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  • Often for baby sitting duty we have to travel thirty miles to the capital city Islamabad. Previous trips to the great city were easy relaxed short enjoyable and memorable. The reasons:
    a) roads were smoother with less traffic b) children were with us 3) fuel was cheap and easily available 4) time was slow (it felt so) and
    plenty 5) and I got to drive the car and felt good.

    Things have changed with time as they naturally do.The roads are broader but chaotic with all sorts of vehicles racing with each other.Fuel is available only three days a week children no more live with us and I am not allowed to drive.

    My heart sank as the car turned on the same road again.I have failed again. Failed to understand why my husband prefers to take this road every time we need to go to the city.Numerous discussions ending in futility.No reasoning works any longer.I am not in the driving seat, though I have accepted the fact , but then a heavy feeling prevails for long, but again roads are important for every one in this world.

    This road was different.

    It was not the Mall Road a legacy of the Colonial times. It had many names. It was also known as railway link road for one had to cross the main railway line. Since I was a passenger I became an observer and I discovered a different world, different people, different life style and I believe I have mentioned this in another story also.

    All roads reflect the timeless culture and life style. This road also reflected life's harsh reality.
    But what could be the link between roads and healing, roads and pain and roads and life's harsh realities.
    Just like 'reading a story' is like traveling on a new road, it takes the reader deep inside the life spread on the pages, word by word leaf by leaf we meet people feel their happiness, pain, suffering and joy, enjoy their jokes, and identify ourselves with their common problems. Similarly I found that roads too were like books, the difference was that ' a book would tell the same story but ' a road definitely showed a new story every time '

    The first story I read on cowbird was about traveling in a train. The subject moved around life and loss'.More stories I read revealed more personal joy success loss and suffering. Fears about illness cure and cancer ...Cancer is widespread and close.It is not the time, it is not the road it is not the driving nor the traffic, it is 'life' in its stark reality.'Mother suffered and I was so helpless' I was like 'a lifeless body myself, a stone slab, flat feeling less, weak and silent. Then I saw them...stacks and stacks of them...slabs of stone...slabs of marble, cut,shaped,formed, and stored in full view. These slabs were and are for the 'graves'...death is stony death is cold, slabs are stony slabs are cold, slabs are for the names...
    I felt more stress and my lesson of the road was 'stress is self created' 'we create it ourselves,we cause it ourselves. 'Stress occurs by disagreement, dislike,refusal,disobedience and discord, stress can be avoided and so 'I thought...Cancer can be avoided too' and fights and wars and killings but wait...isn't it a great world you are thinking about?
    'Oh Dear my husband likes this road he has his reasons-I do not like this way and I have my reasons, so what is the end of the story then...?
    I found some reasons and decided that I would not complain anymore, for one.I would bear the jerks and jolts and sit try to relax and pray...and I did that...
    I accepted the road.I did not have to drive, a very strong reason.
    That day my daughter spoke to her father about the condition of the road as she with her family had to travel to our side of the city.Her husband drove all the way.
    'Abu, that cannot be called a road, its nothing but a path of ditches and there were so many trucks , how do you manage to drive? no wonder you are so strained when you come'
    I smiled silently. It did not matter anymore. But so much stress was relieved.

    It is we ourselves who can bring peace to each other,love and respect each others likes and dislikes and allow feelings to be expressed.It does not matter , it should not matter as long as serious laws are not violated.Life is short and soon can be like a stone slab
    Be Happy and make Others Happy, was the lesson. Needs to be revised and I am trying.
    We have not traveled by that road again.
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