Our life at Afsar Abad continued in a monolithic way, without any change worth-mentioning. The only vibrating moment was transfer of officers and arrival of replacements. So we got kids of many parts of Swat as playmates. The officer who stayed long enough was our next door neighbor, Captain Abdul Hanan of State Army, Artillery BTN. We were so closed to each other that people thought us of the same family.
The other officer on civil side was Muhammad Majeed Khan, who remained for long years in Afsar Abad, with intervals of posting in other Tehsils. He received Daily Anjam by post regularly.
A central page of this newspaper was reserved for Pushtu. I used to read it regularly, going to his hujra. I wished if I could write for it and see my name in printed words but I could not dare less my father will read it.
One day I did try and sent a Pushtu fiction to the incharge, Pukhto page under the name of F.R. Javed. It was a long love story and was published in installments. Muhammad Majid Khan recognized me behind the false name and told about it to my Father. Reading the first part, they both waited for the second one. My father asked me why put the readers in suspension. I told him it was up to the Editor how to present it.
Anyhow, I was encouraged by this and started writing short stories in a beautiful note book sent to me by Sher Khan from India. I also tried to write some verses but it did not click. I asked a friend about the dilemma and he told me that writing good poetry required loving someone.
Now I wanted to search someone whom I could love. But it was hard to have some girl close enough whom I could love as hijab was strictly observed. Only the poor class female could be seen but their features were distorted by half hunger and malnutrition. The upper class girls were out of question and very dangerous too. So I gave up the idea of loving some real body and create an imaginary idol for my verses.
My father was a devoted Muslim, led a very pious and God fearing life. He was attached to the Chishtia spiritual chain. His Guide or Peer in this way was a Sayyid from Sayyidano Garhai, Mardan. The name of this holy man was Sayyid Abdul Khaliq (R.A).He used to visit Swat for some days and stayed with Mian Gul Jahanzeb, the then Wali Ahad of Swat. Two of his disciples or “mureeds” were my father’s close friends, namely Ali Haidar Tehsildar and Ghulam Sadeeq, a staff member of the Royal palace. It was through them that my father became his “Mureed”
Once my father invited the Sayyid for lunch. He very kindly accepted the invitation and came to our house with his two followers, already named above. I was four or five years old, and wearing a long shirt to my ankles as a routine of those days when proper dress and trousers were used above seven years of age.
After lunch i and my elder brother Fazli Wahab were presented to him for blessings. He was so glorious person, radiating light from his whole body. I could not look at his face but for a few seconds. He caressed my brother first and then turning to me, looked at my face with his benign smile, and said aloud. “Oh, this is Qalandar” and granted me his blessings. Then he left for the Royal palace, followed by his companions.
Now everybody knows what a Qalandar means. But there is a word in Pukhto,”Qalandara” used for a very bad woman, who commit all sorts of immoral evil things. There is a saying in Pusjtu,”khaza che da…na odangi, qalandara she”.The softest word we can use in English for it is “slut”