By Capt Hasan Jawaid (1st SSC)
Editor’s Note: Capt Hasan Jawaid is from a Baluch Regt. He has settled in USA since 1992.
Maj (R) Maqbool (2nd SSC) is my unit officer and a good friend of mine. God knows where he had picked up the habit of lounging and being late; unfortunately before it could be fixed in time in PMA, he landed in our Unit in Daharki in 1972. With lingering habit of doing things at the last-minute, he would usually get up around 15 minutes before an event was to start and scramble to perform daily chores, all at once.
One fine morning around 0650 hrs in Malir Cantt, the whole battalion, including 2/IC, Adjt, Company Commanders, was lined-up for the usual morning parade waiting for CO to join us any minute but Lt Maqbool was MIA (Missing in Action). Adjutant, who later became CGS, looked extremely unhappy and angry because he anticipated CO’s comments and reaction if he found out that Lt Maqbool was missing as usual. There were clear signs of anger and anxiety over 2/IC and his Company Commander’s face as well, they were furious and didn’t know what to do with him.
Barely a few minutes before CO’s arrival, silence of the parade ground broke with an unpleasant ‘phat phat phat’ of a rickshaw and Lt Maqbool jumped out of it and rushed towards his Company without paying the fare. The entire battalion must have enjoyed those moments and the conversation that took place between him and the rickshaw driver. The rickshaw driver said, “Sir jee, aap nay kiraya nahee diya”.
Lt Maqbool responded, “Ek mint intezaar kar, mein bhaga nahee jaa raha”.
And the rickshaw’s ‘phat phat phat’ continued for a few seconds until 2/IC ran out of patience and blurted, “Damn it, pay him this minute and get him out”.
The whole battalion was quietly smiling at the conversation between him, rickshaw driver and 2/IC. I am sure many in the parade ground might have heard what Adjutant uttered to Lt Maqbool in a low loving voice when he walked by him. If I could hear this at a distance there was no reason others might not have. Later in the day, Lt Maqbool was given generous amount of ‘shabashi’ and words of admiration by Adjutant and 2/IC.
Did that change him? Well, haven’t you heard ‘old habits die hard’.
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