سيال ٽريول
Sial Travel
A website  by well-known writer
Mohammad Khan Sial on Travel & Tourism


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'Sial Travel Online': Mohammad Khan Sial: One-man institution
My Memoirs:

What a resemblance! 
In our village Syed Haji Ibrahim Shah, near Bucheri Railway Station (About 12 kilometers away
from Nawabshah city in Sindh, a traditional annual 3-day fair (Mello) used to be organized by our local landlord late Syed Assadullah Shah in memory of his father (Syed Ibrahim Shah) and uncle Syed Noor Mohammad Shah.

For three days, make-shifts shops, theatres, hotels, bazaars etc were being installed. Apart from this, traditional "Sindhi indigenous wrestling" were also being organized for every day which was largely witnessed by the people who used to visit fair by coming from far flung areas.

I was born in the said village but for continuing my education, our family had to shift to
Nawabshah in October 1957 but like others, we used to come to our village to witness 'Melo"
every year. I am talking about late 50s & early 60s.

In the Mello, the religious followers (Mureeds) of landlord late Syed Assadullah Shah used to
come to the village in large number including ladies to extend help as a large number of guests
used to come on occasion of the Mello every year.

Twin sisters namely Ms Raasti and Ms Thari belonging to fisherman tribe (Mirbahar) used to
come to the Mello for extending help in serving the guests from their village in Taluka Kandiaro (previously Kandiaro was in Nawabshah district but after bifurcation of Nawabshah, Nowshehro Feroze was made separate district).

There was such a resemblance between the twin sisters that it was
difficult for all  people
to differentiate between the two. Like others, neither myself nor my elder brother Anwar Sial
could identify them, This reminds me a Hindi feature film namely Angoor (Grapes) which I
watched later on TV, in which renowned actor late Sanjev Kumar played such a dual role in excellent way.


Unique travel!
I was living in a village Syed Haji Ibrahim Shah, near Bucheri Railway Station. Sometimes, we have to go to Nawabshah which was away like next Railway Station. In those days, one or two
trains were stopping at Bucheri Railway Station in a day and there was no road transportation facility at all so many people who had to go to Nawabshah, were travelling in Railway engines
(no carriages) which used to came unscheduled almost twice daily, with consent of the drivers.
Drivers who use to take 5/6 persons in a single engine and for this every standing passenger had
to pay Rs 1/- to the driver.

Fulfilling a religious requirement!
Goods trains carrying grain like wheat, rice besides sugar etc., were staying for several days in
transit at side railway track at Bucheri station like other stations of the area namely Daur, Bandhi, Kot Laloo, Padidan etc.,

Almost every evening, some people used to pilferage the grains and other food items tactfully and without unsealing the carriages of freighter trains. What they did, they brought empty sacks with
them and kept in a way under the space of the closed doors that when they gave big cut to the inside filled sacks with sharp rods, all material automatically fell down into the empty sacks. Then, they closed it and brought to the waiting bull-cart behind Dock (locally called Diko) in order to transport to their homes.

In our village, a person namely Khameso Khokhar died. His sons arranged a Chaleho (Chehlum on
40th day of his death) as religious requirement but what they prepared food to distribute among
people for the satisfaction of the soul of the deceased, all main items used were stolen from the freighter trains.

What a prediction!
In our village, an old lady by surname Sial was living. She had two sons namely Pir Bux Sial
(who was Inspector Police) and Jan Mohammad Sial. She was living opposite to our house.

The old lady was doing prediction in such a way that it used to prove 100% correct. I was
witnessed to it. What she did, she used to keep a small piece of green grass on her left hand
and with the help of right hand, she used to make measurement. If the right hand was short in measurement compared to left hand, the reply was 'No" but if it surpassed, the reply was 'yes'.

Once I was playing with the other boys of the village, one boy misplaced his shoes somewhere.
We went to old lady and finally I asked her to see if the shoes were left in our home. When she checked, her reply was positive. I went to our house and found the said shoes were lying there. When we entered in our house, my mother and grand mother both shouted: "Your colleague has forgotten his shoes here. Ask him to get it."

