'MKurry' by Timothy Cummings

Last autumn, my family and I traveled to Pakistan to visit and support girls’ schools in Lahore and its surrounding villages.  I brought with me a set of shuttlepipes, a cheap banjo, and my trusty MK low-D.  At this point I should mention that I not only sport a healthy beard, but also keep a gun-cleaning rod (with lambswool top) in my whistle, as an improvised swab of sorts.  Add to that recipe the “Islamic Republic of Pakistan” stamp in my American passport, and you can appreciate why I was pulled aside by security at every single airport to and fro—the MK getting carefully inspected each time (and me frequently getting frisked and interrogated as well… “no sir, it’s not dangerous unless I were to try Ricky Martin tunes on it, and I assure you I would never….”).  At any rate, the whistle was very popular among the friendly and handsome Pakistani people.  It played a few traditional Irish jigs for school girls, and a favored theme for a large audience at the grand dedication of the Kinnaird Academy.  It also dueted with a young woman who sang ‘Amazing Grace’ (in Urdu) at the Naulakha Presbyterian Church.  Should I be lucky enough to return some day, I fully intend to learn some traditional Pakistani tunes on the low-D.  Though it will probably travel without the gun rod…


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