Mother’s Day-Tribute to all mothers
A remarkable woman, I saw her strong and graceful while sending Baba to war and I saw tears in her eyes when I was leaving for hostel. I saw her firing a gun when Baba returned from Hajj and I saw her slaughtering a sheep when unexpected guests arrived.
The most important woman in my life is Morr. Like any ordinary Pukhtun woman she observes Purda (veil) but I will introduce her.
She stays home looking after the household, cooking, washing, tending animals and looking after the children. Surprisingly, I never saw Morr asleep, if I got up in the middle of the night I saw Morr staring at me. “Are you alright”, she would ask? She was always there, watching. If I was sick and needed comfort... she was there for me. If I had to get up early to leave for boarding school, she will be up, packed everything, made tea and be ready to see me off. She knew exactly what was to be packed and she knew which day I will come back. She knew names of all my teachers, matron, friends and even the school cook. Morr is intelligent, authoritative and outspoken and leads the household very efficiently.
In winters, she told me stories of princes and princesses in our smoke filled room, while pressing clothes with a coal iron, clattering and clanking like back ground music. In summers, sleeping on the roof top, she told me stories of old times, pointing at the stars, showing me the old woman’s charpoy, the wolf, sheep, bear, the prince wearing his belt and dagger and so on.
After giving me a rare bath, she will tie a towel over my head to keep me warm and tell me that it is to have a big Presley puff, in vogue then. A meticulous women, from caring for Baba’s weapons and allied equipment, to storing sweets and books, from keeping guests crockery and cutlery to stocking beddings and blankets, she knows where and in what state everything is. She watches over her worldly belongings like a tigress, one wrong move by anyone and she will pounce on the negligent, as if she was in the wild.
A remarkable woman, I saw her strong and graceful while sending Baba to war and I saw tears in her eyes when I was leaving for hostel. I saw her firing a gun when Baba returned from Hajj and I saw her slaughtering a sheep when unexpected guests arrived. I saw her running after poisonous snakes with a stick and I saw her mixing hey with clay, a strenuous job, to plaster the house. She pleaded with my uncles for us and I saw her sending threats to reasonable men.
She can read the Quran and taught almost a dozen girls from the nearby houses to to do so and say their five times Selah. She loves giving charity and sends food for wayfarers. She loves her children and being surrounded by her grandchildren.
She is an obedient and devoted wife and an affectionate and adoring mother. Such is my mother and such are women of my village, strong, obedient, benevolent, intelligent and able to lead if circumstances require. Tribal women are as brave as men; honorable, having strong character.
From Cheegha, The Call
Note: My mother was alive when I wrote the book, may Allah shower his mercy on her.