Thursday, November 12, 2015

Find us on Facebook

Last year I got a phone call from London, England - the person on the other end bombarded a lot of questions that only someone who knew me in my teens could ask. I tried to recall my memories of some four decades and even old and was still engrossed in guessing when the caller introduced him to me: Zahid Masood Khan, a class fellow of mine since 1966-971. He found me out from Facebook - that was the start of many more pleasant encounters.

And then a chain of events started. A few days back I got a call from another classmate Tahir Aslam from Lahore, followed by Khaleeq from Saudi Arabia and the chain kept on connecting. And then I found a friend tariq Hashmi in Holland, Rashid Mahmud and Dilawar in Lahore. 
Meeting my friend Tariq Hashmi (second from left) in Groningen, Holland 2014 - flanked by our sons

And as if that was not all - I also got connected to a classmate working for Habib Bank in Bangladesh. It was really amazing as the chain is still connecting. I met all those in Pakistan recently as the came to my home in Islamabad and I went to Lahore to meet some. Not only that I went to Holland to meet my friend Tariq Hashmi and suddenly my memories and nostalgia brought me back my yesterdays - once more.

But that is not all still. Another surprise was yet to come till a few days earlier. A few years back while in Islamabad with my younger son, I passed through F-6/4 sector, a place where we lived from 1966-1971. Though we actually lived in Lahore, we visited our father in our vacations, who was then heading the Interpol Pakistan. I had some vivid memories of the place, so I decided to go to the house where we once spent our vacation.

In 1966, the area where we lived was fresh, clean and well maintained. The smell of fresh paint could still be felt when we occupied our flat 27/7 in 1966. But the landscape had changed and did not not present a healthy look with unkempt hedges and long grown grass. But for me its was still a place where I had spent earlier part of my teen. I asked my son to take a photo of me while I stood in front of the flat 27/7 (above).

I never knew someone else living so close to us would be watching this photo. I shared this photo too on Facebook and specially on page My Home Islamabad. Many people liked and commented on the photo - and then someone asked me if I knew her father. Well I never thought that someone lived so close to us and I replied: I wish I could - we did not have Facebook then. She liked my remark and that was all.

But then another comment came - this time naming her father: Umar Daraz Khan. And that was a bullhit. Yes I knew Uncle Umar daraz Khan, we called Uncle UD Khan, who lived on the upper story of oflat. And I instantly replied and was reconnected to my past. Children of Uncle UD and we were of the same age and had a wonderful childhood/teenage. The next comment was a bit sad as I was told that her parents and only brother of our age have since boarded their heavenly flights. 

Much that I wanted to meet my father's friends, but that four decades is a lot of time and obviously my father and his friends were in their 50s at that time and living beyond 90 is a lesser of all the probabilities. But finding their children was really amazing and a wonderful coincidence. Suddenly my mind was floating in Islamabad and the street where I lived (I wonder if you have heard this song or not - from once classic My Fair Lady).

This is the wonder magic of Facebook - do you have any such coincidences?

Read more:
School days friends - Lost and Found

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