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A Prophecy Come True

Letter to the Queen


By: Asif Raja


HRH the Queen

Any Royal Abode

UK& the Independent Territories.


Dear Ma’am


Skipping the usual banal apologies and health enquiries, I fully trust that the royal mail will make sure that you get this letter. Being the head of our great country I do realise that your duties which we all know that come before all and sundry even family takes you far and wide to meet with your humble and loyal subjects.


You must be rightly very distressed at the situation in Pakistan given that we think we are a part of the commonwealth or were! The problems are so many that even many a page wont be able to sum them up starting from lack of drinking water to say hostile neighbours. Ma’am must be very concerned and I wonder who is briefing her on this delicate and non-understandable issue. Anyway even Sir Humphrey Appleby of yes minister/prime minister fame will fail it straightaway.


Ma’am given that your time is precious and that you do read my letters which get corrected both grammatically and politically by the keeper I will as usual try to close the ocean into a teacup, but given the magnitude of the problem even the oceans would be small to quantify our wretched problems.


I will go back in time to circa January 1983 on a cold Friday night on the bus route number 4 from Samanabad (A locality in Lahore) to Lahore railway station made famous in the Bhawani Junction where my late father used to pitch up to see Eva Gardner. Well after all, apart from being my father he was a man as well and who can blame him for being Eva’s fan. He must have envied Frank Sinatra though he was more handsome than him.


Anyway I boarded the bus from the mor or ‘Turn Samanabad’, promptly sat in the back seat and obediently paid 25 paisa as my student fare. There were few passengers and the conductor (A relic of the past in GB) after dutifully picking up fares sauntered towards me and wondered if he could sit next to me. Off course I had no objection. He confirmed with me if I were at King Edward Medical College (named after Great Grandpa Edward 7th).


He went on to remind me that I was only to get a student fair on showing my pass to which I agreed; but being and looking like( I don’t know how he diagnosed that) a medical student and that to of Grandpa’s school, he did not feel it was necessary. He then drew a long sigh and commented on the unfortunate ways of the ‘so called students’ and if I correctly remember he addressed us as ‘the cream of the nation and builders of tomorrow’ the fortunate ones who instead of studying were more interested in fights, disobeying law, coercion, eve teasing and anything bad that one can think off. But the students of your school are like angels, well behaved, always give the fare, polite and law abiding.


I, off course, was on cloud nine and then he added the prophecy which is true of the situation which afflicts Pakistan today. He said and now keep in mind that he was a poor bus conductor, probably not even O levels qualified “If these are our leaders/builders of the nation then God have mercy on our future”.


To be honest Ma’am, I did not understand the gravity of what he had just said. It would only become apparent to me 20 years later and now I think how true he was. Pakistan in medical parlance and terminology at birth had loads of passive immunity from the masters from the mother country. When the umbilical cord was severed, it did well for sometime but failed to develop any active immunity to prevent it being afflicted from the maladies that we see today. It’s just that we have failed to educate ourselves in more ways than one!


Yours truly


Jaddi pushti ghulam

Dr MAK Raja 



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