EAST AND WEST
PESHAWAR BY J. SPAIN
J. SPAIN VISITED NWRP ON SEVERAL OCCASIONS and had the opportunity of observing closey the pathans way of life. He developed deep intrest in them and made many friends there. “ Peshawar is an extract, which has been taken from his book on the pathans. In this article he has given a vivid description of different important places and streets of the city. The uaint charm of Peshawar seems to have a strange fascinaion for his writer.
On one visit when he comes to Peshawar, he happens to visit Chowk Yadgar and the surrounding places. The scense of a professional “hakim, with a large crowd of idlers standing around him. Attract his attention first. He joins the spectator and watches, the feats of the hakim with great interest. He is amused to see how he is extorting money, from the people by selling anti date against snake bits.
The writer then walks about the streets and reminds himsef, how caranans in the past came herer, from different parts of central Asia and sold.ba
Their merchandise in the local market. During his visit he comes across an old man sitting in a garage and patching a tyre who tells him bricfly about the old city and especially about “Mohabat Khan Mosque”. His inerest in aroused and he decides to see the mosque first.
MOHABAT KHAN MOSQUE
The old man tells him aobut its hsitorical importance as how during the sikh regin the muslims used to be hanges form its minarets. The writer notes thaht the mosque is situated in a busy and squalid area, the silversimth make.
Which is hardly a dozen feet wide? The mosque is a fine specimen of old architecture is dazzling minarets, vast tiled courtyard with a pool in the middle and its grand, structure all these enhance the beauty of the mosque.
The writer ascends one of the minarets through the kind permission of the imam of the mosque from where he has a view of the city. He fined that the roofs of the houses are jumbled together and life is going on merrily.
The sight of a group of men, seen through an open window interests him deeply.
They are drinking tea and enjoying the puffs of the chillum. Through another open window he notices some women busy at sorting spices and chattering together. The sound of drum and pipes coming through a half closed window also attracts his attention.
THE TEA STALLS
A VARIETY OF GOODS ARE SOLD IN THE STREETS OF PESHAWAR. Situated among these streets are the tea stalls, which meet the tastes of different people. These tea stalls have more or less burning coal and rocks along both walls for keeping pots and teacups. Although black tea and Kashmiri tea is sold on these shops but it is Qahwa, the green tea, which is commonly like by the Pathans.
The writer talks in detail about the process of its saved to the customers at a low price of two four annas.
He considers it to be a good bargain.
While walking through different streets of the city, he happens to come to the shoc bazaar of Peshawar. Here he is shown a variety of shoes, which are meant to be used on different occasions.
He then goes to the street of hardware merchants where he notices Different articles, but the knives of Peshawar interest him greatly. He compares them with the knives of Gurkhas and declares that they are equally fine and good.
The writer then visits Peshawar Cantonment: he says that it was common with the British that wherever they went in India, they built cantonments.
These used to be the centers of all their activities. He praises the posh atmosphere of Peshawar cantonment, which presents a fine blend of western and Pathan culture.