Saturday, 13 March 2010

Afghan Folkore

Three brothers had children born the same year.

To Mohammad Ayub, a son named Khadi.
To Mohammad Akbar, a son named Aslam.
To Mohammad Sufi, a daughter named Marghalai.

Mohammad Akbar and Mohammad Sufi were wealthy farmers,but Mohammad Ayub had lost all his land in a flash flood by the Khash Rud, and he worked as a labourer for his two younger brothers.

As Khadi and Marghalai grew up together, they fell in love and would often meet secretly in a clump of trees near Koh-i-Duzdan (Mountain of Thieves). Their love was as pure as they were young,and one day Khadi asked his father to ask his uncle for Marghalai in marriage. The father tried to gently persuade his son, but could not.

So Mohammad Ayub set out on his impossible task, for he knew that Marghalai had already been promised to her wealthy cousin, Aslam.

When the young lovers met for the first time after the sad news, they both wept, and Khadi announced his decision to leave and seek his fortune in Hindustan.

"I shall return wealthy and we shall be married," he said.

"And I shall wait," said Marghalai.

Khadi left in the darkness, followed by the eyes of Marghalai, flooded with tears.

Years passed, and a rich caravan from Hindustan approached the village. The leader was Khadi, now handsome and wealthy, by the will of Allah. The caravan camped near the same clump of trees, and Khadi, disguised as a peddlar, entered the village and asked about Marghalai.

The people told him, "She is alive and well. She is happy, the wife of Aslam and the mother of Jamila, Ayub, Akbar, and Khadi. Allah has been gracious to her."

"And what of Mohammad Ayub?"

"Dead, dead many years ago. He died of a broken heart because his son, Khadi, left without a word, the ungrateful wretch?"

Khadi sadly returned to the clump of trees. The caravan left and slowly made its way back to Hindustan with all its riches, and with Khadi, and his broken heart.

taken from the retelling by Louis Dupree

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