Tag Archives: harmony

Rabbab and the Rabbab master

Pashtunkhwa motherland is enriched of its beauty. You can find a diversity of people from artisan to the experts and social scientist, intelligentsia. I met a beautiful Afridi Pashtun may be in his 70s sit in a calmer shop; seemingly hostel room; filled with his food stuff, cloths, useable and some pieces of the music instruments.

Sarfaraz Khan a legend who works on this Pashtun musical tool “Rabbab”; is an awesome personality; can be a proud Pashtun if you look him from distance. But a greeting with him would melt the ice and friendly conversation can easily take place between you (the visitor) and the Rabbab master. He’s hailing from the Khyber Agency and told much about the Pashtun poet “Khatir Afridi and Hamza Shinwari”; he know that Khatir Baba was not having qualification but was still good even Hamza Baba has told about his abilities that proved him to be Khatir.

At first when we met him; he asked “are you people from Kandahar?”; when we told that we are from Quetta; then went in deeper chats, his eyes were shinning. And we asked about the Rabbab pieces to show us and if possible play them before us that we would understand how it’s played. Whenever our friends would ask him how’s Rabbab learnt; he would reply in a question “how do you learn Aalif, Bay Thay and the Pashto and other languages?” we would reply that you mean by practice. He would nod his head of course; he kept continuing, when you were students your father or elder brother would write on your writing piece of wood “Takhthi” with simple marks. And you were able to follow them at school with more black ink on these marks with your bamboo pen. This way you learnt everything. Things are learnt by rehearsal; like a teacher teach you a bit of thing then you start going after that and practicing it; same is Rabbab it’s not hereditary.

Much can be felt in this old age man; the love of his people, nation, geography, reality, music and the most loving tool “Rabbab”. He started playing Rabbab within a minute and then let us hear it; we could easily recognize which popular Pashto song it is.

Do practice and enjoy life; the keenness is the best way to put you does something innovative; so try it in your life. Hey you guys can change the Rabbab even after a year if someone tell you that you people are cheated by me.

Looking alone with his room now turned shop; different Rabbabs hanged from the walls around having different prices; even a decorated piece with 65 thousand rupees.

He told the history of Rabbab and its components from that it’s made. Started that do you know seeps in the oceans? These are beautiful and they are decorated artistically on the Rabbab; hey guys never feel they are the simple seeps/shells found in rivers; these are oceanic; look at their color they are different and hard. And the body of Rabbab is made of “berry” tree.

Rest of the woods is not having that longer life when they are cut; it’s only “berry” which is living for long even after being cut; not only is this quality alone. Do you know the body of Rabbab made of berry tree gives very pleasant sound when its chords are tighten and disturbed with your fingers. No other wood can do; pointing to his room older “1880s” made door. Look its pine; this is not that better for Rabbab; though it’s for windows and doors.

With cracking jokes; you cannot remain alerted youth forever; there would be a day you would come old and your size would change; but its berry tree that keeps Rabbabs’ size the same forever. And the passage of time on Rabbab piece makes its sound clearer and its value greater.

(Peshawar; Dabgari Garden, the area where Pashto music)

 

 

 

#KhanShaheed an inspiration for us

Having his paternal connection to the Ahmed Shah Abdali’s top general and the conqueror of Panipath battle Barkhurdar Khan Achakzai and maternally he’s linked to Abdullah Khan Achakzai, the martyred and sparkle of first Anglo Afghan war; Abdul Samad Khan Achakzai aka Khan Shaheed got his political inspiration from King Amanullah Khan.

It was the day when Khan Shaheed went to Chaman the first town where King Amanullah Khan was leaving through train for his Europe tour, among the people of the area this young teenager was deeply observing the “Afghan King” and had firmly believing in him as own king though Khan Shaheed had opened eyes in the Afghan territory now under the rule of great Britain.

Early in the morning the first shocking seen for Khan Shaheed was when the British guards ready for King Amanullah Khan’s receiving had dirt on their boots and was cleaned with cloth pieces in the hands of “Indian servants”. This shocked him and kept him in deep thoughts, the second was when the King arrived and a huge mass of the Pashtuns was gathered and King came to their side they kept unmanaged discussion with him; which the King couldn’t hear.

According to Khan Shaheed the King asked “Is there anyone from you to talk to?” it imprinted on Khan Shaheed’s mind that our people are not organized and have no political leadership and this is clearly known from the King question. He writes further that the King went from them having no chat further was a kind of “disappointment”.

These were the impression pushed Khan Shaheed in thought to organize his people for the political struggle is need of the time otherwise we are in a greater number but unorganized mass will never become liberated from the “boot cleaning duties”. No matter how much wealthy we are and what are our history, culture and civilization. Khan Shaheed was firm believer of liberation; as human being is born free and should live free; freedom is his/her natural right.

The sub-continent was under the rule of Britishers; political movements were underway to liberate the continent from the rule of English powerful army. Khan Shaheed wanted a unity of the Pashtun Afghans and political awareness of their liberty and history was need of the time. As the subcontinent had been under invaders’ empire so the masses were not allowed to have freedom of speech, opinion, press and democracy was never felt in the entire continent.

