Stories My Grandmother Told Me – 3


One of my aunties was a Qalandar. The Qalandar Hazaras had been driven off their native land by the Kuchis. In the dead of winter she would tell us kids her story:

We lived in a valley called Nawoor Toghay, near Thai Bogha. We were a powerful and prosperous people. The land was fertile, and food was plentiful. We had almond farms. Upon harvesting the fruit, the women gathered to crush the seeds, and extracted almond oil. We bartered the oil for the things we needed. We also raised cattle, mostly fat and healthy sheep. The Qalandar herded their cattle on horseback. The arbab rode through the herd and sliced of sheep suet on the run. This was a show of power.

Then came the Kuchis, and it was all gone. The Kuchi attack caught us off-guard. Some fought, others could only run away. Many were butchered. We fled and were only able to carry what we could hold in our hands. We ran and hid. Many didn’t make it. We ran to the settled Pashtuns and pleaded with them to save us. They protected us, the survivors, from the Kuchis. In the darkness of the night, they helped us flee to the Hazara lands.

My auntie was old. She died and took her stories to grave. Now I am old but I remember her stories.


*Arbab = Nobles


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