It was sometime in 1954 in Berlin, that I met this person in a shop. I do not remember his name, but one look at each other was enough to convince us that we both belonged to the Indian subcontinent.
We started chatting, surprisingly not in our common Urdu or Hindi, but in German, a foreign language which we were fluent in! He was holding a small book in his hand – Omar Khayyam’s Rubayyat – in German. I had heard about Omar Khayyam, but had never read the English translation as I disliked that language then. He praised Omar Khayyam no end and out of curiosity I just skimmed through the book. I was certainly impressed and made it a point to buy it the very next day. After exchanging pleasantries we bade each other goodbye, never to meet again. I read and reread that tiny booklet and even quoted some verse to my German friends who were very pleased. That tiny booklet opened new frontiers for me in literature. Recently, the same book again fell into my hands and took me back down memory lane.
Yes, I have yet to thank that Pakistani acquaintance for the treasure trove. I hope he is happy and doing well.
Salaam, wherever you may be, sir!