When Mazar burns, it is Kabol who hurts too

Excerpts from diary entries

I am here writhing with quiet laughter in one, crying the next. There is no originality in thinking, no questioning of systems.  How does the soul of this country survive in the heart’s idealism, the standards of cultural refinement and intellectual excellence, thinking there is more to scholarly contribution than merely the exegesis of exegesis. When Mazar burns, it is Kabol who hurts too. Then as the Prophet says, but like the wayfarer or the horseman who stops under the shade of a tree for a time, he too eventually moves on.

Gustavo Santaolalla, We play till the morning, till the muezzin calls. There is enough pain in this city to abandon the laws of God. Come play my disheveled state.


I was shocked when I saw Aisha – she was only 22 years old. I expected her to be a lot older but She was my age….and I thought why should any mother be put through the insecurity of having her child taken away. Her eyes were red, she did not stop to say anything to anyone, but quickly covered her child with her scarf and huddled against the end of her seat. Her eyes kept darting to the sides as though anticipating that anytime someone would attack her. I did not want to intrude upon her barrier, so I stood some distance away. Her suspicion of everyone (apart from L who she knew) was somewhat disturbing and I too felt awkward about my surroundings.

I was told later that Aisha’s term is over. They extended her term for a lack of place for her to stay. She refused to return to her village saying they would all kill her.

Now she will live at the hospice with her child who has a name in Pashto sounding like “the name-less one”.

She has left me her eyes — those that distrust, her innocent nature once stolen and this world is her enemy. I am reminded immediately of where I really am.


4 thoughts on “When Mazar burns, it is Kabol who hurts too

  1. These stories are very descriptive. I think you know they are decontextualized but perhaps self-censorship? or not wanting to disclose others?

    I admire your writing because they show your anguish, you use words to cushion them, you play with words they are never literal. You even say things you don’t mean like ‘abandon laws of god’- it is used to express dissonance with what is. But becareful for they may get cited and used against you.

    Your writing also show the relationship between writer and subject (the people you write about), they are reflections of you and your own struggles.

    Get out of law, go write a book.

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