I don’t know why we put off good times for stressful times. I mean, that is what it comes to, when someone offers you a drive to the hills – that person wants you to have a good time. You decline saying I have this or that commitment. It is usually something which will be stressful for you. I mean, a short one-day trip is worth anything! You will return refreshed and in a better frame of mind to tackle your stressful commitments. Believe me, we should just rearrange our ‘work’ to include such trips. If you live in Karachi, a drive to the seaside is bliss. Similarly, in Islamabad, a drive to the hills and mountains is sheer heaven.
So, when Haroon and Uzma asked me to go with them to their own place in Khajut.
I finally said ‘yes’. More so, because Haroon had a prior commitment, and was returning early. ( I had my art class.) So, happily I agreed to go when they said, ‘we’ll be back by 1.00 pm!’
Anyways, I love going out with them, they are very punctual and never drag things. I love such people. We also have a long history of spending almost every weekend together on some pretext or the other for last six years.
Some people are just too amazing, and this couple certainly are two of them!
The drive to Khajut was lovely, as you know, just one hour from where we live (-they live near my home, so they picked me.)
The lovely pine trees and the rising hills and mountains, the curving roads and the expressway to Murree are all familiar and beloved.
We reached there pretty quickly, as it is located a few kilometers before that TDCP restaurant 10 km short of Murree. I had written a piece on it, when I took my parents there: TDCP Hilltop Resort at Khajut, near Murree. So, this place of theirs is around 13 km from Murree towards Islamabad.
It is a stretch of 25 kanals of land which belongs to Haroon and two of his friends/relatives. They bought it and are now wondering what to do with it. He wanted me to come and see its potential. I went and I fell in love with the place. (Yes, you know I do that pretty often!) But you see, this is just an hours’ drive, and for those who live in F-6 or G-6 areas of Islamabad, it would just be forty minutes’ drive!
On top of it, this place is bang alongside the expressway. So, you don’t have to go off-track either. Just arrive, park and move onto the clearing where the hut is. It is a one-room place now with a bathroom, and a lot of potential. It is next to a stream, which I’m sure swells with gushing water whenever it rains. The family of the chawkidar or guard, are living next to it. They have their own tandoor (an earthen ware oven) where they cook/bake their roties. The families (there are two) had their babies and goats and their mutual kids walking around too. The place gives a very safe feeling. Imagine, spending the night here! – A moonlit night…..
One could even do camping in and around the surrounding pines. Trekking upwards we walked right near the top of the mountainside. It was really lovely. – Just the kind of place for an artist or writer to come and complete his project in a peaceful surrounding.
Yes! This is the place!
Note: Photography is mostly by Uzma Haroon.