected from Karachi to attend 11th. World Jamboree held in Greece in 1963. Principal Sunder Das presented check of Rupees 500 to both of us at the assembly. What an honor this School had given to me. Looked for Mazhar Qureshi in Buns Road, Sanaullah, Bhatti, Anwar Pola, Hafeez, Ashraf, Hussain Ghanchi in the surrounding area.In SMHS for Siddique Vora and Hakim Villani.
Interesting Incident: It was the night before aracha Saheb, Dr, Altaf Hashmi, Qadir Molvi, Qutubuddin >and Saifuddin Saify were scheduled for a morning meeting when I received a call from the Nursery. It was for the payment and delivery of chairs. With little time on hand I got the chairs and loaded them on to a Suzuki. On the way the driver was stopped by the police at Metropole Cowki. The Suzuki was then locked up for driving without License and no vehicle registration/papers. This is where I worked my magic and dealt with the Police. One of my greatest achievements: getting the Chairs released without giving any bribe! However, it did get late and by the time we unloaded the chairs in the library it was past midnight.
Bottom Line: Nothing was on my mind except to see this project through. I wanted it to be “The Best” showcase for all Alumni to be inspired and to come together to make this school “The Best School of Pakistan”.Infrastructure and Heritage is there, but we have to improve on other fronts: Academic, Discipline, and upkeep.
My best wishes! And as always, I’d be more than happy to assist with any services the School requires in the future.
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