A Night and Day from Past Rural Balochistan and the Present Educational Awareness

By Shams-Ul-Haq

NIGHT:It is summer and the dinner is just been eaten and it is time for Isha prayer. The men step out of the hut, situated far from town and surrounded by dry and hardly passable mountains, to enter the small stone-marked boundary of the village mosque to offer the Isha prayer and the women are busy with the picking and washing up the utensils, in which the all-day out and working and busy with livestock men have, a moment ago, been served. The all children of all the huts, which are around 15, are gathering at the middle of the village cheerfully. A smart and perceptive young girl is sitting among the children to manage the competition and guide the younger ones. Now, unlike the winter, they are asking each other riddles, small stories, proverbs and whatever they feel like.  If it were winter and they were in huts with a burning fire in the middle, the intrigued children with their fixed eyes on her acting body would be looking at her moving hands and her face with different facial expressions. And then her long stories go on and on with such a feeling that it had just been started and ‘what’s next?’ And a woman, not her mother, would enter and see her keeping the fire alive by adding wood, blowing the dead fire and at the same time cleaning her face with her veil and having the children’s attention to her slowly moving story-telling lips. The woman would smile significantly and think of her own youth. It would be exactly the same till the half of every winter night.

Just some yards away from where she is with the children and other girls of her age, are sitting the adults and young boys discussing what should be done tomorrow with the sheep and goats and listening to each other’s news of the day. With eaten dinner they have no need to move for other things. They talk till the eyes allow them and then take out their blankets of the huts in summer. While in winter they would sleep in made up beds in the huts, where the fathers and mothers, after their children have slept, would talk about the eldest girl’s or boy’s engagement with the other boys and girls of the same village. But, here what the mother, hardly the father, said it would be so. And the unique part is that, at nights, when there is a wedding. The women would gather and in the middle the groom’s group cannot stop singing and hitting the tambourine until it is very late at night. ‘What’s happened to these women?’ says a man carving the meat for tomorrow’s guests ‘it’s just one’s wedding not all of……’ cuts his own speech by brushing away sweat from his temple using the back of his wrist. ‘If you can stop these women go ahead. We all are with you, aren’t we guys?’  The man who is holding the lamp humorously says. Hearing this, all of them burst into peals of laughter. If it is a night of someone’s death the all village is mourning and keening all night long, but not more than women who are pulling their hair forcefully and hitting their head against the nearest rock.

DAY:

The different noticeable sounds of sheep and goats, roosters and hens, donkeys and camels, dogs and cows, and sundry other animals and singing birds can be clearly heard if and when one is in the hut and it’s the crack of the dawn. The man, who is going to take flour, sugar and other necessary things to the other men or shepherds, who had been staying far away in the mountains with some livestock to graze well, comes out of the hut, where they had their breakfast with butter and tea and of course the dates dipped in milk, carrying some dates and other things at his huge back would straighten his cap and hang the shawl on one of the shoulders. When he starts striding effortlessly to his destination, his vague figure slowly becomes invisible from the sight of the villagers. The women would be busy first with milked livestock’s milk and then churning it and then sewing, gossiping and cooking all day. Children take their traps and go in the nearest mountains to prey. Some men are building a new hut for the new couple while others are grazing the livestock far away from the village. When the man, with food, approaches the place in noon, where the shepherds are staying for just today. The deep mellifluous singing voice of the shepherd and the sound of the flute, following one another, gradually rise to a light pleasant crescendo. The new man tries to scare the alone shepherd to death, so he hides himself and throws a rock near him. The shepherd knows it is him still stops what he is doing and shouts ‘ghost!’ running to his fellows through the rush of the livestock ‘it’s a ghost! It threw a rock at me! Now!’ at the same instant, the man shouts ‘it’s me! I tested you.’ Till dusk they talk about the same happening saying ‘if I did this! You know! This would happen!’ After dusk all of them stay there except one. Then, the same nightly happenings begin with great delight.

But, it is a story which Balochs lived just before some years. If, now, one visits those areas he/she, only, will find the complete villages disturbed and facing dire problems. If someone goes further, he/she will meet the only shepherd. If he is asked about the village and those happy moments, he answers every question with numberless drops of tears! Having lost the happiest moments of their lives, Balochs only believe that they can recover everything with education. This nation has become dead serious and sensitive with much sensibility about education. It could hugely be noticed by recent protests and press conference of Baloch parents at the D.C office Panjgur, on May 5, this year, against the threats of what they called “anti-Baloch-education forces” and showed determination not to lend any countenance to any anti-education actions. The private schools, which were threatened recently in Panjgur, got together and showed no matter what happens they are going to educate people and believed that no education means blindness and being lost somewhere in the melee of the modern world.

Though Bolochs do not live the lives they deserve, they expect the change one day just because of education. And it’s been only some years from getting out from that village life and running equally with other nations not only in the country, but in the rest of the world. Change can be found today and the difference between before a decade and after it. Every young child seems to be carrying books, pens and notebooks, every father purchasing stationery, every teacher planning tomorrow’s competition and every second shows this once lost nation not the primrose path as the past ones but the path to its true destination.

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Posted on May 24, 2014, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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