Time went by. Our annual Middle Standard Exam started in 1956, in the hall of Jahanzeb College. One Hidayatullah Khan from Peshawar or otherwise was our head Examiner. I had a lame boy behind my seat. He asked to keep my answer paper in a position so he could copy it. I refused and carried on with my paper. As I handed over the answer sheets to the Examiner and came out of the hall, the lame boy also followed me. I came out to the main road and started towards my home in Afsar Abad. I heard some sound. Looking back, I saw that boy drawing out a big blade knife and was going to hit me in the back, I ran for my life and instead of main road, entered straight to Swat Hotel. Most of the staff and management knew me. So I felt safe. The lame could not dare to enter the hotel and so went back on his steps. The next day I told my brother and he warned the brute to be careful in the future.
Now I will speak in detail about my elder brother. Fazli Wahab was not like other adolescent boys. He was a sober serious minded boy, never used loose talk. He always spent his free time in some productive work. During our waiting months for results, he worked as a labour in the new under-construction ward in Saidu Hospital. A Khattak Anaar Shah by name was the contractor. It might be worth mentioning that this Ward was being constructed by Ataullah, Chief Secretary at the cost of Rs.14000/- which was a big amount. My brother received half rupee per day. He continued this hard work till the results were declared. He had previously also worked as labour before it.
So, when he decided to go to India in response to Sher Khan’s repeated requests, he had collected enough money to buy three pairs of clothes, a bag and a pair of new shoes. He was very eager to see Sher Khan because he remembered him. On the contrary, I was pampered by my father and I was sort of spoiled child. I was my father’s son. I think my other brothers were more close to my mother.
When my brother left the house I was now by my own in the School. So I braced myself for the new situation. My father do felt the departure of his son to a strange country and suffered the blow as inevitable and pre-ordained. He felt a little relieved when Sher Khan informed him through a telegram that Wahab had arrived there safe.
My father often kept me with him, most of his free times. He took me to the hujras of high level State officials living in Afsar Abad. Thus I learnt a lot about the system under which the Swat State Government was working. I also kept myself abreast with the rapid changes and developments in the working structure, modifications, re-limitations and evolution of new departments of the State.
To Be Continued…