The Mashk Wala

I was wandering through the narrow ways of Downtown Srinagar. Exhausted, drowning in sweat. I was looking desperately for water, then a person with a huge unusual leather bag came near me, he offered me water in a mud pot. I didn’t see left or right I just drank from that pot of water. When I was finished drinking I said; May The Almighty give you Jannat Ul Firdaus. I gave the person a pretty small amount. I asked him his name, He replied “I am a Bahisti”

Bahisti is derived from the Persian word Bahist meaning Paradise. They’re commonly referred to as Mashk Walas. The Bahistis were a common sight in the olden times. The Mashk they carry on their shoulders is made up of goatskin which has to be mended after few months. In The events of Festivals, The mashk Walas used to clean the streets by throwing water on them. The Mashak Walas can’t be seen today due to the commercialized water business.

Giving water to someone is a virtue and who practices this virtue will go to heaven. The Name Bahisti is justified as these people would be the inhabitants of Bahist.

Khalid Khursheed

Class IX

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