The road to Raiwind

Published April 18, 2016
In contrast to the rocky political road, the road to Raiwind in reality, provides for rather smooth sailing.─APP/File
In contrast to the rocky political road, the road to Raiwind in reality, provides for rather smooth sailing.─APP/File
Politically all roads seem to be leading to Raiwind, but unfortunately no one seems to be home. ─ PTI official Facebook page
Politically all roads seem to be leading to Raiwind, but unfortunately no one seems to be home. ─ PTI official Facebook page

In contrast to the rocky political road, the road to Raiwind in reality, provides for rather smooth sailing. A few years ago travelling to the Shaukat Khanum was like taking a trip in wilderness. Now almost up to Raiwind, there are nothing but housing societies. What was once primarily an agriculture area is now entirely built-up. If this continues one wonders what will be left to eat.

Halfway to Raiwind at Jati Umra, thanks to the prime minister’s home away from home; or for that matter some of his close friends, the road infrastructure is outstanding. The main Raiwind road has been widened and re-carpeted; encroachments demolished; and flower stands, with wilted but colourful flowers adorn both sides of the road. The huge exit/entrance roundabout, for the ring road is completed, work on the road slated to start soon. An additional expressway bypassing the housing societies of Valencia and Khayaban-e-Amin is near completion. The earlier connecting road, from Shaukat Khanum to Raiwind road, is in pristine condition and the surrounding flowers and shrubs make for a scenic drive.

With all this modern and aesthetically pleasing infrastructure, perhaps we can look at designating this area an offshore haven. In the process not only boosting our economy, and negating all allegation of transfer of local funds to foreign shores. After all no one takes issue with transfer of funds from one offshore destination to another.

Due to the recent developments the distance between Shaukat Khanum and Raiwind palace, drastically curtailed. The tussles between the neighbours continue; with one neighbour planning on marching on the other. As in most cases, he stands alone, abandoned by most mainstream political parties. What transpires remains to be seen? Politically all roads seem to be leading to Raiwind, but unfortunately no one seems to be home. Perhaps Pindi might prove be a more productive destination.

Recent news that a fake neurosurgeon worked at the Services hospital for eight months, leaves one speechless. The lady in question, with bogus degrees to her credential, served in the second largest health facility in the country and the primary tertiary care unit in Lahore. During her tenure she was initially assigned to general surgery and later transferred to the neurosurgery department where she performed numerous operations. Pakistani ingenuity knows no bound.

What is really galling about the whole sordid affair is that lady has the guts to choose, surgery and no less than brain surgery. If one wanted to opt to be fake doctor, choosing a less complex field might be the way to go. Or is being a doctor, not what it is all cut-out to be – it ain’t no brain surgery? But levity aside, spare a thought for the patients operated upon. Meanwhile our political elite rely on foreign health facilities for even check-ups: the contrasting inequity and dichotomy, between the haves and the have-nots, ever widening.

It is sad how, as we grow up, we lose sights of life’s little pleasures. The marvels of nature, which are commonplace and present all around, are given scant regard. While watering a loquat tree, a popular fruit no longer, my son ran up and told me to stop. He asked me, if I could not see the hummingbird’s nest between two leaves and the angry bird, hovering around in reproach. To be honest, I had no idea!

On closer inception I saw what he was referring to. First the finch, significantly smaller than a sparrow, it was beautifully decked in muted emerald finery. Turning to its handiwork; the intricate detail and construction were stunning. The two, rather large leaves, were twined together with fine fiber weave and the border sealed together, with what appeared to be studs. My son explained that these studs were actually pieces of caterpillar larva, the sticky nature of which, utilised in creating the nest. The symmetry, soundness and beauty of the finches work was awe-inspiring. Now only if we could induce them towards lawn prêt. – AM Lahori

Published in Dawn, April 18th, 2016

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