Mid-October 2017 in Islamabad.

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How time flies! Can you believe it, this year is almost ending. One day you feel there is the whole year, ahead of you, and suddenly, it is almost gone. I ask myself, what have I achieved so far? How are we feeling nearing the end of this year? Meanwhile Pakistan has celebrated its’ seventieth birthday.  What have I done for my country?

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Well, the timing worked out perfectly. I’ve managed to publish Allama Iqbal’s Tulip of Sinai, a book on which I’ve been working for over fourteen years. The project was so difficult for me, with my limited resources; Finally, I’ve published it the way I wanted – with my Allah’s blessings and editing with Naila’s help, and printing with Qasim’s. It has been nothing short of sincere hard work. So now I’m all set for the book launch on November 9th, 2017, in Islamabad. I was happy to see it had been mentioned in Dawn’s Books and Author’s section:

https://www.dawn.com/news/1363845

In a way, I was glad the project had taken so long. Getting published on Pakistan’s seventieth birthday was rather appropriate, wasn’t it?

Whatever happens, yes, it happens for a reason – remember Surah Kahaf –  it isn’t always that we understand the reason. We just need to go with the flow. Sometimes the best policy, I’ve found is to change your level or viewpoint to a higher level, (especially when things get nasty). Do, whatever you do, only to please Allah. So, then you will naturally do whatever would please Him in that given situation. If you get entangled with the human relationships and ego, you are gone case! Just get on with the work at hand. Things will work out.

Anyhow, the last few days have been interesting as usual. The weekend was full of meeting lots of wonderful folks.

22308931_1699542603412358_8971293636009209694_n (1)On Friday, I received an invitation from Uzma and Haroon to join them for dinner. We usually end up spending some part of the weekend together, otherwise, its not complete. I went over to a delicious dinner, where Haroon had made hummus for me (he knew I love it) and the bread which he had also baked. 22405832_1699542360079049_5900058389229168595_n (1)The slices were freshly toasted and had walnuts, sesame seeds and what not in them. There was mulligatawny soup,  and fish, and chicken with veggies. Their company is always a pleasure, so it was as lovely an evening as I’ve got used to! Being in the world Bank, Haroon is very well informed about facts going on around the world of finance. Uzma in SDPI is another mine of information about the region. So it is such a pleasure meeting them and getting a reality check of real life these days. Of course we missed Daniyal their son who has gone off to LUMS to study now.

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Starting, with a leisurely breakfast of sliced banana on toast with a mug of tea, on Saturday, the fourteenth, I was planning to have a lazy day for a change.  – Till I suddenly remembered that I was to take my Dad to the brunch in Rawalpindi, by the 30th Course. He had been their instructor back in PMA in 1963-1965.

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General Saeed –Uz- Zafar usually has a grand function every year, inviting their instructors General Anwar Masood and my father Brig. M. M. Sarfaraz Khan.

22448639_1705229632843655_3442793005455485944_nWhenever possible, Major (Retd) Abdul Manan, also comes from Bangladesh. Now, he is a business tycoon, after having left the army long ago. He is chairman of SUNMAN GROUP. It has the head office in Chittagong, Bangladesh. There is an office in Dhaka also. Specializing in ready-made clothes. He has factories not only in Bangladesh but in Cambodia also. He brought gifts for all the invitees. He had many shirts for my father – including a red one. (I have a feeling that one will look really nice on me.)

22448208_1705228959510389_8040108675479376992_nAlso, he presented my father with  a plaque prepared with the signatures of all the course-mates along with that of their instructor’s.  Most of the officers were very happy that I had taken my father. They specially thanked me. Of course,  the food was amazing. I had taken my dad’s domestic help who helped my father with his food which I had served for him. The officers shared their memories with each other, and I clicked away.

22491797_1705229329510352_1475179482508257806_nMeeting a young girl who is a journalist in Dhaka,  Bangladesh was also a thrill. We were so happy to be working in the same field.

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Earlier, when we arrived, I found Mrs. Shama Saeed-uz-Zafar was there, at the entrance, waiting to receive my mother.  My mother usually avoids these formal functions. My father’s friends and their wives have been there for me all my life. I love aunty Ismat and Shama Apa as I’ve known them since I was a kid.

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I’m Dad’s driver Shireen Gul (most drivers are Pathan). So, I love to do the needful. Usually, I prefer to choose the longer signal-free route to the Mess, in Rawalpindi – about forty minutes drive from my home – enjoying my music on the way. After dropping my father back home, I dashed off to my art class. Since autumn is in the air, I thought, this painting would be perfect for this season.22405901_1103053449825744_6371389908189589087_n.jpg

On return, I relaxed by changing the lounge furniture setting for winters. This allows the sofa next to window to lie in the sunshine, and to make place for the heater which is to be re-installed soon.

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Remember, a few days ago, I had found a nice family for my lab, Magic. We said our emotional farewells.22448251_1703646856335266_5128413796342393112_n.jpg

A couple of days later, I had to get him back as the family had had enough of him. He had destroyed everything in sight in their lawn! So, they had to keep him tied. So, I dashed over and got him back.  So, we are one big happy (destructive) family now!

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22449795_1703646473001971_5278563661306734014_n.jpgWhenever, I’m upset, my daughter has a way of melting my heart with a bouquet of flowers.  😉

Then I realize, that relationships need constant feeding, and the best way is to cook yourself for your loved ones. So, I baked a pizza one day and a lemon cake on Sunday. It is easy with Hasnain laying out everything for me to work on and cleaning up afterwards, God bless him.

 

 

 

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Since I had been so busy lately, I felt I was literally crashing, so I had a day of watching dramas in my room in my favorite style.

I’ve had to go to the Nadra office to get my cnic card renewed, as it had expired before me. Today, my visit there was an eye opener. Everything very organized and efficiently managed. I pointed out some mistakes they had made earlier, so now all the corrections too can be made. A list was made of the papers I need to bring next time, and hopefully within ten days on urgent basis my card will be renewed. This time it will be a smart card. You know, NADRA has the worlds’ largest data base and information of each individual in the country. Afterwards I went for a walk with Naila, and then couldn’t resist her offer of a delicious lunch at her place.

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I came home feeling so happy and ready for some rest, just like my cat. Of course the moment I lay down the phone kept ringing. However, I’m truly blessed  with good friends around me. There is alot of running around still going on in my life. What about you? Are you able to achieve your targets for this year? Can you complete them by the end of this year? There is still time. I’m sure you will be able to do it all.

Meanwhile…..  stay blessed 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

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