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)