We returned to the office. The mood of our officer was still dark .I think by now he knew I can speak when I need to.
Our office, situated at that time opposite Saidu Hospital was two room structure. In our room our officer and all of his staff worked. The other room was occupied by the staff of Road Section of State P.W.D, headed by one Habibullah who was brother of Chief Secretory, Ataullah, of Swat State.
Notwithstanding his personal behaviour and vindictive nature, he was the best officer, heading State P.W.D, after Daskhat Mistree and Nakhwad Kaptan Sahib. Hundreds of schools, hospitals, colonies, courts in every nook and corner of the state and the elegant college Mosque, Wadudia Hall, Matta and Daggar colleges all speak of his genius as a model to be followed by his staff. Academically he was Middle failed, but technically speaking, he was a great engineer. He officially participated in the Commonwealth Engineering Exhibition, representing Swat State, held in London on the invitation of British Government.
Any how I resumed my duty and on the very next day I was to accompany the head and some of the Staff to visit works in progress in that area. I have been to Puran some three years before but on foot from Board Shangla to Aloch with a relative who was a Subedar in Aloch fort. But this time, I was going in the backside of a pickup with my colleagues, namely Abdul Rashid and Abdul Rauf and a contractor Guldad Khan of Saidu Sharif. Our boss inspected the under construction High School and ten bed Hospital.
We spent the night with Fakhruddin mistree. Next day, we started back to Saidu Sharif .It was heavily raining and the road was just an earthen one. The Pic up started skidding. We jumped in fear to avoid falling in the deep ravines. Moving by almost inches we gave up due to thick rain and darkness. So we left the pickup some one mile away from Yakhtangi top and reached Yakhtangi Rest house with great hardship. The local police incharge told us that many calls had come from Saidu Sharif asking our where about, as were scheduled to return that evening to Saidu. Any how our boss talked to the ADC of the Ruler, telling him the whole situation and the unexpected calamity we were facing. In short we spent that night in Rest House Yakhtangi and returned the next day paying a visit to Alpurai, also beyond and above our schedule.
The Ruler was fully given the detail and the failure of the Pic up, he order a 4 wheel drive pickup to be immediately purchased so we got Brand new Pickup within a week.
From the very first day in service, I somehow felt our chemistry did not work. My officer was some time very kind and asked me to learn quickly the methodology, the specifications and the accounts of the State Public Works Department. How to prepare cost estimates, how to work out quantity of different item of works and how to apply Schedule of rates or to prepare contractors bills if the contract was not lump sum.
He laboured a great deal to groom me as he did to other new or old staff. For that and for many other things, I am indebted to him. But something was missing. Soon I found that this office of less than a dozen officials, was divided into two camps. Both were trying to undermine each other in all possible manner. One was led by the Officer and the other by an influential, strong and towering personality, assistant to the head of the Department. I tried to remain neutral and thus lost the patronage of both invisible divides.