Sialkot, Daska, Kamoke, Muridke, Lahore.
24th July 2000
Taimur’s relatives were extremely hospitable and warm, they went out of their way to make us welcome. The houses are newly built with modern facilities, very nicely decorated too. We were up late in the morning, as it is an easy three-hour drive to Lahore from Sialkot. By the time we had brunch it was past two-o-clock in the afternoon. I was up early myself and decided to pay a visit to my first school, The St. Mary’s school, Sialkot, it was raining as I walked through the school grounds after almost forty years. The school has huge grounds and the old building stands to the left of the entrance. The broad brick walkway up to the single story building of the junior section is the same as I remember it, strange how one remembers the first few years at school so vividly. It was cool and misty as I walked in to the office to be greeted by a young man worried at my sudden appearance through the doorway. He wasn’t expecting anyone during the school holidays. I introduced myself as an old student, who wanted to make a video recording of my old school. I got more than I had bargained for, I met a mother who was a sister in the days I was at school. She was very pleased to see me, and we had a long chat about the good old days. I was fortunate to have met her for she reminded me of the lovely experiences of my first days at school. I drove back to the house and excitedly told everyone that I had met my old school teacher.
It was still raining when we set off towards the Hilbro factory, they were waiting for us and we were taken for a tour of the factory. We were lead through the different sections of the manufacturing shop and were introduced to the art of making surgical instruments. We all know now how technically difficult and cumbersome it is to manufacture surgical instruments.
We left the factory five in the evening and drove to the M1 motorway. The road is fantastic to drive on, it is well sign posted and within no time we were on the out skirts of Lahore. The sun was setting in the horizon as we approached the old Multan road. We cut across towards the canal bank and drove upto the university, driving on this very familiar road glimpses of the past flashed in my mind. My first scooter ride on the canal bank in the summer of 72, the kite flying weekends with my friends and the mischief we got upto at the Gaddafi stadium during the cold winter nights many moons ago. My old college came into view to the right, F. C. Collage, it some how doesn’t look the same from the canal bank anymore, the new look Lahore to someone like me is not that attractive, progress has some how erased the old look of the city. We reached Hamid’s mother’s house driving through the maze of G.O.R. and after tea left for Uncle Amin Khawaja’s house where we would spend our next day of rest in Lahore.