Friday, 5 April 2013

Salesman and the woman

two short stories exclusively for QK
 : The Salesman and the woman

By: Nasir Ahmad Ahmadi

Translator: Ismat Khan



Cows, goats, sheep, lambs and many other kinds of animals were for sale at the cattle market. An old man held the rope of a yellow cow.
A middle-aged man came close to him, shook his hand and asked the price of the cows. The old man drew closer to his ear and told him the price, but the stout, obese man smiled and said loudly:
“Oh what are you saying man! You have chosen the price of a daughter-in-law…… It’s a cow!”
The old man wiped her wide nose with his festered sleeve, as the cold weather shook him, and said:
“I swear it isn’t expensive,”
The overweight man looked at the cow once again and observed it from head to toe and said:
“But it isn’t worth the price you said, it’s skinny!”
Then the old man became a little angry and said:
“I see, it’s skinny because during this cold weather there is nothing better for it to eat, feed it with spring grass and then see!”
The man laughed and said:
“I don’t think you are a salesman!”
The old man didn’t say anything.
Then the man smiled and said:
“Let’s do another transaction, leave this one”
The old man cleaned his nose, put some drugs under his tongue and said:
“You have an adult daughter, I have heard?”
The old man looked at him with anger.
“Will you agree and allow her to marry my son?”
The old man became a little cold and said:
“Is he young?”
__”Yeah, but he has no children by his first woman”
“I agree but………
The second man interrupted his speech and said:
“Don’t think about the price of your daughter, just say it’s OK”
Once more, the old man drew close to his ear and told him the price of his daughter, but the second man laughed loudly and replied:
“You are not a salesman”
After this, he saw another cow and left the old man.
Someone was murdered. The *Jirga sat down to try to find a solution for both antagonists, who were fighting with each other. The slain victim's father swore to take vengeance for his son's blood, and then later his other son's continued to seek revenge.
They killed two members of the opposite side. Once again, the Jirga presided over the case. This time, the father of the two slain son's spoke about revenge for his sons.
Years passed, many people were murdered/lost their lives/ from both sides. One family lost eleven male members and the other lost seven.
In the end, there were only the women left from both sides and thus the war ended.

*(A jirga (occasionally jargah) (Pashto: جرګه) is a tribal assembly of elders which takes decisions by consensus, particularly among the Pashtun people but also in other ethnic groups near them; they are most common in Afghanistan and among the Pashtuns in Pakistan

 - Nasir Ahmad Ahmadi is an Pashtun novelist and short story writer. He works at BBC AEP and lives in Kabul, Afghanistan, translator  Ismat Khan tweets with the handle @Ismat_Khan_IK

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