Tag Archives: Swat

The Road to Swat

It was Son’s brother in law B’s wedding day. We were quite late in reaching our destination which was a wedding hall in Chakdara. Whereas most people followed the old road to Swat from Tahtbai, we went on the newly built motorway. This was a longer route, but smoother than the old one, and had less traffic.

In the evening before the wedding the boy’s parents had invited their relatives. The event was held at home. It was colorful, first with the girls carrying thals of mehndi, and candles dancing on the dais, and later on men doing the Hatyn ( Peshawari dance).

The next day was the wedding day when we went to Swat. The boy’s parents had arranged the lunch for the guests there. We returned in the evening via the old route. The road was in terrible condition, and our car rattled with every bump. We feared we would be the last ones in the wedding party to return to the groom’s home, but were pleased when we came to know that we were ahead of the groom, and rest of the wedding party.

B’s friends had blocked the gate to the house with a vehicle. They demanded money to let anyone into the bridegroom’s home. They made a ton of money with B vowing to wreck vengeance upon them upon once their turn to get married came.

The Cult Of The Tomb

In our society some people tend to go the mazars. Mazars are tombs of holy or pious men. They go there to pray to God to help them. In realty most of them, the ignorant ones pray directly to the dead person buried there to help them and take away their woes. They think it is a panache for all ills. They will be sick. Instead of going to the doctor they find it easy to go visit the the last abiding place of some holy person.

Once a road was being widened near Lady Reading Hospital Peshawar. Along the side of the road a person was buried a long time ago. The tomb was festooned with a lot of little colorful flags as is usual here. The person in charge ordered that the tomb should be erased and the remains buried in a cemetery. A lot of hue and cry was raised. The grave was opened despite that. A long stick was found instead of the skeleton. Somebody wanting to mint money had built that fake mazar. People visiting give gifts of money and food.

There is a mazar in Lahore which is very famous, the mazar of Hazrat Data Gunj Bahksh. Many people go there for their prayers to be answered. I pity the poor chap. Imagine day and night the ding dong (music) going on. I think if he could, he would have run away from that place.

One of my husband’s relative was suffering from breast cancer. Instead of going to the doctor, she kept visiting a mazar in Swat in the hope of getting well. After she became more ill she went to a cancer specialist. It was too late. How can a dead person grant you a wish? His own account closed at the time of his death. May be he was a good person, but who answers prayers from the grave?

I see so many of our ‘Great Leaders’ going to such places. They are the death knell of our country. They have only brought chaos to our homeland. Why don’t they directly pray to God ? There was a photo of President Zardari in the newspaper visiting the mazar of Lal Shebaz Qulander. Probably he was praying for a second term. I hope and pray to God his wish is not answered. He and his cronies are done with.

It’s really ironic that in this age educated people are so naive as to believe in the power of dead people of long ago.