… ! چھڈ یار
There is this mention of some informal group by Mumtaz Mufti in Alakh Nagri. It’s an abrupt gathering of Mufti’s associates named as چھڈ یار “Chad Yaar” (and english substitute of the expression would be “So What!” or if translated in the modern day linguistics of generation X, “Just Chill”). Mufti and his cohorts both young and middle aged souls, got together accidentally and used to venture out occasionally to seek refuge from the busy and monotonous routine at work. Chad Yaar headed out to places and Mufti records some interesting accounts of these outposts. Interestingly the focal point in these accounts is not the adventures undertaken by Chad Yaar, but the chemistry of its composition and the dynamics within the group.
My gazetteer at Lahore, is still in the pre-phase of organizing itself. Having recently moved and still settling in to that ideal mix and match of work vs fun, I live out my days… and here I must pleasantly confess to my readers that nights at Lahore have been a different ballgame altogether. During the early days, around my workplace, post hours, I was destined to bump into this informal group, a haphazardly disorganized gathering of middle as well as aged, professionals as well as entrepreneurs, retiring as well as retired settlers of DHA Lahore. A group comprising of a couple of Chaudharies, Gujjars, Rajas and one Haaji Sahib (each getting addressed with exactly the same salutations) was to be eventually defined as my social assemblage; a soirée over a good-night cup of tea and even a dose of supper on occasions. The hospitality with which I got absorbed into this social affair is remarkable as is the fact that I brought with me, my unique salutation to the group. Being organized at a random pace with random attendance patterns, the one thing persistent in this get together is this particular carefree tempo uniquely classifying it to be our own version of Chad Yaar, So What and Just Chill expressions. Soon this Chad Yaar was to be vibrant enought to cross the time and space constraints and embark upon an expedition; not surprisingly it was a Sunday and the destinations quite outside of Lahore.
The first abode on the trip was Kasoor; Kasoor of Madam Noor Jehan, who when sings آوازدے کہاں ہے is simply out of this world;
Kasoor of Baba Bullhe Shah who quite vocally embraces the guilt when submits to his musrhid Shah Inayat as
اسیں قصوری ساڈی ذات قصوری، اسیں وچ قصور دے رہندے
I have erred, and I belong to the ones who had faltered (in their times), and hence I belong to Kasoor (Kasoor in literal terms meaning a fault / error)
It was Haji Sahib who just happened to be the native of Kasoor and he very dearly pulled out to be our host at the place. The itinerary was simple, a visit to Baba Bullhe Shah’s shrine, embracing a subtle dose of the the world famous Kasoori faloodah at the recommended restaurant of our host, and a physically demanding (for the people of our age group) climb at the shrine of Baba Kamal Chishti. Things went as planned lest a few variations;
Though visiting Baba Bullhe Shah’s Darbar purely with a religious orientation, Choudhary sahib found the swarming groups of female devotees quite a distraction from the intended concentration;
… the path to “Ayub Falooda Shop” (strongly recommended by our host for the feast) proved to be a never ending trail within the androon bazaar of Kasur, having past through almost every other falooda walla on the face of Kasoor, testing the patience of our appetite every 5-10 steps;
… a cheerleading stunt at the testing climb to motivate the group to scale up to the Darbar of Baba Kamal Chishti and having reached the shrine that uncontrolled display of love for sufi music by a couple of us.
Major Saab on the trip had this task of navigating the group to the Indo-Pakistan border at Ganda Singh Wala – Hussainiwala and hosting them on the auspicious flag lowering ceremony performed at dusk. A proper protocol ensued as the car got parked at the VIP car parking, the group was recieved by smartly dressed soldier of Pakistan Rangers and we got accomodated upfront in the arena directly facing our counterparts from the hostile country. The next 40-45 minutes were spectacular, for the ceremonial display of chivalry and patriotism, where love for the motherland was purely defined by the stunningly high swings of uniformed legs and merciless stammering of studded shoes on the face of mother earth. Amidst the deafening noise of patriotic slogans, the consensus was that our soldier had a high swing than that of his Indian counterpart and definitely pressed his feet louder than the one on the enemy side. A trumpeting retreat with a salute to the lowering flags concluded the ceremony and we exited the border post to lavishly enjoy our treat of mango party generously sponsored by the Choudhary Sahib.
The mango party was due on Choudhary Sahib and we had laboriously bargained two crates of Chaunsa Mangoes while exiting Kasoor. Put to the chill of ice slabs subtly placed inside a cooler, the mangoes were ripe by the evening. The setting arranged for the Party was at the pure desi dera in Haji Sahib’s native village, with all the accessories of the promised land; the proximity of a running fresh water tube well, the traditional bethak style charpoys, and the bucket loads of kachi lassi. The party was a befitting end to the day’s expedition that got culminated as we disembarked inside DHA at the routine rendezvous of the non-routine Chad Yaar.