Friday, 23 October 2009

A Mango-Crate Bound For London

These are some of the opening paragraphs of my BANNED (by Chowq) article, titled: A Mango-Crate Bound For London.

The readers may post their comments here but I'd rather have them addressed to Chowq. Thanks for your support.


Known within the inner circle of friends as a ‘saver’, I also decided to shed the excess weight of unnecessary personal clothing for my sojourn. In summer, all that one needed were a toothbrush, hundred-percent cotton undergarments, two polo shirts, and a pair of faded jeans tightly packed in a soft bag. And hence, with a stroke of genius I escaped paying exorbitant accompanied-baggage charges for twenty kilograms of mangos to our very own national flag carrier.

I was not alone, for when I looked around at the check-in counter, most fellow-passengers carried nothing but mangos for relatives living in ole’ England. The males stood around with miswaak sticks (natural ethnic toothbrushes plucked off specially grown trees) stuck in their shirt pockets in order to lighten their weight further. In their hands, they carried yet more bagfuls of mangos, which they perhaps intended to consume in mid-air en-route to England.

The Jumbo jet majestically took to the skies. Soon after take-off—while seated in an economical rearmost seat—a strange mix of lavatory stench and the scent of mangos entered my nostrils. It was ‘just like coming home’. Many passengers had, by then, boycotted the terrible airline food, and consumed the mangos they carried. Needless to say, they required repeated visits to the lavatories. No bottled fragrance from France could enhance the aura.

The airplane touched down at Heathrow airport rather too smoothly. I suddenly became petrified thinking someone would perhaps steal my mango-crate from the baggage-claim area. Recalling the awesome combination of a C-130 Hercules airplane and a mango-crate near Bahawalpur also brought back fond memories of an incident many years ago in which a starched dictator, a few surplus commanders, and a senior foreign diplomat went straight to the heavenly GHQ for intensive interrogation.

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