There we were, banished, in a small village that was divided in to three parts by religion and party loyalty. Our family and the three other banished families from the village formed our own little group, our own little village. The commander’s faithful used the main mosque for the commemoration. We, the unfaithful, formed our own at one of the houses. The families in Choona didn’t sway either way and formed their own group.
Moharram is a month for charity and nazr. Back in those days the families in the village took turns to make vows, prepare feasts, and organize the rituals for mourning and story-telling. In Moharram that one year we anticipated the families to prepare with the same arrangements as before.
Those of us in the Thayna-Aaghil usually got together for it all. Your father said he was going away to speak to your maternal grandfather, his father-in-law, about the arrangements for the month. He went away for long, and returned appearing quite upset.
I knew something was not right. I let him be at first, and then went to him to ask if the arrangements had been agreed upon. He tried to get away:
The arrangement was the same as before. Nothing had changed.
I got angry:
What does that mean? The same as old!?
He opened up:
I went to speak to Mirza Lalay. He looked at me but said nothing at all. He got up, picked up his shovel and walked away to the farms in Lingaah without even saying a word.
I then walked to Choonah and speak to Mohammad Ali there. He told me that my father-in-law Mirza Lalaee and my uncle Aatay Rasheed had paid him a visit the previous night and informed him of the decision by the villagers to banish us.
I was sad and startled:
Are you sure!? I have been grooming a sheep to sacrifice for the nazr this year.
I knew that those in Choona would be the first to prepare a feast. The next day, I waited for an invite.
The morning passed, afternoon came-by and the evening went but no one came to us, there was no invite.
In the afternoon I met Zia Gul and young Shamsia. She was at the spring to fetch water. She was a child, innocent. She could keep no secrets:
Grandma, we are going to Choona tonight for the feast. We have been invited. You haven’t. We are going to feast. You aren’t.
Her mother picked her up. She cried. I scolded her, and told her to do exactly as she was told by her family.
That night they went to feast. The village went there. We stayed home, had our meal at home, and we didn’t speak much.
Our family and the three other banished families from the village formed our own little group, our own little village. The commander’s faithful used the main mosque for the commemoration. We, the unfaithful, formed our own at one of the houses. The families in Choona didn’t sway either way but formed their own group. There we were, banished, in a small village, divided in to three groups by religion and party loyalty.
Moharram = https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mourning_of_Muharram
*Nazr = Religious vows
*Thayna = Lower
*Aaghil = Village