What a style of writing!
In our village, our colleague in primary school student namely Ghulam Rasool Sial S/O Pir Bux Sial (who later went into police job) used to write with full force as per his habit so much so he
had broken many fountain pens (In those days fountain pens with ink were in common use as no ball point existed). Once he went to nearby village of Kalhoro to take sugar against Ration Card.
The shopkeeper gave him fountain pen for his signature on register but when he signed it with
full force, its writing part was broken.

Sorry for rest of the life

Once, a fisherman came to our village to sell his fishes. He brought stock of fishes in net kept
on the horse back. Many people of the village, went around him. Some people purchased fishes. Since the there were big holes in the net, some people took out fishes from the holes and distributed among the people and children who were standing there. I and my elder brother
Anwar Sial got one fish which we brought to our home.

My mother and grand mother both became very angry that why we brought a fish to home which was unpaid. But the situation was such that we were unable to pay to the fisherman as he had already left. Further, had we paid him the money on this stage, we had to face big problem for
the stolen fishes. But we remained sorry for rest of the life due to the said stolen fish.

Novel way to pray for rain
When we (boys) noticed that there was no raining for the last several months, we used to
take a small procession in our village and went to every home begging for some food items which we later used to cook ourselves as per practice for praying for rain and later we had had it. One person namely Toohu Sial (younger brother of Sachal Sial) living in the same village used to lead the procession whose face was blackened by us with a piece of coal. It was our 'belief' that after doing the said practice, there was rain in the area.


Chopping off the nose of a wife
In our village, a person namely Usman came for residing. We saw that his wife was trying to
hide her face with her Dupata (Rao) all the times. Later, we came to know that her nose was chopped off by her husband sometime back as he suspected she had illicit relations with other
man. This was also inhuman act as in suspension many people are punished this way and others were killed in rural areas.

Unique Radio sets
In our village, we had unique Radio set which was big in size compared to new sets (small & compact) nowadays available in the market. Roughly, it was equivalent to today's TV set of about 14/16 inches. It was running with battery which was also bigger in size and being kept nearby
Radio set with wire connection. It was being charged from Nawabshah town almost once in a month. Later, another battery by connecting many battery cells, was formed. After some time transistors radio were introduced in the market.

Our old Radio set was working with the help of aerial which we had to erect in two long bamboo sticks at the both ends of our large room. Another connection, was given from the middle of the wire to the Radio set. There was no concept of built-in antenna in Radio sets neither the programmes were being broadcasted round the clock. Such a Radio sets were not common in
those days.

Once, I was watching a government documentary film on big curtain being shown with the help
of projector in the Mello of the village. In those days, newly transistors radio was introduced
which were comparatively smaller and it was being operated with the help of four dry battery
cells in built-in carriage. There was interval in the documentary. I had Transistor Radio with me
so I on the Radio, a music was playing. A person watching the documentary jumped over by
looking here and there trying to find out from where the voice was coming. When he knew that I had a smaller transistor radio, he became very astonished.

Keeping coin on railway track!
I was about 7/8 years old. When we were going to Bucheri railway station or Bucheri town by crossing over the railway track, we used to keep coin of 02 Annas (about 12 Paisas) or 04 Annas (25 Paisa as fixed by the Govt of dictator General Ayub Khan introduced in 1961) on track of the railway station as soon as we noticed train is approaching near.

After the train passed away, we used to find the distorted coin which was generally lying nearby
the track. To see its distorted shape, we became very happy despite that coin now was useless
for us.

When passengers train came 'on-time'
A passenger train between Lahore and Karachi was operating in those days that passes
though Bucheri Railway Station for Karachi in the morning. People used to call it "Mix train" as stopping on every station, variety of passengers used to travel as it was stopping on each railway station. Since it had a long route, so it was usually late and to our knowledge, it never came on
time. Once we found that Karachi-bound Lahore Passengers train was on time. Every one was
utterly surprised that how it was possible that train came on-time. Later, some body told us train came 24 hour late so it appeared that it was 'on-time' but in fact, it was 24-hour late.

