My eyes opened in a house on 5th April 1943, which was the first in a line of large houses called Afsar Abad. Our houses had not the same dimension or accommodation but the years of my childhood and youth still haunts me. Later we also lived in the big houses, two of them, one vacated by Captain Abdul Hanan on his retirement and other one left by Akhun Zada Babo Sahib. Then in 1967, Wali Sahib offered my father to choose out of the two bungalows. One was Bungalow No. 1 College Colony and the other A.B.2 in Afsar Abad. As we were attached to the later abode, my father opted for A.B.2. We lived in it from 1967 to 1981. My father breathed his last in this house on 7th December 1979. His dead boy was shifted to Aboha in an ambulance of Saidu Hospital. Thanks to Dr. Najibullah for his kind gesture.
Our childhood passed very smoothly. We started schooling in High School Shagai, which at that time was Lower Middle School. I think Sayyid Umar (Late) was then incharge of School. I used to go with my elder brother Fazli Wahab, who was two classes ahead of me but I joined him in class 5th as I was allowed to have my exams in four or five months intervals, as a special case. In 1954 or 1955, the Central Jail was converted into Wadudia High School and the students living on the south side of Saidu nullah had to remain in High School Shagai and the northern students were shifted to Wadudia High School.
After passing Middle standard exam from Peshawar University in 1956, my elder brother left school and went to India. I was feeling very unsafe, unsecured and lonely without him. In my boyhood, Saidu Sharif was small, uncongested and very neat and clean village. It was a peaceful, calm and friendly village as well. There were some ten groceries shops, two vegetable vendors, three barbar’s shops, one soda water and three cloth stores. Among the barbars, Khan Baz was on the top, favoured by young and old alike. Amir Hatam was also personal hair dresser of Wali Sahib and most of the officer’s class also availed his services. Noor Mohammad was another ‘hajjam’. We went to his shop once in a month to get our hair cut. We paid him two rupees per month. For groceries, we had the shop of Rahamdal. There was also an open vendor shop of a man called Chamrho Ustad. He used to spread and display his items on a wooden platform, such as bangles, kajal and Naswar boxes (snuff) with small round looking glass. Children after made fun of him by calling ‘Munafiq Ustad’. He complained to Wali Sahib and he ordered that if any kid called him ‘Munafiq’, his parents will be fined Rs. 5, which was a big amount at that time.
Dear readers, if you liked this narrative, I will share other memories as well.