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