Let me introduce you to my friend. My new friend. I only met him the other night. His name is Rahullah Jan. He invited me into his palace for a meal. A palace fit for a king. His palace on the side of the street next to the stinking drain. To you, at first acquaintance, he might look like he’s not very good company – but seriously, if looks could deceive. He is the perfect host. Wise. Funny in a childish kind of way (for life should not be taken too seriously). He is also generous to a fault.
He lives not very far from me, and I have now started visiting him on a regular basis. He lives on his own. His wife died many years ago and he was too old to marry again. He has no children. But he seems content. He doesn’t have much – but he has enough. And he’s lived an extraordinary life.
He has seen the coming and passing of the Soviets. He was even tortured by them. And then the Mujahideen tortured him. And finally when the Taliban took over he fled over the border to Peshawar in Pakistan where he stayed for 10 years eking out a grueling existence on the very edge, and then the Taliban were removed by the Americans and he came back to Kabul.
His eyes tell it all. Suspicious looking eyes but also weary. Weary and tired of life. Almost as if he has stopped willing and desiring. He has seen enough to know how fickle life and its accoutrements can be.
In one mud hut room on the side of the road he lives. In the same room he cooks. Sleeps and watches TV for entertainment. He has no troubles in life he say’s. He is a quiet man – not a talker, and he is wise beyond words.
His wisdom is etched in the lines on his face and those sparking eyes see much. They may look sneaky and suspicious. But trust me – they hide many truths.
More truths then I could pick up in ten of my lives.