The Voyages and Vicissitudes of Nasrudin


The third book in Tahir Shah’s series of Nasrudin stories, The Voyages and Vicissitudes of Nasrudin builds on the foundations laid down by The Misadventures of the Mystifying Nasrudin and The Peregrinations of the Perplexing Nasrudin, completing the trilogy. In turn, the three volumes of Nasrudin tales are underpinned by Shah’s celebrated travelogue, Travels With Nasrudin.
 
Part of an ancient hybrid of ‘foolish wisdom’, Nasrudin tales have been relied upon for centuries, as a way of freeing the mind from existing preconceptions and entrenched ways of thought. Regarded by many as psychological puzzle-tales, the jokes featuring the wise fool of Oriental folklore are told and retold in teahouses, office blocks, and ordinary homes – from Casablanca to Canton.
 
 
In No Time
 
During his adventures in Iraq, Nasrudin was found spouting his usual blend of nonsense in the north of the country.
     As they didn’t have many wise fool travellers passing through, the people of Kirkuk developed an interest him. It wasn’t long before he was invited on the local television channel, to talk about his life and adventures.
     During the appearance, Nasrudin was asked how much time he planned to spend in Iraq. He looked flummoxed at the question.
     ‘But everyone knows that time doesn’t exist,’ he said.
     The interviewer flinched.
     ‘Of course it does.’
     ‘No it doesn’t.’
     ‘Well, if time doesn’t exist, why are you wearing a wristwatch, which appears to be set to the correct time?’
     Nasrudin swished a hand through the air, as though the question was beneath him.
     ‘I said time does not exist,’ he said curtly. ‘I never said wristwatches don’t exist!’

The Voyages and Vicissitudes of Nasrudin

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