2000s Archive

Up on the Roof

continued (page 3 of 3)

When the sun sets behind the ruined seam of the mosque wall, we listen to a recording of Abida Parveen, the Sufi singer. The music, meditative, digestive, echoes the seamless kebab. This is how we soothe the rifts, reconcile past with present—art can perform this feat. For on such an evening, we, the kebabs, and the music are one. And the modern city grinding on below. And a lost time of Mughal kings, of food that smelled of roses, of Persian poetry, sentiments of pink and sugar, of Sufi mystics singing with an urgency that has not lost its pertinence for this culture over the centuries.

“Break the mosque, break the temple, but do not break a heart,” Abida Parveen sings, “Do not break a heart, for that is where God resides.”

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