Stories My Grandmother Told Me – 32

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On my trip last year, I returned to the village to see who it was that lived on our land.
I was with your auntie. We walked into the old orchard, and began looking around to see what had changed. We saw a little girl. The expression on her face said she didn’t like us there.

What are you doing?

I smiled:

You have a beautiful orchard here, dokhtarem. We are just having a look.

She nodded but said nothing. I noticed her hiding behind the trees, and following us around the farm.
We stopped by the little stream in Lingaa, when the girl came to us with another older girl. The older girl was her sister. She greeted us, and recognized your auntie. She asked us to come over for tea. We were busy, so I promised to stop by the following day.

I visited our home the following evening. I met the two girls, and their mother. I didn’t see any men. I looked around, and thought about the old days.

I had tea with them, and told them our story.
I asked them theirs.
The lady said they were from Urozgan.

We had a house, a place like yours to call home. We had a farm and orchard.
The Taliban attacked. We didn’t have the weapons or the power to fight back.
They killed some of the villagers to terrorize us. We were terrorized. We fled into the Hazara mountains, and after weeks, ended up here.
The Taliban now occupy our village, farms and home. We are too fearful to return.



*dokhtarem = My daughter

Stories My Grandmother Told Me – 14

Hadi jan, many years before you were born, we were ruled over by a despot. I don’t remember his name, but I remember that he was ruthless. People said he was a communist supported by Shorawi (Soviet Union). He had overthrown the king, and forced him to run away. Everyone prominent, and anyone who had ever sided with the king was taken away, and then shot dead or buried alive.

 122Aatay Zia-e Sirqol, Akhund Karblaye of Kosha, two sons of Usta Rajab, two sons of Raees Abdullah Khan, Sima Samar’s husband, and countless others were taken away. They never returned. Their bodies were never found.

Aabay Mansoor lost her husband:

He was asleep. They came for him at midnight. He walked out wearing a perahan. It was cold. He asked to be allowed to change and kiss his children goodbye. He wasn’t allowed to. They took him away. He never returned.

They took away Qareedar Babai. They were in a convoy driving to Ghazni when it was ambushed. The soldiers fled. Qareedar and others were freed.

The people rose up against the governor and the King. From the mountains they attacked the governor in Tameer. They attacked all night. The government soldiers were besieged inside their fort in Tameer. The sounds of bullets and bombs, and the flashes of light kept us awake all night.

The next day, I met Aatay-GhulamLi. He was jubilant:

Congratulations! The Mujahideen broke through their defenses.The soldiers fled into the farms. They were chased and killed.

The government sent their jets to avenge the governor. The dropped big bombs, mostly into the mountains and hills. They avoided the villages. We had two visitors from Haydar. I was serving them lunch under the mulberry tree when the jets attacked Tameer. We saw the bombs drop, and smoke shoot up the sky. The explosion was so huge that I dashed for home thinking everything was falling apart. I lost my headscarf, but in fear I did not dare turn back to get it.

There was a huge fire, which lasted for days. I thought everyone was dead and turned into ash. Later we found out that the planes had hit the fuel depot and all the fire was from the burning timber.

*Shorawi = Farsi term for the Soviet Union

Stories My Grandmother Told Me – 5 #JeSuisCharlie

France

The mullahs go mad when they gain power. They have done horrendous things to our own people, things only an enemy like the Taliban would do.

In the days just before you were born, they did something really horrible in Sang-e-Masha, something with no precedence. A shopkeeper in Tameer had been accused of having an illicit relationship with his apprentice. This accusation quickly caught the attention of the local Mullahs. They seized the opportunity, and gathered a mob of some locals, shopkeepers, and other people with nothing better to do. They made fiery speeches shaming the locals for allowing such a thing to happen in their midst. The enraged mob chased the shopkeeper but he managed to flee. They, however, caught the apprentice, who was only a young boy. He was beaten and dragged back to the markets. The Mullahs formed a court, and issued a prompt religious decree. The mob then spared no time in carrying out punishment.

They dug a ditch in the middle of the Tameer bazaar. They tied up the badly beaten up boy and threw him into the middle of that ditch. Then they filled the ditch with firewood and bush. After a sprinkle of Kerosene, the ditch was set alight amid horrifying screams for help, The boy begged the bystanders to save him, but no one did anything. The mob was overjoyed, the crowd watched in silence. The boy’s father, who had rushed to the bazaar to rescue his son, was chased away with sticks and stones. The fire burned, and that poor boy was burned alive. Witnesses said that the fire ended in a bang. It was probably the boy’s head or abdomen that exploded in the fire.

On another occasion, the locals in Dawood chased and caught a young couple that had tried to elope, intending to run away to Pakistan. Again, the mullahs formed a court and issued a religious decree for the punishment of the two. The young boy and girl were buried in the ground down to their chests. Then by religious decree, the local mob, the young and the old, pelted them with stones, big and small. They were pelted with stones until they bled, until their cries stopped, and until they were dead. It is said that the girl had survived the first stoning. She had asked for help but the mob smashed her head with a big piece of rock. She died. Again, no one came to their help.

The mullahs act like gods. May God curse them.

*Mullah = Islamic cleric; slang for an excessively religious person.