Friday, May 28, 2010

It's a small world

Read a story in the Daily Times, Pakistan.
PESHAWAR: Devotees and admirers from all walks of life still swarm the shrine of mystic poet of Pashto language Abdur Rahman Baba to pay tribute to him.

The poetry of Rahman Baba has been enchanting the minds and souls of the people for the last many years. He was born in 1653 in Bahadar Kaley in Peshawar. He passed away in 1711. The poetry of Rahman Baba preaches love, humanity and tolerance. He is held in great esteem by the Pakhtuns.

The shrine located in Hazarkhwani village on the outskirts of the provincial metropolis was bombed by militants on 5th March. Local people say some unidentified men had asked the caretaker of the mausoleum to bar women from visiting the shrine otherwise they would blow it up.

“Some people came and asked the caretaker of the shrine to prevent womenfolk from paying visits to the shrine. A few days later, the tomb was bombed,” an old man sitting at a mosque adjacent to the shrine told this scribe.

During a visit to shrine, it was observed that people of all ages still visit the shrine in large number and no sign of fear was seen on their faces. The women visitors seemed to be least bothered about the threats issued by militants.

The miscreants did their job by destroying the building as they had threatened to do so but could not stop women from visiting the shrine. “Nobody can stop women from visiting the shrine. Women still pay visits to the shrine in large number to pay tribute to the great Pashto language. He is loved by everyone,” Tahir Khan, a visitor said.

“Now it is the responsibility of the government to bring to book the perpetrators of this heinous act so that no body could dare to indulge in such shameful acts in the future,” he added.
The place is easy enough to locate in Google Maps.

A picture of the damage is found too:

And this story.
Last year, I had requested my blogger-friend Aadil Shah to translate some of Rehman Baba’s verse. Little did I know how the poet’s lines could be so relevant a year later:

Sow flowers so your surroundings become a garden
Don’t sow thorns; for they will prick your feet
If you shoot arrows at others,
Know that the same arrow will come back to hit you.
Don’t dig a well in another’s path,In case you come to the well’s edge
Humans are all one body,
Whoever tortures another, wounds himself.

Seeing it up close like this makes it almost personal. This mad destruction of humanity must cease!