Investigators Call On Qalandar

Investigators Call On Qalandar
Three very important figures were at Qalandar’s aastana (monastery): Showbiz’s cook who was an expert in making nehari, hareesa, siri payay and bong; Kenya’s Rao Anwar and the United Nations’ direct hawaldaar (constable).

They were accompanied by a huge retinue of aides and bodyguards. Showbiz’s cook Jeela Blade was escorted by 25 bullet-proof vehicles. He is known for cutting trotters with a shaving blade for a rare taste. Kenya’s Rao Anwar - Transparent Harry – came in a dozen Vigos. UN’s direct hawaldar You-en-ya was escorted by 200 guards on vintage Honda mopeds, year 1900. They were armed with the most sophisticated weapons like nail clippers’ knives.

“If I offered them langar (free communal meal), nothing will be left for the poor mouths.”

Qalandar loved talking to himself. But he had the ability to think and decide in seconds. After all, he was a genius. He sent all the guards and aides to Patay Khan’s long march, saying that a rare biryani was waiting for them. The same biryani that according to the food controllers is made with dog meat. But it is a dirty trick to keep the Youth away from the march – just like the trick invented in 1857 that the Enfield Rifle cartridges were greased with cow and pig fat. The cartridges must be torn open with the teeth. The cow was sacred to the Hindus and the pig was haram for the Muslims. So the Hindu-Muslim soldiers refused to use them.

Qalandar summoned Jeela first. “You ****head, you follow my recipes without credit. You did not know the basic principles of cooking. You would add tomatoes in qorma and onions in nehari – idiot! Now tell me what has brought you here?”

Jeela fell at Qalandar’s feet and apologised. “Sarkar, Showbiz is in deep trouble. He has formed a commission to probe a journalist’s murder, but the treasury is empty. He can’t pay the TA/DA of commission members. China has also refused to lend him some coins. Please help him!”

“Why did Showbiz not come himself? He has become too long for his boots. Our Sheeda Talli is right when he says that he is the prime minister of CDA. He goes towards Bani Gala and his writ ends. He goes towards Tarnol and his writ ends. He can’t go beyond Faizabad.”

“Sarkar he is your humble follower. He thought if he came out of the Prime Minister house, Youth will grab him and treat the way Jamatias treated Patay Khan in 2007 at the Punjab University.”

“Where there’s a will, there’s a way! He could have come in burqa like Maulana Abdul Aziz. He could have come in the darkness of the night like Patay Khan. Or he could have come in the car’s boot. Now get lost and adopt austerity. We can loan money to IMF if you stopped moving in bullet-proof cars,” concluded Qalandar.

Now it was Transparent Harry’s turn. He had been suspended. He feared the UN Commission on Arshad will expose him and he will be sacked. “Don’t worry my child. As long as Qalandar is playing tabla, no harm can reach you. Just donate in charity and every sin will be washed away,” said Qalandar.

“Sarkar I have already sent donation to your aastana via hundi. See the receipt!”

The figure was lucrative. “Good. You must be hungry. Go to the langar,” said Qalandar.

You-en-ya was the last visitor. “Sarkar the UN team was here much before the journalist’s murder. We had taken threat to his life seriously. We have met everyone and failed to find any clue. I can’t face my bosses at the UN Headquarters. Help me!”

“Don’t worry, my child. Take this. It will muzzle every mouth.” Qalandar handed him a voluminous report.

“What’s this?” asked You-en-ya in a tone full of surprise.

“It is the Haleem of the reports of some historical national and international commissions like John F. Kennedy Commission Report, Hamoodur Rehman Commission Report, Liaquat Ali Khan Commission Report, Benazir Bhutto Commission Report, Saleem Shehzad Commission Report, Hamid Mir Commission Report, etc. The conclusions and the findings are the same in all. Dispatch it to your Headquarters via any New Khan Coach. But don’t forget to change the title – and change the date, place and other names!” Qalandar advised and winked.

“Thank you Sarkar. Please accept this modest gift...”

“What it this?”

“Nothing Sarkar. Just a Rolex watch, a pair of cuff links and some rings for our bhabhi!” said You-en-ya smilingly.

Mohammad Shehzad is based in Islamabad. He has been writing for national and foreign publications since 1992. He is the author of The State of Islamic Radicalism in Pakistan (Routledge Taylor & Francis) and Love and Fear: Poems Beyond Time ( He learns tabla and classical vocal music. He is a passionate cook and shares his recipes at Email: