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Saf Karna June 7, 2006

Posted by KG in Islamabad, Urdu.

Of the three guards posted at US Embassy Islamabad/Diplodocus House Annex, there's definitely one that's my favorite character.  The young one is a bit lazy, the quiet one is quiet and always seems to be sprinting to get back to what he's supposed to be doing (guarding, that is), but the third is just hilariously awesome.  For one, he's a former member of Pakistan's Frontier Constabulary, which is pretty hardcore by most military standards.  He also may be the only former member of the Frontier Constabulary who wears eyeliner daily.  Some sort of Pathan-Goth?  I've never seen him out of uniform, but that's unlikely considering the tapes he tends to listen to are more of the Afghan folk song variety.  According to the young one, he's an amazing shot, which makes me feel slightly safer.  And every time I come home (when he's on duty), he lifts his right knee to his chin, stomps it as hard as he can, salutes me, and loudly says "Thank you sir!"  (Maybe for doing an awesome parking job?)

But by far the best thing about my guard (though these things are all fairly great in their own right) is that despite his pedigree as a possibly Robert Smith worshipping, sharpshooting, incredibly martial Pathan, he considers his most important duty…


… washing my car.  And like a man who truly loves what he does, he does it incredibly well.  He started doing it completely unbidden and never once asked for a penny, but I pass him some extra Jinnahs anyway.  Not exactly for the car washing.  You see, the guard's name is Safdar, and "saf" in Urdu means clean (right, Urdu speaking readers?).  So to recap: wears eyeliner, stomps a big right foot when he sees me, can probably take out a mountain goat at five hundred yards, loves to wash my car, and has a name that in an Urdu-wordplay related way belies his favorite duty.  Character traits that combine to make one of the more awesome guys that I know here, not to mention one of the nicest as well.  Well deserving of many extra Jinnahs, just for being so darn cool. 


And yes, that's my new car.  I know, you're all jealous of my 1993 Toyota Land Cruiser Turbo Diesel.  So fresh and so clean. 



1. Shawn - June 7, 2006

You almost make me sad that I won’t have my own assault rifle-toting, personal army when I’m in Kiev. Maybe I can hire a few Ukrainian street kids to stand out front with pointy sticks.

2. Rosemary Mukhopadhyay - June 10, 2006

diplodocus, Chirantan would love to have a personal car washer like yours. It is his dream.

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