Khan Shaheed always considered Afghanistan his motherland; as he writes about the Afghan Kings “our own King and Kingdom”; his writings are full of the Pashtun Afghan terms means he believed that greater Afghanistan existed and never let any power of the world to rule over them whether it was Alexander, Changez Khan, Halako Khan, Arab, Sassanids or the Sikhs. Every one of them felt the powerful slaps on their face in the form of Afghan National Movement.

The love of Afghan liberation and Afghan unity was in his blood from paternal fore father Barkhurdar Khan Achakzai the conqueror of Panipath and Ghazi Abdullah Khan Achakzai the sparkle of first Anglo Afghan war.

Khan Shaheed believed in peaceful political movement; this is why he’s arrested in his 13th year as political prisoner by the administration for arranging a demonstration in front of Gulistan High School. And he states that he respect his brother “Abdul Salam Khan Achakzai” because he’s the soul man who earns bread for his family and support him economically and has given him the freedom to remain active for the political struggle. But would never support Salam Khan if there is a “tribal or personnel fight” because Khan Shaheed sees the fight is never a way to overcome our issues; so remaining peaceful and rational is the only way to struggle. And aware people and let them active for their political and basic human rights.

This is the reason Khan Shaheed spend 33 years (out of his life 66 years) behind the bars and at home imprisonment by the British and then after 14th August 1947 by the Pakistani martials. He never missed a day to aware his people; and was the one man crusade who finally formed Anjuman e Watan political party, then Wror (brethren) Pashtun, joined National Awami Party, the biggest political party of the oppressed nations inside Pakistan when it violated its constitution so he separated and announced his own National Awami Party Pashtoonkhwa; now going through the struggle voyage as Pashtoonkhwa Milli Awami Party, led by his son Mahmood Khan Achakzai as its chairman.

Khan Shaheed never compromised on democracy; he was firm believer that the people will would change our fate not of the “dictators” orders. This was why neither he compromised with the British nor after them with the Pakistan army’s powerful generals who violated the constitution and ruled the country under martial laws. Khan Shaheed asked for a federation of Pakistan where all nations would have equal rights and control over their resources and supremacy of parliament and rule of law.

He loved his language, culture, history and geography this is why when National Awami Party (NAP) failed to provide the Pashtun united unit in Pakistan; he agitated and formed his own political party to connected the masses from “Bolan—(the historical pass near Quetta) to Chitral” the peak of mountains in the north of Khyber Pashtunkhwa.

Khan Shaheed in his auto biography compares the two annual meetings of his village with the meetings of the ancient democratic parliament of Swiss—he had read about. And explain that every kind of issue whether it was social, health, economic, political or tribal rivalry was discussed in this gathering led by the “Meeraaow—the agrarian water management head”, someone knowing the writing and calculation of the water timing. This way he’s very satisfied by the counseling of Pashtun Afghans; and solving their issues through dialogue. This makes Khan Shaheed being impressed by the rule of law and democratic discussions in his ancestral village of Inayatullah Karez Gulistan.

Khan Shaheed never believed in hate; he narrates a story of his sister operation in Quetta Mission Hospital as he’s in his early age but meet the nurses in hospital. And even go with these Christian missionary hospital nurses to their home where he eats food with them (Christians were not felt religiously clean people). His parent had asked him about his absence, he clearly told them that he was with the nurses and spend his day with them ate with them. His parents had asked him “you ate with English nurses” he had replied of course; because they eat the same we eat and drink the same water we do then what’s the issue if I eat with them? (Christians were propagated to be eating pig meat and drinking wine).

Once the tribes men of Khan Shaheed abducted an English Major, a captain and major’s wife, though Khan Shaheed later came to know they were treated well in Afghanistan under the light of Pashtunwali—the Pashtun code of life. But it disturbed him in bars; because the man who had abducted these English had asked British government to release Abdul Samad Khan Achakzai (Khan Shaheed) as a demand. And Khan Shaheed was afraid of their being because in Pashtun society abducting a woman was considered the unforgiveable sin. And an inquiry was launched after Khan Shaheed and later he came to know that the Christian nurse had told the inquiry team about Khan Shaheed’s feelings toward her and his innocence before the British officials. Later on those English abductees were released safe and sound.

Khan Shaheed considered women as the equal part of our society, political and social system. This is why he was the pioneer to enroll his only daughter in school in a time when education even for boys was thought to be something wrong. But he broke the ice and let his followers to do the same. Later he didn’t stop taking his daughter on a political visit to Afghanistan; where she remained with him through the visit.

The philosophy of peaceful politics, democracy, social justice, equity among masses and nations, rights of nations on their natural resources were the areas struggled for. And always believed that Afghanistan the historical motherland of the Pashtuns on this side of the Durand Line; so considered it a form of a body. If somewhere in the body is burnt or in pain whole the body get pains. This is why he left a stronger message of unity for the Pashtun Afghan land as explained by him “from Aamu to Abasin (rivers) and Bolan to Chitral peaks”. He was tried to divert his peaceful way of politics and he didn’t compromise. On 2nd December 1973 Khan Shaheed room was thrown with two hand grenades and this terror attack separated him physically from us; but ideologically his mission widened and millions of Pashtun are now follower of his ideology in the form of Pashtoonkhwa Milli Awami Party.

Source: “Zama Zhwand Aw Zhwandoon”– My life and livelyhood, the autobiography of Khan Shaheed Abdul Samad Khan Achakzai.