Which ever place, which ever country I visited, my area of interest was always history. I met Presidents, Prime Ministers, Ambassadors but nothing inspired me more than the past, rather than present, which sounded so unreal to me.

Egypt is one country I visited which is full of history. Apart from just the pyramids, I saw a lot more in depth. There is an incredible incident that I shall probably never forget. I hope you will find this worth reading!

Being on an official visit, accompanying a Minister as his staff officer, we were taken around to show places of historical importance. The only catch was that we could not move freely on our own ,without security or surveillance. However something happened, which even after decades still fresh in mind as yesterday.

While on routine tour, we were watching a historical place and listening to the commentary of the guide, I noticed an old man standing at a distance asking me to come. I tried to escape the formal assembly but the guard and intelligence staff stopped me saying it was not safe. I had no choice but to ignore the man. The speech from the tour guide continued, boring as it was, I had no choice but to keep listening.

I noticed that the old man was persistently calling me, without any fear of police or security guards. I then insisted the guards to come along with me and allow me to see what the man had to say.

I walked over to him and he asked me, in Arabic, to come down to almost kind of dark dead scary basement, which I was so reluctant to see. However as the man kept on walking, I kept on walking behind him too, obviously with the guards still with me.

When I went down, I saw a grave, in bad shape, with scary silence and solitude. I asked him why had he brought me here? He asked do you know whose grave is this? I said no I have no idea!

The man quietly said “Shah of Iran”. I was shocked. The same Shah who was once the king of the richest, most modern Iran was buried in Cairo, and in a pathetic state left so dead quiet and not a soul around.

Flabbergasted, I remembered a verse from a poet Zafar, also the last king of India (Known as Bahadur Shah Zafar), who met a similar end, buried in Rangoon, Burma, outside his mother land History has a lesson, only if we can understand.”!

FARASAT LATIF,

England, January 1.