20 January, 2021

Mazar-E-Sharif Diary

“You are our brothers: after all, Babar was our king, he was also your king.” She had no idea about the impending storm around the Babri Masjid!

Mazar-E-Sharif Diary

Hitherward the Breeze

His eyes light up, as Atiq Ullah Ansari, rais or chief priest of Mazar-e-Sharif, is introduced to me by my guide. “Aap Hindi hain?” which means, “Are you from India?” Many Afghans speak a smattering of Urdu or Hindustani. He then embraces me with spontaneous warmth and leads me to his heavily carpeted room at one end of the mazar. He is a tall man with broad shoulders, trimmed beard and a waistcoat matching the light-blue turban. He gives the conversation an astonishing, non-theological twist. “Bada afsos hai aaj tak; Bismillah Khan guzar gaya bechara” (“My sorrow has not ended to this day; the great shehnai player Bismillah Khan is no more”). Some friends from the Indian consulate at Mazar-e-Sharif have sent him Bismillah’s latest collection. There are oases of Indian culture...



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