Yesterday I took a stroll down the fields on the farm in Tumair. Moving from the small cozy cottage on the east side of the farm land towards the north-west corner where the work was in progress to build a water reservoir. This is barani land, where people have been growing crops such as corn and wheat for ages. These crops only require the seasonal rain pattern. As the farm lodgings begin to take shape we are still groping for a water solution. Without water, landscaping and growing of the plants we want is difficult. Although, rain in Islamabad is plentiful, the water needs to be stored in reservoirs. [2007-04-28]
As I reached the north-west field of the farm, I passed across a whole bunch of keekar trees. Keekar is a tree that is full of thorns with tiny leaves mingling with the thorns. This is spring time. Keekars are in their full bloom, laden with flowers with an intoxicating fragrance. The bushes all around are strewn with wild flowers. These flowers are also small with very tiny petals of yellow, orange and red colors giving a beautiful kaleidoscope. The sweet fragrance brought to my mind memories from the fragrance from the line of Keekars some thirty years ago on the road that curves around what used to be Ayub Khan’s house in G-6/2. I was jogging from the edge of F-6/4 on Embassy Road and going towards Margalla hills. I was in intermediate and studying hard for my board exams. My day typically started early in the morning with jog to the foot of the hill and back to our place in 27/1 F-6/4. That Spring the lines of the keekars were yet young trees and the fragrance from their small yellowish green flowers was enchantingly refreshing. How I soaked myself in that beautiful morning with the invigorating morning breeze. Ah, I can’t forget…..
The sound of dozer brings me back to Tumair Farm. Grass is now growing wildly in the fields at this time of the year where it should have been wheat fields ready for cutting and thrashing. We have not grown wheat in the fields as it is no longer economical to do it while sitting in Karachi and controlling the operations from afar. Few of the fields around have fully grown wheat that is being cut and thrashed. People say it is difficult to get a laborer because they are all occupied in this business of cutting and thrashing the wheat. In the distance I can see the land that was once fields growing wheat during rabi and corn during khareef. However, bull dozer has now been plowing on these fields, flattening them, removing the beautiful natural contours and meandering and winding water ways into straight land with crisscross of small roads. These beautiful fields are now destined to become 5 and 10 marla plots sold to new city comers and there soon would be shanty housing with little civic amenities.
As I thought about it, my heart filled with fear. I could see that the land adjoining our farm may itself convert into these shanty dwelling not so far in future may be just a couple of years. All through the night I could hear the dozers working in the far. In the morning I found out that the noise of the dozers was coming from the other side of this beautiful hillock on the south side of our farms. They must have put the dozer on to level the beautify terrain that I saw when I climbed up the hillock with my kids three years ago. The beauty is going, going and gone.
The tractror was moving from one end of the field scraping the earth and dozing it to make the wall. The wall is now beginning to take shape. Around this field, stand a number of …