On the wedding day, a small convoy of cars set off from Mr. Zindani’s home to the bride’s, snaking through Kandahar’s streets as an excited 14-year-old drummer provided a soundtrack from the back of a three-wheeler.
Mr. Zindani seemed happy and excited, too. He said that what remained of his previous love, and the heartbreak of it, was now largely limited to poetic inspiration. He recited one of his latest verses:
I came to this alley to ask about my love
I wander in ruins; I hoped she hears my sigh.
He said that he is stuck with images of his life before he went blind, as he is unable to visualize people he has met only after the bombing.
“Love with open eyes — when you have fallen in love with someone you have seen — is different with that of closed eyes,” Mr. Zindani said. “When you can’t see the person, the thirst is not fulfilled the same.”
At Sima’s house, the men were led to the veranda of an open-air mosque and the women into her home. The men sipped orange soda as the sun set while the women’s voices, singing to a simple hand drum called a daf, echoed through the neighborhood. The ceremony ended in about an hour, with a prayer by a local imam who wished the newlyweds eternal love — “the kind between the Prophet Muhammad and his wife Khadija.”
As the bride made her way out of her parents’ home and into the car adorned in flowers, Mr. Zindani’s friends danced in celebration in front of it. The young drummer played a simple, rhythmic beat in the dim light of the moon.
When the convoy returned to Mr. Zindani’s house with the bride, the women, still singing and playing their daf, took her inside to her throne where the party would continue into the night. Mr. Zindani stayed outside, in the dark alley, as his friends continued to dance.
One friend spun and spun and spun, until the young drummer’s hands tired and he signaled its end.
“I wish I could see it,” Mr. Zindani said. “But my heart is happy.”