May Shamali Be Forever Covered with Tulips

I visited Shamali twice over the past few days.

The first trip was work-related and only took me upto the part where the rocky road to Bamiyan branches out to the left. The second time, a day later, because I could not be at peace knowing that I could take family there and did not; and much farther up north, just this side of the Salang pass.

There is no other way to put this: I simply love this part of the country.

Maybe it is because the simplicity and rural aura of the countryside and the way its relative calm stands in such sharp contrast to the nearby Kabul -which is overwhelming, congested, and smoggy. Perhaps it is the grapes, the berries, the restless whitewaters. Maybe it is the people – the good, simple, honest rural people – like good, simple, honest rural people everwhere in Afghanistan, and everywhere else. (Presently I am reminded of Chekhov’s nostalgia for the simplicity and honesty and moral steadfastness of peasants in his short stories.)

Or maybe it is an altogether different matter. I can’t say.

I just have a weakness for Shamali, and should anyone sing in my presence, as a great court musician once did in front of that yesteryear king of nine months on the throne of Kabul, that:
شمالی لاله زار باشه به ما چی
Then I shall be equally outraged, and correct him thus:
شمالی لاله زار باشه همیشه

May Shamali be forever doused in Tulips, covered with them, evergreen and ever beautiful.

ps. I took some pictures which I may post to my Flickr page.

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~ by safrang on August 7, 2007.

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