Our childhood life at Afsar Abad was full of contrast. On one side we have to appear like kids of our neighbor officers children which was very hard to maintain and on the other hand we had to keep our distance from the boys of attached personals, serving in the Havelies of the elites class. They were jockeys, water carriers, ‘arderlies’ and laborers. The upper class children treated us as equals but in the patronizing way, except the sons of our immediate neighbors, Captain Abdul Hanan. We were so close that the outsiders thought we were from the same house like cousins. We called Captain Sahib as uncle and his children addressed my father as uncle. Another eccentricity, we had in common was that we did not use abusive and vulgar words. If we happened to other parts of Saidu Sharif, the children warned each other not to call names in our presence.
Though, we have to face financial problem, we had the feeling of security and respect as ‘afsarabadians’. It was a peaceful, harmonious ‘cham’ of somewhat civilized people, and children from other ‘mohallahs’ were very careful while playing with us.
On one unlucky day, a boy from the local family, used abusive words against my elder brother and ran away. My brother was strongly built and very sensitive when it comes to self-respect. He picked a small stone and aimed at the running boy. The stone hit the backside of his ear and he fell on the ground motionless.
Some men with common sense came running with a ‘charpai’ and carried the senseless boy to the Saidu Hospital. I and my brother went along the mob to the hospital. He looked as if ready face whatever was the result of this fiasco.
Now the boy belonged to an oldest family of Saidu Sharif. They were original ‘Saiduwal’ and were almost in every service, department, trade and holding high offices in the State administration and Royal House hold. The hospital was now almost full to its capacity from this family. They looked with hateful eyes to my brother and me as if to crush us on the spot if the boy did not come to senses and life. We were trembling liked frightened chickens. My father got the news in his office and he rushed to the hospital. The disgruntled mob let him to reach to us. He took our hands and drew us close to his side. Now we felt safe and sure that nobody could touch us now. The medics were busy to bring the boy out of the critical situation. One of them came of my father and said, “Sir, Don’t worry. Everything will be all right.”
Suddenly the boy rose and talked to the medics. Then seeing my father, he stammered, “Uncle, it was all my fault. Your son is not guilty as I abused him. His reaction was definitely natural.”
So it was a happy ending. We later became very good friends and still keep in touch.