Stories My Grandmother Told Me – 36

I hate lightning.

A long time ago, a man from Haidar visited Balna-Aaghil of the village. He was there to borrow a bull from Chaman to crush his wheat-yield for the year. He was staying in Chaman’s guestroom when dark clouds rolled in over the village. At that moment, Chaman’s wife happened to be on the roof, cleaning the roof-surface to dry apricots.

In a few moments of mid-day later that day, a man from the village saw her being flung from one end of the roof to the other; half of her body landed on the ledge with the torso dangling off the edge. What followed was the loudest crackle and thunder I have ever heard in my life.

 11

The guest from Haider, the man I was talking about, he lay dead in Chaman’s guest room. He had been standing at the window inspecting the drizzle outside when he was struck by lightning. He could not move one step before he was struck dead. He was killed in an instant. The same lightning bolt that killed him, also struck Chaman’s wife on the roof. She was badly hurt but fortunately for her, still alive.

The villagers got together at Chaman’s to inspect the damage. We were all so shocked we couldn’t believe it.

The villagers in Haidar couldn’t believe it either. The man’s family suspected that he had been murdered. They sent many villagers to look at what had happened. Some of them came armed, ready for a fight. They spoke to the people from our village. They met Chaman’s wife and saw her perilous condition, they saw the visibly charred path of the lightning bolt. Only and only then did they believe that their man hadn’t been murdered but had been the victim of nature.

In sad mourning on a dark afternoon that afternoon, they carried his body back across the Haidar mountain pass.

In the village of Awboorda-Joysulto, a woman, who had sat by the window of her house spinning wool, was struck by lightning and killed. Another man was struck in the village of Shilbitoo, just past the gorge. He died on the spot. In Daala-Ambolagh, a lightning bolt struck a large rock and sliced it in to two clean halves, with one half rolling down on to the pathway.

So you see Hadi jan, that is why I am very scared of lightning.

*‌Balna = Upper
*Aaghil = Neighborhood
*Kotal = Mountain Pass

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