Archive for May 24th, 2013

Agha Shahid Ali Journals – ‘Bearer of Arms’

May 24, 2013 in Agha Shahid Ali Journals | Comments (7)



[This is an excerpt from the journal on which my essay on Agha Shahid Ali is based. Shahid was under treatment for cancer at the time when it was written.]













May 5, 2001

Strange irony that Shahid only recently got his United States citizenship – just a couple of months ago. He was excited when they asked him the standard question: ‘Would you be willing to bear arms against your former country?’

It delighted him that they could not see the absurdity of asking this of a man with a malignant brain tumour. He clapped his hands and cried: ‘Yes, of course, I would!’

He was hugely entertained by the thought of himself as a bearer-of-arms.





[Shahid succumbed to his cancer on December 8, 2001. He is buried in Northampton Massachusetts.]













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