Ustad

Bashir-Ud-Din

(B. 11.07.1922)

 
Diploma in commercial design 1940, fine arts 1944, textile design 1946, miniature painting 1948, from Mayo school of Arts, Lahore. Taught painting and drawing at National College of Arts, Lahore, 1952-82. Participated in several national (1982, 1984, 1988, 1994) and local (1960, 1975, 1977) exhibitions including Duck Exhibitions including Duck Exhibitions, YMCA, Lahore 1941; held solo exhibition at Lahore 1992. Awarded Fellowship of the National College of Arts, 1994.
 
Daata Durbar, 1967
The narrow lane was packed with moved and moving men, young and old. Bearded and shaven and moustached, turband, capped and bareheaded. People with bundles and bedding on their shoulders, on heads. They had come several hundred miles from the remote village and distant towns to spend the next new days here. People who had brought their young to be blessed, who had come to pray long rights and who knew all would be provided.

Drummers and tongs-players, covering-carrying groups were led by youth who danced and pranced and whirled. They quickened as the drum quickened. They had come to pay homage, to bow their heads in gratitude. There were some in green with bangles on their hands and chains on their ankles who churned the air with their long hair and the vigorous tossing of their heads. Groups of aspiring Sufis chanted Allah-Hu in unison. Some sported empty milk cans, others plastic bags in the hope of filling them at the Langer-khana, charity kitchen.

On both sides of the lane the small shops were bright with mercury lights. The wares glittered and gleamed: munds, of the flowers and petals, of pickles and preserves and silver foiled, mithai of sugar cakes and sweet assortments, garlands in rows, attar in vials and kohl in mainature phials. Shops blaring folk songs, encomiums to the Prophet (pbuh) and Qawwalis. Gates where tandoor chapattis were being distributed without charge and shops spreading out their books. On the ground beads and bangles sellers, ring hawkers who engraved names while one waited and trinket peddlers. Out on the main roads cauldrons of oil steamed and sizzled tens of delicacies. There were clay pots and pottery heaped in hay. There were fortune-telling parrots and cheep toy vendors. In the green belt of the old city the Ferris-wheel turned, the circus tent was pitched and amusement stalls had come up. The sacred and the secular mixed.

The shrine and the mosque had been draped in lights. Inside a more reverent crowd queued to touch the marble window of the tomb. The coverings shrunk here and slithered like green snakes, over the heads of he devotees, as they were pulled at the other end and deposited next the grave to the saint. Thousands sat on straw mats, praying, meditating, reading the Quran, reciting verses in praise of the Prophet, the saint.

 
 

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