Unjustified fear during my childhood
While going from our village to Bucheri town by crossing Bucheri Railway station, one of our
uncles in relation late Mohammad Hassan Sial (originally resident of New Majattu, near Tharu
Shah in Naushehro Feroze
district) pointing out to big cranes stationed near dock of Railway
Station and said to me these cranes used to pick up children by catching from their ears. In those days, I was a small boy who was studying in primary school of the village. I was frightened inside and for many days, when I used to cross that site, I tried to cross in hurry that I might not be caught
out by cranes.

"Black dates" and "black grapes" were not acceptable
When I was a small boy, I never ate dates and grapes both of black colour by claiming that if
I would either of one, my inside of body would be blackened. Now when I remember this, I only
laugh on my self.

Extra-ordinary use of ghee, sign of good service to guest
In those day, people were praising those food items which they used having extra ordinary
quantity of ghee while cooking. People used to appreciate that we were served food by such
person but it was full of quantity of ghee when we ate and the ghee was dropping down.

The world is around
A person namely Dost Mohammad Khokhar (generally known as Dosoo Khokhar) was residing
in our village. He had two wives namely "Chaahine" and younger one namely Hakimzadi (Haaki).
every after 8/10 months, he suddenly packed up his luggage and went away during nights,
without informing any body. We heard that when his loan became high, he used to run away but
later, he used to meet the landlord by asking him to make some concession which he extended
to him, therefore, he was back. In the morning every one used to noticed that his house
was empty. Similarly after 8/10 months or so on, he suddenly used to come back.


Doomsday was coming on 14th July

In those days there were speculation in the press that "Doomsday" iswas coming on July 14 (around 1960) when we were going to Nawabshah, our grand mother used to insist on
purchasing of newspaper to know further details. Obviously, "July 14" passed away but no
"doomsday" came.

40 uncles in a village
In those days we have to call elders of the village as uncle to give them respect. We used to
call them "Uncle". Once I and my brother both counted that how many uncles we had. The
number was around 4

Only for the sake of long life
For the sake of long life of their children, the villagers used to do some practices. I still
remember that when I was small kid, my mother arranged me to ride on the back of the black
bear which beggar brought to our village to demonstrate its show and in return in order to

Dua'a by elders

When elder ladies of the village, became happy with children like us, they used to pray in
return. Ladies generally said I pray Almighty Allah that when you grow up, you should enjoy
Pathaani wife (Pathn people are generally beautiful) but some men they will pray like this; when
you grow up, a group of needy people would follow you every time (being such an influential
people, you may help all the needy people).

Fears of  "Kharkaars"
We were told by our elders that be careful when you saw Pathaans as they abduct the
children by using them as bonded labour and also by selling them further to unknown persons.
So much so, it was difficult for abducted persons to rejoin their parents in their lives. Abducters
were called as "Kharkaars" (who take forced labour).

What a beautiful scenario during nights with full of stars

When we used to sleep at the open ground inside of our house  nder open sky (Aggann)
during summer, we used to see clear sky with full of stars. Sometimes, it became difficult to differentiate between operating aircraft and the star shifting its place in the sky. Then we tried to identify with the slow voice ,of aircraft. Later, when I joined PIA and travelled extensively, I came to know that our domestic as well as international flights were passing through Nawabshah but
every time, I used to remember my village where I had spent my childhood.

Fairy stories for children at nights

Our grand mother or sometimes one of our elders Tharo Sial when used to visit our village,
he used to tell us stories at night mostly of fairies, gossips but all were finally bearing moral

I like one thing that when a man went for adventurism to get some treasures or fairy, he used to
met one Gossip (Dev) who used to sleep for six months and for the rest period, he awake. (This
gives an idea but in fact in Norway -Europe, there is six month day and six month nights).

The adventurist immediately ran to the Dev and put his hands on the feet of Dev (a sign of high respect) by calling him "Maamaa'....
"Maamaa" (matrimonial Uncle). The Dev immediately replied him: "Had you not called me Maamaa, I would have turned you into small grains of mustard.
Since you have called me "Maamaa" so tell me how could I help you?

