The following verses are sang in every Afghan wedding with the melancholic melody of ahesta boro (“go slowly”) song. The poem is that of Omar Khayyam (1048-1131) the celebrated Persian poet of earthly pleasures.
And sour or sweet, why fuss since life shall fly,
At Balkh or Baghdad – why care where we die?
Drink wine, for silv’ry Moon will keep its beat
From full to new long after you and I.
— Khayyam (Saidi, translator)
In the same wedding night, a mulla also gives a religious speech prohibiting the things that Khayyams’ poetry suggests. Which one should we listen to? We have been listening to mulla’s for far too long and this is what we got, I think it is time to give Khayyam a chance as well. Or it isn’t?