A year after the tragedy, Sehwan continues to serve as an abode for peace, harmony

Karachi: Unlike every other day, the dhammal at Lal Shahbaz Qalandar’s shrine continued for an hour on Saturday.

The hour-long performance with head banging and dancing by dozens of devotees gathered at the central courtyard featured bigger dhools that are arranged for a handful of occasions during the year when the dhammal continues past its daily schedule of half an hour.

Earlier in the day, kathak dancer Sheema Kirmani visited the shrine to pay respect to 13th century Sufi saint and to perform a traditional dance in memory of those who lost their lives in last year’s terrorist attack. For security reasons, she had to wrap up her performance during the day time.

Meanwhile, a large number of devotees, women, men and children, visited the shrine on Saturday ‘to seek Qalandar’s intercession with the Almighty’.

Shahbaz Qalandar’s shrine is famous for attracting people from different faiths and sectarian orientations from across the country. At the shrine, Sunni and Shia Muslims, Hindus and Christians come to seek Qalandar’s blessings around the year.

Shahbaz Qalandar is remembered in various folk poems that have over the years provided inspiration for many folk and popular songs.

The phrase Dama Dam Mast Qalandar has been used in musical renditions not just in Pakistan but in India and many other countries across the globe.

Published in Daily Times, February 18th 2018.