Today is my birthday. I was born to an officer of Merchant Navy named Abdur Rauf Saggu on tenth April, 1955. It was Sunday and lady doctor Mrs. Benjamin (RIP) had to leave her Easter Service in the church to help bring me into this world, where the Departure Mark is now closer than the Arrival Mark as I have turned fifty seven.
Believe you me, this is the saddest birthday of my life, because one of my sons Maj Zaka ul Haq is lying trapped under an eighty foot river of ice which has stopped and solidified into a hard mountain at Siachin. Like many others, I was hoping and praying for the miracle of his survival. And make no mistake if anyone who could make his way out of this white granite, it was him… Zaka, my mischievous son. The hope is fast fading away…..the scale of the rescue task is huge, and the efforts impeded by the weather and terrain seem to be puny and piddling…the only thing we are left to do is praying…praying for a miracle. Still, let’s continue to pray!
Several times today, I was accosted, ‘Saggu Saheb tabiat theek hey?’ and I said, ‘Haan yar April he na, lagta he zara allergy ho gai he.’ Zaka, you’ve made me realize that I’m growing old and people can see through the thin film of tears in my eyes and excessive sniffing. There’s a pall of fragrant sadness over CCH today, although it’s the tenth of April and the campus is blooming and beautiful like a princess. CCH is an extraction from Paradise, it truly is! It’s a special gift for people like Zaka.
Be sure Zaka if you have by now crossed to the other Kingdom, through the magical power of the wishes of Abdalians we shall transport your CCH to where you have gone and where it really belongs. There again the Adju will give you Front Rolls and Rounds of the Sport Grounds. The housemaster will reach for his cane for the smell of smoking and cardamom, and I shall recommend you for an appointment this time. You might even become the CC on the strength of your debating and sporting skills. Listen up, smoking is bad for health!
From the roiling and swirling turbulence of hope and despair, I can only babble out these few words at the moment.
Bye! My son! Pak Fauj Zindabad
WE ARE MANY, BUT ARE ONEWE ARE ABDALIANS, SECOND TO NONE
United in grief
A Q Saggu
Deputy Vice Principal (coordination)
Cadet College, Hasanabdal
10 April 2012