Retd. Maj. Gen­eral Mustafa and his wife maybe city born but they love the coun­try life

By Aar­zoo Naeem Chaudhry


ubur­ban liv­ing is a lifestyle many long for but not many can pull off, par­tic­u­larly in Lahore where the plan­ning and devel­op­ment of sub­ur­bia is some­what neglected. Most sub­ur­ban areas around Lahore lack basic infra­struc­ture and ameni­ties. The roads are not paved, there are very few hos­pi­tals or clin­ics nearby and depart­men­tal stores are prac­ti­cally non-existent. Even though liv­ing in the sub­urbs is incon­ve­nient, the trend is catch­ing up and many peo­ple have started build­ing homes on the fringes of the city. The urge to live in a sleepy dis­trict in con­trast with the bustling metrop­o­lis is what attracts peo­ple to live away from the city. “The peace and seren­ity of the coun­try is unimag­in­able in the city and that’s the life we wanted,” says Gen­eral Mustafa who lives with his wife on a farm­house on Bedian Road.

Drawing Room

Draw­ing Room

The couple’s home is a per­fect farm­house on the sub­urbs com­plete with a view of the sun set­ting into the wheat fields. It is like a hid­den trea­sure with a sur­prise wait­ing at every wall, cor­ner and shelf. There is so much to explore in every room and every trea­sured item has a story. With black and white pic­tures of fam­ily lined on one end and a con­sole full of col­or­ful Indone­sian pup­pets on the oppo­site wall, Gen­eral Mustafa’s home has the most Gen. Mustafa with his wife Beau­ti­ful bun­ga­low sur­rounded by farm­land inter­est­ing entrance. An inter­est­ing col­lec­tion of hats and caps, which includes golf caps, hunt­ing caps and a dress hat, is placed beside the door. One thing that left me awestruck was the tiny 30 sil­ver tiles with the entire Quran engraved onto them!

A nar­row pas­sage with shelves stacked with books leads to the study where Gen­eral Mustafa spends most of his time writ­ing his book –an auto­bi­og­ra­phy. The bay win­dow looks out onto the gar­den and the crop fields which are silent yet ener­getic which makes it an inspir­ing pic­ture. Gen­eral Mustafa Anwer Hus­sain has served the Pak­istan Army and after his retire­ment served as Ambas­sador to Pak­istan in Indone­sia. He spent six years on the exotic arch­i­pel­agic state and that is where he got the exquis­ite fur­ni­ture and inte­rior acces­sories for his place. The inte­rior has been arranged and designed by the cou­ple and that is what gives their place a homey feel. “The birds that visit us at the farm­house are exotic and I’ve never seen such birds in the city,” says the cheery Mrs Mustafa. “There is one par­tic­u­lar bird which is a favorite of mine and when it chirps it sounds like its say­ing ‘Beat the view, beat the view’. Every time I hear it, I think that I couldn’t agree more with it.”

Every room in the house has a view of the out­doors which is refresh­ing and an aspect that should be kept in mind by all those design­ing their homes. Liv­ing in the sub­urbs is all about open wide spaces and the cou­ple has used them wisely. They have their own organic farm where they grow veg­eta­bles, fruits and crops like wheat and rice as well! Their TV lounge and draw­ing room is an array of bright, bold col­ors, rat­tan and sea-weed fur­ni­ture giv­ing it the rich and col­or­ful Indone­sian touch.

Over­all, the farm­house is an amaz­ing expe­ri­ence and after spend­ing some time at their place, I started think­ing I would love liv­ing like that too. If you dream of a life with­out the dron­ing of rick­shaws, traf­fic jams and the city walls clos­ing in on you, sub­ur­ban lifestyle is def­i­nitely for you – a dream come true.

away from city strife page 1

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This arti­cle was orig­i­nally pub­lished in the print edi­tion of Val­uemag, issue 4, August 2008


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