Saturday, July 25, 2009

The CAA - Afghanistan Connection

Firstly this is not about the CIA and Afghanistan but as correctly stated above -- The CAA and Afghanistan Connection.

After weeks of procrastination in getting my car ignition repaired it finally gave in. Every crank on the ignition lead to to a sickening click and nothing.... It had finally died on me.There was no choice but to get it towed to the mechanic.The CAA guy who showed up in response to my call looked East Asian, had a Canadian ( not sure what that means but I guess you get the idea) accent but with a Arabic twang. He quickly and expertly hooked up the car and winched it on to the trailer. As we rode to the mechanic we started to chat. Jabe ( name changed) was from Afghanistan who immigrated to Canada approx 10 years back. During his childhood he told me,getting to his one room school was an adventure. With rockets flying and road blocks preventing movement of pedestrian and vehicles , reaching school was an achievement in itself never mind what happened at school. To cut a long story short he never completed his schooling and he came to Canada as a refugee. As I looked at him while he adeptly handled his GPS and laptop I wondered if i could categorize this individual as uneducated??!! Not by a long shot...
I asked him of the situation in Afghanistan currently and his eyes welled up as he stated that there were solders and peace keepres from approx 80-90 countries in Afghanistan and all of them had their own personal agendas. He pinned a lot of responsibility on Pakistan for what has befallen his beloved land and talked about the destruction of the Bamiyan Buddhas and the safe haven provided to the radical elements by the tribal belt on the Pakistan border. He wished the world could leave Afghanistan to itself and possibly the Afghanis could start a new life of their own.
His voice came through with so much pain and anguish that I wondered if he had ever known happiness in his life..... so i asked him ....if he was happy in what he currently did. His face lit up and he said -- Ever since he was a child on the streets of Kabul he used to wonder what made all those automobiles move and that fascination had never left him. Through sheer interest and effort he learnt the trade and today nothing gave him more satisfaction than nursing a troubled vehicle back to life....he added ..."Every man should do what makes him happy". Looking at his grinning face I realized that he had successfully not only made the transition from Kabul to Toronto but also given a meaning to his life which could have very easily ebbed away in strife torn Afghanistan


Lawrence M said...

Good one, Neeraj.

I agree with "Every man should do what makes him happy". Very true! But how many can make that happen?

Pankaj said...

That is really very well written.
Your description of the mechanic conjured up the picture of Ahmedinajad.... ((spl?) of Iran fame) in my mind!