Sohail Abid

Writer exploring tradition, art, and music of the people of Punjab

Dunyadari da khayal

It was late and having consumed four to five glasses of jaam-e-sheereen, I was a bit high when I left for home. The tax-driver I found was a jolly old man who, throughout the ride, kept telling me that everyone deserves a chance at a carefree and fun life because “that’s what life is for.” What a great pindiwaal, I thought.

Mid-way, he suddenly asked, like they all do at one point, “Where are you from?”

“Pakpattan,” I replied.

“You are from a great town, young man.”

“Ahaan… Yeah.”

“Tell me a miracle of Baba Farid.”

“Well, I don’t recall a miracle right now, but I can read a line of his poetry if you say?” I said.

“I’d rather take a miracle,” he insisted.

“Too bad, I can only be poetic in this state,” I smiled and then read this verse of Baba Farid’s: “Main bhulawa pagg da matt maili ho jaaye/ Gehla rooh na jaan-ee sirr bhi mitti khaaye.” (Fareed, I was worried that my turban might become dirty. My thoughtless self did not realize that one day, dust will consume my head as well.)

“Pagg, I think, means our status in the eyes of other people, we care too much about what they would think, I think he’s saying that we shouldn’t,” I gave my interpretation.

“Hanji, dunya-dari da bohta hi khayal rehnda sanu,” he commented. (Yeah, we do care too much about our status.)

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