My Friend, Kabuliwala!

kabuliwala

As I walked through the streets of Dongri—what I call The Den of Dons—I met a man selling weird power medicines. I was very keen and wanted to inquire about the stuff and so, out of sheer habit of poking my nose in other people’s business, I started to question the seller about the medicines.

वल्लाह! ये अफ़ग़ानिस्तान का मौज़ूं है.

I immediately understood that this man was a Pathan from Afghanistan and he was talking about this medicine made out of rare herbs and dry-fruits. I was amazed and very curios to talk to a Pathan in my life.

This man a 6-foot fair and handsome Pathan named Hakim Ahmed Gul Khan from Afghanistan and was almost staying in Mumbai since 40 years. He collects rare herbs form the Bamyan mountains on horses and makes a special medicine and sells it in various cities of India and sometimes in nearby countries, except Pakistan.

After a brief chat, I started calling him Gul Khan and inquired that if he ever saw Pran sahib’s role in Hindi film Zanjeer.

वल्लाह! हमको मालूम. बोहोत अच्छा काम किआ था.

The chat crossed likes between a million topics from life in his land, to culture, to politics, to war, to religion, to medicines, to this and to that and finally to romance, especially about his two wives which is supposedly a culture in his village.

ओ, पठान लोग बोहोत गरम होता है, एक बीवी से काम नहीं चलता.

Well, it was a brief chat but such an inspiring one for both of us. It opened my mind to talk to a complete stranger and I was really amazed to see that the stranger reciprocated in such a beautiful way. He very well represented his nation and I very well represented mine and although, the local people treat him very badly, hope he’ll carry a beautiful picture of our country back to his motherland!

And, not forget to mention that he invited me to his home in Afghanistan whenever I like and also offered me a stay with his family.

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