Salman Rashid

Travel writer, Fellow of Royal Geographical Society

My name is Salman Rashid

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In February 1989, shortly after the fatwa, I was in Gwadar. Sitting in the town square (oh, how the town has changed in these years!), I was minding my own business over a cup of tea when a stranger came and sat opposite. We started talking and I learned that he was Iranian. He asked me what I did for a living and I said I was a writer and then he asked me my name. The next thing I knew was the stunned reaction of the man. Very slowly, in real slow motion, the man started to rise from his chair. Then he point a finger at me and said, 'You are the man!

It was only now I realised what was about to happen. I quickly grabbed his outstretched hand and forced him back into the chair. And then I talked like I have never talked in my life. I told him I was Rashid, Rashid, Rashid and not Rushdie. I whipped out my ID card for him to read and told him I lived in Lahore. The man quieted down, looked hard at me and said I would quite look like Rushdie if I trimmed my beard a little. I had a thick, black beard in those days which was shaved off after returning home.

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posted by Salman Rashid @ 5:51 PM,

10 Comments:

At May 7, 2013 at 6:21 PM, Anonymous Kausar Bilal said...

A very enjoyable read! Got stunned to imagine the situation. Ignorance is an evil.

 
At May 7, 2013 at 6:38 PM, Anonymous Ramla said...

OMG! OMG!

 
At May 7, 2013 at 7:13 PM, Anonymous M Behzad Jhatial said...

waw.... great man u r sir....

 
At May 7, 2013 at 7:35 PM, Anonymous Deb Sistrunk said...

I wish I had been there to see that stunned look! Excellent post.

 
At May 8, 2013 at 8:50 AM, Anonymous Salman Rashid said...

Thank you, folks. Trust me, for a few moments I did believe I had reached the end of my road. The way things are now, and were beginning to get at that time in 1989, ordinary people no longer see reason - nor too at that time. Once the stoning would have begun, the crowd would only have got larger and larger. Shudder!

 
At May 8, 2013 at 10:31 AM, Blogger Sajini Chandrasekera said...

Yes, you are Salman Rashid, the man who made the world see Pakistan through his eyes

 
At May 17, 2013 at 11:30 AM, Anonymous Aghader Ami said...

Thank your stars that you were not in Iran. I could have been more than scary.

 
At May 17, 2013 at 12:08 PM, Anonymous Salman Rashid said...

Yes, Aghader, it could actually have been worse.

 
At May 22, 2013 at 10:45 AM, Blogger Nayyar Julian said...

OMG! This could have been worst.

 
At May 17, 2014 at 2:55 PM, Blogger Ahsan Atiq said...

Nice short story! I enjoyed reading it. ^-^

 

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My Books

Deosai: Land of the Gaint - New

The Apricot Road to Yarkand


Jhelum: City of the Vitasta

Sea Monsters and the Sun God: Travels in Pakistan

Salt Range and Potohar Plateau

Prisoner on a Bus: Travel Through Pakistan

Between Two Burrs on the Map: Travels in Northern Pakistan

Gujranwala: The Glory That Was

Riders on the Wind

Books at Sang-e-Meel

Books of Days