Stories My Grandmother Told Me – 10

That early morning, in complete darkness and with heavy hearts, we crossed the Jaar pass, leaving behind everything we had. There were no goodbyes, no kisses, just tears.

The day before, we had made Qorti for lunch when Moallem appeared on our doorstep. I thought that in your father’s absence, he was there to help us prepare for the harvest, but the expression on his face said otherwise. I still remember his words:

“Mamoor has sent over Qambar Ali and another person from Sabz-Chob to take you all to Pakistan. You have been told to pack some food, clothes and nothing else. Don’t tell anyone, not even your daughters. If the commander finds out, he will stop you”.

He said we would leave through Lomo. He returned later that night to tell us that the roads through Lomo were too dangerous because the commander’s men had been seen in the market there. We were to leave through Sang-e-Shanda instead. My heart was not in the right place but I nodded in agreement.

I got up early that morning to pray before departure. I walked down to the spring for ablution but when I returned, I saw Moallem waving at me from behind the house. We had no time. Moallem picked your sleeping brother out of his cradle. I picked you up, and we all left. Thus began our journey into the unknown. There were no goodbyes, no kisses, just tears. Hadi jan, that’s how we left the only home we had ever known.

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