Actually, I feel that I’m going through one of the best phases of my life, these days. (A big Alhamdolillah for that!) Just loving every minute of it. Can you believe, I bought a mare last week? I guess it was the climax of it all. Otherwise, managing family, household, staff, assets and the charity projects are part of my daily work. Perhaps I needed the boost of doing something outside the box. Buying a mare was definitely that!
Brief background of these farms:
My father had the ‘ghori-paal murabbas’ in Okara. Once a very lucrative property, now more of a ‘nuisance’ as my mother would call it. As whatever is earned from produce on the land is used up on its maintenance and sustenance. However, as I say to my mother, ‘as long is it is going up to a ‘plus’, it is worth pursuing. Besides that, it is my father’s legacy and I want to keep it up. Even if the earnings aren’t as good as they used to be. (Ever since Zardari came on the scene in 2008 he and his party would make sure he got a ‘share’ from everyone’s properties. So, my father had a bad time since 2008.)
These farms are primarily for breeding of mules and foals to be given to the army. The foals grow up to become strong mules and horses for the higher lands; for the purpose of defense in the northern areas. Places where vehicles cannot go, these mules and horses take the equipment to the remote destinations. So, a constant supply of strong and healthy horses are needed for the army. In the last century, when this place was made in 1902, it was the prime requirement of the British army. Now, it is restricted to hard to reach areas only.
During last few years I’ve been managing the lands, on my father’s behalf. So, after my father passed away last year, it was transferred to my mother’s name. So, now I’m running it for her.
A series of tragedies struck our farm:
Last year, my father’s death was a big blow for us all. This year, one of the mares at the farm died due to illness. Soon after, in June 2020 our manager also passed away suddenly. (What with my cook passing away, a month after my father,) all this was a big blow for me.
The recovery process:
The son of the manager at the farm, who had grown up there, opted to take over, and I’ve agreed to it. Keeping him on probation. The same hands are working, so they know the job. In our case, my father’s passing meant I’d be taking care of the farm fully now. Due to his health issues I had already been working on it from here. (My uncle Brig. Jafar had helped my father earlier, for several years. Then he died three years before my dad. So, its me alone now, for several years.)
What with mum telling me to, ‘get rid of this nuisance!’ And often the use of that intriguing word ‘impossible’, I’m in no mood to give it up. I want to hold on to my Dad’s legacy. So, that’s why it was important for me to go.
My trip to Mona Depot:
So, on 27th of October, I went off to Mona Depot to buy a mare. (How were they to know, I don’t know head or tail about it.) But I had been watching YouTube videos about ‘How to buy a mule,’ – little did I know, I’d end up with this beautiful mare!
When I reached, The Colonel, asked how I planned to choose? I said, ‘please bring out the best three out of them, and I’ll choose one from these. So, that was decided. I also had another criteria besides the looks, it was the age. Since she is primarily for breeding, so that is my biggest priority.
Love at first sight:
I was then taken to the ground where the ‘best three mares’ were brought. It was love at first sight for me.
Once the decision was made, I went back to meet the Colonel to do the formalities for the sale deed. It was my intention to load it on a truck and get going. But. I was informed, that after the selection, she would be injected, and after around 48 hours, if the result is negative, then she was ready to go. As we had barely 48 hours, due to the long weekend ahead, we all hurried on.
Next day, I was told that most probably, I’d be getting her on 29th. So, off we went again from Islamabad to collect her and dispatch her off to our lands in Okara. Luckily, I had met the Col. Who is in charge of the Remount horses in Okara. So, I’m so glad I did go.
My memories of Mona Depot:
I remember visiting the place as a child, probably I was five years old or six, and we stayed a night in the house where my father had lived several years as a kid. It was a large house, with huge lawns on all sides. I saw a tree laden with ripe grapefruits for the first time. Of course, every house then had a stable at the back which also had a place for the phaeton allocated to it.
I could go on and on, let the pics do the talking now, and I’ll bid you farewell. (This activity has certainly boosted me up a lot.)
You too should work on things no one believes you can do. So then, achieving such things is a great excitement and booster for you. Do everything, while sticking to all SOPs for Covid19. Thats what we did, throughtout the process of travel and buying the mare.
Stay blessed and protected. 😊