Ramadhan in our childhood was full of festivities. Children were excited about both the activities, Sehri & Ifhtari, which are salient features of the holy month.Though people had limited resources, but a common man could give some special touches to his Iftari. You could get 300 grams of smashed meat at 4 annas or 25 paisas. Vegetables were also available on reasonable prices. Pure ghee was at Rs.4. per kilo. There were no banaspati oils and were banned within the State. If the kids kept fast, they would rather remain out side, roaming or in summer, kept within the house. At the time of Ifthar, Juma Khan, a miner, was on duty to fire his “thope” near the State PWD Store, in Baligram hills, an empty shell of trench gun, filled with explosives. He used to wait for the signal from the Wali’s Staff and lighted the cod with a match and ran away for shelter. The blast was so beg that it could be heard as far as the whole of Kabal Tehsil and areas on the right bank of Swat river. We used to cook some meatballs ,and it was a great luxury for us.
Daskhath Mistree, head of the first State building department , used to prepare a powder specially for Ramadhan. I and my elder brother Fazal Wahab would go to his residence and bring that powder. Added with yugurt, it tasted the best aromatic paste. In Sehri we used to boil rice and ate with the remaining curry of the Ifthari.
As Saiduwal, we were contented whatever we had. Children chanted these lines as the time of the blast was nearing.
Juma khana daz oka,
daz pa mazigar oka,
ghwanda rupai wala,
khaze la panrhe oka,
gul pe da thele oka,
(O Juma Khan, fire your gun, do it early, we will give you a round rupee, makes shoes for your wife, embroidered with golden threads)
The first Ramadhan after merger arrived. As usual Juma khan or his son prepared his device and waited for the signal but no signal was there. As time was passing, he put fire to the cod and the blast shattered Saidu. The wife and kids of the Deputy Commissioner cried with fear. He asked about the blast, and after getting the details, immediately ordered that there will be no blast now. Next day people at the radius of some 10 miles waited for the roaring sound but no use.