A trip to Banjausa, Azad Kashmir was arranged by Project Director (FFHP), Mr. Syed Wasim Hashmi on 2nd & 3rd June 2006 for the newly formed social club of HRD Division of the Higher Education Commission (HEC). The Project Director (IS), Mr. Syed Sajid Hussain Shah was instrumental in arranging the accommodation facilities through Pak PWD & Ministry of Tourism.
This social club could not have come into being without the ‘ashirwat’ of ADV (HRD) who himself takes active part in such social gatherings and participates as an active member.
(The Bachelor party on the way back from Banjausa)
The trip started at 3:30 p.m. on Friday 2nd June 2006 when after Juma prayers the participants gathered at the HRD Division & got on the GT road towards the destination. A congregation of 6 personal cars and two office vans were part of the entourage. Most of us were new on this route and it took us almost 4 hours to reach the Banjausa hill resort at around 7:30 p.m. or so. The last leg of the drive was rather bumpy due to the bad road conditions.
The first night we all had a one dish dinner and were ready & fresh the next morning to explore the whereabouts of the hill resort. Two families stayed at one guest house, while 4 families stayed at another and two families stayed at the 3rd guest house along with the Bachelor gang. The morning breakfast was a feast in itself since all of us gathered at one of the guest houses to share the bread & omelette.
(The HRD Gang & their families)
And off we went to Toli Peer on the morning of Saturday 3rd June 2006. Unfortunately, we could not reach the top since the road was broken & were forced to take refuge at another location yet with good ground for resting & play area. While the families mingled & children chattered, Rehmat the HEC cook (who came along with us) prepared a sumptuous barbeque & lo & behold it started raining.
(Wasim Hashmi’s family along with the author’s)
Although the area became damp but our spirits were high & we did manage to enjoy the weather & the late lunch. We headed back to Banjausa & were there to enjoy the late evening. Lightning & thunderstorm followed us here too and Mother Nature somehow managed to intervene in our dinner barbeque program which got thoroughly spoiled since we all were expected to have dinner at one of the guest houses together.
(The author with little Ayesha)
Everybody ate by themselves in their guest houses and thus the second day got over too. The next morning, we again gathered at the same guest house to have breakfast & then we departed in small groups to Islamabad at around 12:00 p.m. or so.
(Advisor Sahib’s family in the middle of the group with the Banjausa Lake backdrop)
It was a trip of a lifetime and brought the officers and staff close together while showing team spirit and fun and frolic and would thus remain in our memories and cherished long after. This is not the end though and we plan to arrange such escapades on a quarterly basis.
Shaikh Muhammed Ali
(Project Director, HRD)
Higher Education Commission, Islamabad
Note: This article first appeared on SCRIBD on 11th July 2006.