Tuesday, September 29, 2015



It was 19th November, 2009 about 6 years back that I started writing for the Heritage magazine and my first article published was SAVE THE CROCODILES OF MANGHOPHIR. This time again I had a long teaching assignment in Karachi in which I had to give hands on training in CUSTOMERS SERVICES to various banks which took me to North Karachi branch of a Micro Finance Bank. 

It was Tuesday 20th January 2015, a very nice lovely day in Karachi with the cool winds blowing from the sea that at 0545am, I got up in time for my Fajar prayers and after a quick breakfast hit the road at 0810 as my destination today was North Karachi branch about 50 kms away. The journey today took me from PNS Karsaz to Stadium road EXPO centre DALMIA and then I turned on to the civic centre road.

The traffic was slow at that time as Karachi people are lethargic sleepy lot and the business starts late in the day. Crossed Nipa Churangi by passed the Sohrab Goth exit and finally took the Nagin Chowrangi, the name given by the locals because of the similarity with a female’s cobra hood which has given notoriety to this roundabout because of the complex configuration of the crossing.

My driver this time was not familiar with the route to the shrine of Manghophir so we had to ask directions at two or three places before we finally reached the vicinity of the shrine. I had another ritual to perform before I could enter in to the shrine as five years back I had made a MANNAT (Religious desire and its fulfillment) which had now had now been fulfilled.

What was that I had desired (MANNAT) about 5 years back that has now been fulfilled?
Many of my white spots (Vitiligo) on my face had healed and secondly was the fulfillment of an earthly desire which I better keep to myself and thank GOD for his countless blessings.
I had to drive past the shrine into the congested Bazar to buy about 5 kgs of beef for feeding to the crocodiles which is the culminating point of the fulfillment of the MANNAT.

I handed over the meat to the attendants who were reluctant in the first place to go and feed the crocodiles with the pretext that this was not their feeding at 11.00 in the morning but a quick greasy buck did the trick and the attendant went in to the pond to feed the crocodiles on my behalf.
The attendant had a hard time in opening the mouths of the over sized lazy & sluggish reptiles who were basking in the morning sun. He prodded the crocodiles with a stick and made them open their mouths in which he put the meat offerings.
What I am now going to write may come as shock to most of you who had read my previous article in the Heritage Magazine that there has been abysmal deterioration in the conditions which are prevailing at the present time as compared to what I noticed about 5 years back.
·        Pond is more dirtier than before.
·        The population of the crocodiles has increased.
·        They were ill fed and in miserable conditions.
·        Some had wounds and sours on their bodies.
·        Their poundage area had decreased.
On my inquiry I found out that the Auqaf department was not paying any attention towards the upkeep, nurturing and look after of the crocodiles.
The Qabza mafia had taken over the area around the shrine and many hideous half baked concrete monsters in the form of disorganized shanty shops were masking the beauty of the shrine.
After feeding the crocodiles it was time for another ritual that was bathing in the warm sulfur spring water which emanates from the crevices in the rocks below the shrine. I had to make my way pass the narrow steep alleys having the aroma of the fresh fried Pakora’s coming from both the sides thus making my mouth water but my past experience with such encounters in my previous expeditions reminded me of one such an episode where I followed the dictates of my stomach rather than that of my sixth sense which resulted in my frequent trips to the washroom in the open fields of Neelum Valley of Azad Kasmir about 3 years back, so I brushed aside the hunger pangs in my stomach and made my way towards the bathing enclosure.    
This time there was a small entry ticket to the bathing arena where there was a crowd of people who were busy in dousing the sulphur water over their bodies. The sulphur springs of the shrine of Manghophir are famous for having a healing effect for skin diseases and joint pains. I also indulged in the luxury of dangling my feet in the water and washing my face with the warm sulphur water as I did about 5 years back which healed the white spots on my face.
Generally the water from the springs appears either light yellow-brownish or milky and sometimes emits a strong smell of rotten eggs but here the water was mild warm and had a light yellow coloring effect.
The minerals in the water have positive therapeutic effects on skin disease, women's diseases, asthma, neuralgia, arteriosclerosis, rheumatism and shoulder, neck and wrist pains, they also have a detoxifying and mucolytic effect. Limited oral intake can improve conditions such as constipation and diabetes, however oral ingestion should be avoided as the water may be contaminated. These springs are not suitable for inhalation therapy.

Sulfur is a mineral naturally occurring near hot springs and volcanic craters. The "rotten egg" smell of sulfur mineral baths is caused by sulfur dioxide gas escaping into the air. Sulfur has been used medicinally since ancient times, and it is contained in every cell in our body. It is a component of three different amino acids (the building blocks that make up protein). Approximately 0.25 percent of our total body weight is sulfur. It is most concentrated in keratin, which gives you strong hair, nails, and skin. It is also known as "nature's beauty mineral" because your body needs it to manufacture collagen, which keeps your skin elastic and young-looking.

Sulfur is used primarily to ease the red, itchy rashes of conditions such as eczema and diaper rash. It also helps to protect your body against toxins in the environment. In addition, people with arthritis may find pain relief from taking a soothing bath in hot sulfur springs.

So if you are suffering from some skin disease or want some fulfillment of your earthly desire the next step should be your visit to the shrine of Manghophir where you will have your Mannat fulfillment and find a relief from the skin diseases which even the best skin specialist in the world cannot cure.

Dr. Babur Zahiruddin

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