Three days after I had sacked some trouble-makers, Abbas (the supervisor in my salt factory) came to my office.
“Kal Nag Chakkar has cast a spell on you, and you will die within a week,” he said, “Only Machiara Malang Baba can save you from the black magic,” he said. “Who’s he?” I asked. “He’s the man who has power over witches and fairies, even the djinns are scared of him and Shaitan himself can’t do anything to harm him. You can find him between afternoon and sunset outside the tomb of Baba Gaddha Peer.”
“I don’t have time”, I said to Abbas. “I’ve to go to Lahore this evening.” I replied.
“Please don’t, your plane will crash!” he yelled.
“Don’t waste my time with your bakwass,” I told him.
“But please stop going to the salt works at night!” he implored.
That evening, throughout the flight to Lahore and even on the return flight, I was very nervous. I’ve always been afraid of dying in a plane crash, although some would say that such a death would be infinitely more preferable than suffering through a slow, lingering sickness before dying.
Immediately on my return from Lahore, I drove straight to my salt works on the sea shore. It was midnight and pitch dark. I was alone, but I had gone there at night as a signal to the evil one that I was not scared of his black magic. A couple of weeks later, since I was still alive, Kala Nag Chakkar declared the date of my impending death. The day before I was supposed to die I went to the village mosque in the evening as usual and met everyone I knew. They all had mournful expressions on their faces, convinced that they would never see me again. The next two days it rained heavily so I couldn’t go there. When I finally reached the place after driving through miles of knee-deep water, and my men saw me, hale and hearty, emerging from my car, they shouted with joy. They rushed towards me and fell at my feet, and I had a tough time warding them off. Later I was told that in the heavy rains, Kala Nag Chakkar had been killed when the roof of his house collapsed, while Machiara Malang Baba himself had drowned after falling into an overflowing drain.
But now my troubles began. In all the villages on the sea shore, I became known as the greatest “peer” of them all, and men and women began to come to me for being cured. Those who couldn’t have children wanted me to provide them with mantras written on pieces of paper. Men who had been sick for a long time thought I could make them well again. Some even wanted me to arrange the deaths of their enemies. I must have been the only clean-shaven “peer” in history. I became so heavily involved in this mumbo jumbo that I could not concentrate on running the salt works. With great difficulty, I persuaded someone to buy the place, and after handing it over I never went there again.