Girls' Final Year Trip

By Jamila (Salahuddin) Rahman (C70)

From left: Hameeda Mohtaram (Electrical), Rukhsana Siddiqui (Mechanical), Rafeeda Hasan (Electrical), Ms Mirza (Engineering Economics lecturer), Fareeda Javed (Electrical), Unknown lady, and Jamila Salahuddin (Civil) - Trip to Murree, 1970.
Contributed by: Jamila Rahman

We were four girls who went on the final year tour with a lady lecturer Ms Mirza as chaperone. Two young male lecturers were in charge of Electrical Engineering group. Since this was the smallest group we were made part of that group.

During the final leg of the trip one of the lecturer, Mr Shams, bought one huge sack full of fresh fruits (delicious apples and oranges) and the other equally huge sack of different nuts(dry fruits as we call them in Pakistan, almonds, walnuts, pines etc). Shams Saheb thinking it would be safer put them high on the luggage rack just outside the girls area. Thinking it will the safest place as boys had no access to it. In fact, girls small living space on the train did not even have an outside door.

A day or so before the train's arrival in Karachi. Rukhsana and I had a brain way while eyeing these bulging sacks full of expensive goodies from NWFP.

The cabin was setup in such a way that the girls and boys were separated by the sleeping area of three lecturers. They kind of acted as our guards.

After making sure that all lecturers were fast asleep, Rukhsana and I pushed Hameeda up high where the two sacks were stashed. Some of the boys also got involved (I don't remember their names after 46 years). They stood in line on their side and we on our side. Hameeda first slit the fresh fruit sack and started passing oranges and apples to boys who passed it onward in their cabin to others to enjoy while we kept a few with us. Our goal was not fresh fruits but expensive nuts.

Making sure the boys were busy eating fruits, Hameeda who had a fake reputation of being meek and submissive typical Pakistani female, used her evil streak to slit the nuts sack and started throwing walnuts etc to me and Rukhsana down below until the second sack was empty. We in turn loaded our suitcases with this stolen stash.

We had a dilemma now... What to do with the empty sacks, how to hide our crime. After much considerations and hush-hush conference we filled the two sacks with potatoes from the kitchen pantry area which was next to our living quarters, sealed up the sacks again and left the crime scene just like before.

Karachi came, we said bye to all and went home happily. Next day while Rukhsana and I were walking in the College, Mr Shams came with a happy face and said he knew it was us who robbed his goodies. We just stared at him pretending to not understand what he was saying. It will be correct to say he was very a good sport and only gave us some meaningful smiles whenever our paths crossed. He did not think of his electrical group girl student as part of this silly but expensive prank.

I have only one thing to say to him now after 46 years 'do not judge a book from its cover'.

If it is not too late, Shams Saheb, please accept our apologies if you happen across this page.