“ Logo uth jao! Sehri ki tyari kro. Bashir Phairi Wala aa gya.”(O people! Get up for fast. Bashir is here to wake you up.)
Jul 26, 2012
Asian Traditions, Dhol, Dhol Wala, Pakistani Culture, Pakistani Traditions, Phairi Wala, Ramadan, Traditions
Phairi Wala --------- Tradition or A Way to Earn?
Dhol Wala has become a tradition in most areas of Pakistan. He beats his drum early in the Ramadan Mornings to awake people for Sehri. Bashir Phairi Wala is struggling to save this tradition.
Ramadan is here with all its blessings and we are among all those lucky ones who again got a chance to gather these blessings ALHAMDULILLAH. Beautifully decorated and crowded mosques, teeming markets, kachoreez and last but not at all the least “Phairi Wala” are all the belongings of Ramadan. Former belonging is found commonly in the middle or lower middle class areas of Pakistan. Many kids or even elders of elite class are not even aware of this “creature” but a big number residing in small colonies or societies are not only well aware of this but also wait for him with the sight of Ramadan moon.
I also know one such phairi wala who has been doing this work since 20 years. He is called “Bashir Phairi Wala”. According to him, that’s his family occupation and before him, his father used to make wakeup call by beating a drum (dhol). Bashir works at a shop in day time to earn his living and in Ramadan he takes additional responsibility of waking up people for sehri.
“How much do you earn from this work, Bashir?” I asked him.
“Baji! I don’t perform this work for earning anything.” He replied with a peaceful smile.
“Then why you do this work even if you know that everyone has alarms these days in clocks, mobiles and even digital watches?” I was a bit incredulous.
“These alarms can take my place?” He replied by my looking into my eyes.
“I don’t do this only for the sake of waking up people only. I know they have better sources than me to wake them up. This is a tradition more than an occupation. People wait for me as Ramadan begins. I have been doing this work in this locality for a number of years and people love to introduce their kids to me and tell them about my passion for this work. I feel pleasure in doing this and will continue as long as I am alive and after me my son will continue like I followed my father”. He said with sparkling eyes and moved away.
I know this shout will follow drum beat every Ramadan as the person doing it considers it a part of tradition more than an occupation and traditions never die.