In an orphanage in 1947, a 14-year-old boy recited this poem at the parents’ day ceremony. The school was MC Bohri Primary School. The orphanage was Darul Shafqat. The city was Lahore. Faqir Muhammad Shami had just completed his fourth grade and was selected as the class speaker. Today, at 81 years of age, he remembers this poem with fondness. In a way, this has come to define his life. He calls upon people and shares with them the stories of Lahore’s past and present. He is the unofficial guide to the city’s monuments. You may have seen him. He is small, frail, and invisible, unless he comes up to you and starts speaking in English about a certain corner of the Badshahi mosque. When you get to know him a little, you realise he is much taller than he appears. And like all legends of this country, he too is fading into obscurity.
Read More: Lahore’s Unofficial Tourist Guide: Faqir Muhammad Shami