- The approach of holidays.
- In the train to Rawalpindi.
- The toy railway.
- Arrival and after.
- The beauty of Murree.
The Summer holidays were near. We were all tired of our work and studies. My father proposed that we should go to our native place during our holidays, but I suggested that we should go to some new place like Murree so that there might be some poverty and charm about our going out. To my great joy, father accepted my suggestion and we decided to go to Murree for a week.
We started on the 20th July in the afternoon by Tezgam from Lahore. There was such a rush of passengers that we were afraid we would not get seats. My fears came out to be true. The Inter class compartments were practically overflowing with passengers. My father purchased second-class tickets, but even then, all of us could not have seats in the compartment. Instead of going back or going by the next train, we decided to travel that way thus beginning our romance in right earnest from the beginning. My mother and sister sat in another compartment, while I sat with my father.
The train left the station amid usual wavings of hands and handkerchiefs. The natural scenery as I saw from my window seemed to me most charming. I had never seen it before. We reached Rawalpindi and made our way to Murree Hills. This was also an extremely interesting sight for me to watch the car go round and round the mountain and yet go up without falling down, like a worm going around a cricket ball! After an hour or so, we reached Murree. It was a very charming place.
We went to a good hotel. The place was centrally situated and it commanded a beautiful view of mountains. It was very cold and so all of us put on as many warm clothes as possible so that there might not be the smallest entrance left for cold to enter. Only our faces were bare, and our mouth smoked like chimneys in the morning.
Murree is a very delightful place. It is a place of long walks and beautiful points. The place stands on a great height from the sea level. There are innumerable trees. The earth of Murree is brown and we spoil our pants and shoes every time we go out. But walking is a great pleasure in Murree and that is why exactly I do not like the idea of men sitting like dummies in the rickshaws drawn be human beings.
I never like the sight of man being drawn by a man, as if the other man were a bullock or a horse. There are many points in Murree. One of my favourite points was Pindi Point, which I changed into Kashmir point. From every point we see beautiful sights, mountains majestically stretching themselves at full length, like pythons in the fable, beautiful valleys going down, gree trees, and clouds sometimes passing just above our head or sometimes even below our feet. It is really grand and magical Murree is a dreamland.
There is a park where people in the evening meet and children play. There is a small lake and a small spring the water of which is famous for its chemical properties. It is a rare joy of life to see the sunset and the sunrise at Murree.
In spite of the biting cold, I twice or thrice came out of my bed and opening the window, looked at the rising of the sun. While at Murree, we used to take long walks, sometimes walking about ten or twelve miles a day. Sometimes I rode on horseback. On the whole, my month’s stay at Murree remains sweet memory in my life.
Next day we had a long walk round Bolan Pass. This gave us new strength and spirit. In the afternoon we went to Ziarat. It is on a great height from which we had a good view of Bolan mountains. From there we went to Chaman where some beautiful mosques are situated. The carvings on their walls and ceilings are exquisite in beauty and symmetrical in design. These mosques are a rich mine of inimitable art and my eyes drank their beauty to their fill.
On the third day we arranged a programme of going to Zahidan which is at a distance of forty miles from Quetta. On the way we made friendship with a few scouts who were also going there. On reaching our destination, we had a breakfast. After that we went to a mosque, which is perhaps on the heightest peak of Bolan Pass. From it we saw the wonderful valleys, and peaks of the mountain. There is a point called Quetta Point from which we had a glimpse of Quetta. On getting information about some caves in the vicinity, wee decided to see them. Two caves which we visited in the beginning did not impress us much. But the cave near Machh is a nice one fit for severe penance.
On the fourth day we went to Quetta sanitorium. It is situated at a great depth and we had to go down a thousand steps. Its green trees and fragrant flowers make it a worthy abode of saints. From these we returned in the evening. While we were talking idly in our room after supper, our scout friend came to us and invited us to a programme of music arranged by them at a nearby place. We accompanied them and were simply pleased with sweet music.
Next day was the last day of our stay at Bolan mountains. Hence in the morning we visited some minor points and in the evening we joined boating in Chashma Shahi. Thus our five days’ stay at Bolan mountains was over and we came down. On the same day we caught a train and reachd home. It was a memorable pleasure trip fraught with joy and adventure. It was a holiday from the humdrum of life, when we forgot our littleworries of life. Certainly, I shall never forget those five days of heavenly bliss.