The person replied: I was in search of a fairy but did not know the correct way to go forward.
Then Dev helped and told him that if you were in trouble, use my this gift or hair,for help. You
just warm the hair, I would come immediately for your help.

Another important think was that when some one fought with the Dev by using sword and he
injured him, he (Dev) immediately asked him to make another attack on him and if the said
person did, the Dev became alright and resumed fighting with him.

Further, in the said stories was reference of "Uddand Khatoli" (Flying Cart). some people were
sitting on them. When they ordered to "Udand Khatooli" to stop, it stopped in the air for
sometime and when they ordered to land, it landed, (The idea had resemblance with Helicopter). 

What a love of mother
Every mother loves her children too much but mothers particularly living in village, there are
more lover to their children. I still remember that I was a small boy and was suffering from
severe fever. I asked my mother to take me outside from the room to the ground of house and
after sometime again to the room. She took me without showing annoyance as she was shuttling me whole the day to make me happy.

This reminds me mothers living in urban areas who after fulfilling such desire once or twice of
their children, they slapped their children or showing strong annoyance.

Wanted to 'kill' a lady with gun (Chaanhine)
An old lady used to visit our house in our village. Her name was Chaanhin (name of bird &
also used for tea). She was first wife of our villager Dooso Khokhar. She used to give "Nass" of
red colour so her mouth was always red. Sometimes, "Nass" came out of her mouth. I was 6/7
years child but it was looking very awkward to me so as soon as she came to our house and
after sometime used to apply "Naas", I used to go to another room of our house and brought
Double Gun of my father with "Kartooss" kept separately. I asked my mother or grand mother,
to help load me "Kartooss" so that I might shoot her but, thanks God", it never happened.

However, it was her long desire that whenever she would die, I might arrange her "Coffin" (white sheet of cloth in which dead body was wrapped and buried.) In the meantime, we shifted from
our village to Nawabshah Town but when she died, I did not knew, therefore, I could not fulfill
her desire of Coffin.

Another sorry for life!
Once I went to nearby canal namely, Gajraah Wah". When I crossed the bridge, I saw a dog
which was swimming to cross the canal. When it was near to reach other bank of the Canal, I
forced him to go back. Again, when he was near to reach first bank, I tried to go to another bank
by crossing the bridge quickly. Thus, I did not allow him to come out. Finally, he was drowned. At that time, I was happy, later I was sorry for whole of the life, for this act.

How to get other people fight for the sake of fun
In our school village, one person namely Rasool Bux Sial was our class fellow. In those day,
there was one-room school. Our landlord, late Syed Asadullah Shah got opened that school in
1942 and we also came to know that the great educationist Shamsul Ulema Allama Doctor Umer
Bin Mohammad Bin Daudpoto (Father of Air Marshal (r) Mohammad Azim Daudpoto, ex-chairman, PIA) also visited the School as part of his campaign to create interest among common man to get their children educated.

I still remember, one day our class teacher was not present. What Rasool Bux did, for the sake
of entertainment, he asked two students to stand up opposite at backing the walls of the school.
He himself stand up in the middle. Then he used some abusive language for one person with reference of another. (like one student may ...you). Another boy, instead of trying to understand
his conspiracy,he immediately abused to another children.

Consequently, they fought for sometime, then he separated the two and brought another two
boys for this purpose. But he did not touch boys of some people who were known influential like
us because he knew very well that this would make problem for him.

A news item that finally was censored!
During 1974, 2nd. Islamic Summit Conference held at Lahore (Punjab). Shaheed Zulfikar Ali
Bhutto (ZAB) was Prime Minister of Pakistan, Pakistan, recognized Bangladesh (previously known
East Pakistan and was part of Pakistan) as sovereign country. The news-item was released in
Pakistan through print media and also on only Govt TV channel PTV. Immediately after this, Bangladesh also recognized Pakistan but it was censored here as censorship was common factor
in those days. Nevertheless, All India Radio, broadcasted the news-item.

