Day 3: Today I had the pleasure of meeting “Khan.” Khan is the man who sells rayt wali challi (Corn made/cooked inside hot sand).
I asked Khan (a common name for people from the North, Pashtun, and Afghans) where he is from and it was hard for me to understand his Urdu because he had an accent; he’s not a native Urdu speaker. He said he was from a town near Afghanistan, but was not Afghan. I asked him if he spoke any Farsi or Dari but he only knows Arabic and Urdu… that was an interesting find for me!
Khan is an old man whose age I couldn’t even guess if I tried. His face has dark and deep lines. His hands are blackened by the sand he deals with daily. He dresses in traditional Shalwar Kameez which may have been white at some point but now looks brown, a sweater vest, traditional shawl that men wear in the winter, and a religious hat. This man braves the cold winters, which is the season for his corn, with just these items.
I asked him how long he has been working and he said: “Main bachpan se mazdoori karta hu” (“I have been doing labor since I was a child”); and he has been selling corn on his little cart in Rawalpindi for 35 years. He comes around to every street selling this corn cooked in side fine sand door-to-door.
He is a gracious and pious man. When we bought corn from his yesterday, he gave my aunt 5 corns on the cob for free. He said that because my aunt and grandparents always take care of him, he would not charge her. After my aunt insisted a lot, he only took 100 Rupees ($1.00) which is well below the rate. Today, I insisted he take more and after accepted only $2.50 for three corns, he gave me another one free and not only that, he kept giving me his blessings. He kept praying to God for my long and successful life. God bless him. This man has touched my heart.
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