Condolence by Prime Minister for alive person!
During 1975-76, I worked as News Translator in Sindhi Unit of Pakistan Television (Karachi Unit). at 6 pm, a news bulletin of 10 minutes used to be telecast. Sindhi
lady News Producer, Ms Shahida Mirza (originally belonging to historical town Patt
in Dadu District, later she joined Mass Communications Dept. of Karachi University)
was also Incharge of Sindhi bulletin. A few minutes before starting of Sindhi Bulletin, she gave me a news item for translation (from English to Sindhi) that was
condolence on the sad demise of mother of Jam Sadiq Ali (Sindh minister for Local Bodies) who was earlier sick. The story was given by Anwar Khawja, PRO to Prime Minister Shaheed Bhutto. I immediately translated the news-item. Immediately after the telecast of news bulletin, Jam Sadiq telephoned in the News Unit saying that his
mother is alive!

Obviously, the news-item did not telecast in other bulletins but mother of Jam
Sadiq Ali expired day!

An interesting exchange of photo captains!
When Sindhi daily Hilal-e-Pakistan was launched from Karachi, it became very popular being
first Sindhi daily in new era from Karachi - capital city of Sindh province that was restored in
1970 after dissolution of notorious One Unit. In 1963, the last two Sindhi dailies namely  Mehran
(belonging to Pir Pagaaro) and Nawai-i-Sindh (belonging to late Ayub Khuhro, ex-chief minister
of Sindh generally known as "Traitor of Sindh") shifted from Karachi to Hyderabad). Daily
Hilal-i-Pakistan belonged to ruling Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), I was also working there as Sub-Editor immediate after its inception (May 01, 1972).

In newspapers, sometimes there were made interesting mistakes unintentionally. Also this
happened in this newspaper. There was exchange of photo captains between the two
photographs. Rafi Raza was Production Minister in Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Govt. In those days, contest of Miss World also held. There was exchange of photo captains between the two. Photo
of Miss World carried captain of Rafi Raza and Rafi Raza's photo was carrying captain of Miss
World. During the printing of the newspaper at Mashriq Printing Press (Behind Tughlaq House-old building of Sindh Sectt) this was detected during printing which was stopped immediately but
many issues were already printed and dispatched to other cities / towns.

What a blunder in Urdu Radio news bulletin!
I had worked as News Translator in Radio Pakistan (Sindhi News - Central News Organization) at Karachi from March 02, 1971 to June 1974). In those day late Anwar Bahzad was working as
Urdu News Reader. He used to read news bulletins smoothly but very fast. It was said that when
he made a mistake during Urdu news reading, he rarely said 'Sorry' and never read it again.

Once, he he made a blunder. Instead of reading a news-item, Rasoolullah Salam Keay Wilaadat
Keay Mubaarak Moqaeay Par", he read news-item like: "Rasoolullah Salam Keay Wafaat Keay Mubaarak Moqaeay Par" (Instead of reading auspicious occasion of the birth of Holy Prophet, he
called it as auspicious occasion of death of Holy Prophet and as usual he did not apologized and neither repeated the correct news-item.

Maulana Kausar Niazi was minister for Information & Broadcasting in ZAB Govt. He immediately
took action and Anwar Behzad (a regular employee) was removed from Radio Pakistan.

After some time, late Bahzad Lakhanvi - a renowned poet of Urdu fell sick. Maulana Kausar Niazi
went to his hospital to inquire about his health. Behzad requested Maulana for restoration of his
son (Anwar Behzad) which was immediately done.

When Jang reported Syed Qaim Ali Shah was  "dead"
Urdu daily Jang, Karachi carried a double-column news-item on its front page claiming that
Syed Qaim Ali Shah - a PPP leader was "dead" (presently chief minister of Sindh) whereas
Mr Shah was alive. Mir Khalilur Rahman - owner of the paper met Syed Qaim Ali Shah next day
and such photograph was printed by the newspaper as the said news item was wrong.

 To Be Added