A collection of Pashtun stories from Loy Afghanistan

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Sher Alam and Maimoona

n a village called Nawagay there lived two friends. They decided that they would strengthen their friendship by betrothing their unborn children be a girl and a boy.

One had a son he named Sher Alam and the other had a daughter he named Maimoonai. These two children grew up to be exceptionally beautiful. As their fathers had promised they were married.

Sher Alam was a merry soul who believed in hanging out all day and feeding his friends and guests lavish meals. When Sher Alam got married Maimoonai tried curtailing his spendthrift habits and would convince him to spend more time with her than with his friends. He had a friend that he was very close to, they would keep each other company all day long. This friend who depended on Sher Alam's lavish spending habits started to find Maimoonai a threat to his well being and would find excuses to keep Sher Alam from going home.

Maimoonai was upset about her husbands inability to see his friends manipulations. She talked to Sher Alam about it but he would laugh her off.

One day while she was repeating her suspicions the friend who was standing outside overheard her. It rankled him that she would dare cut off Sher Alam and his loose purse strings, he swore right there that he would have Sher Alam kill her one way or another.

Sher Alam was late coming home from a neighboring village one night but as was his custom his hujra was open to all and all present were being fed lavishly. Present in the hujra that night was a traveler on his way home who had happened to stop by the village mosque just before nightfall. He was told that no one went hungry from Sher Alam's hujra, so he found his way there.

Sitting late into the night the friends and guests passed the evening by smoking and chewing tobacco and rounds of tea. After awhile the tobacco ran out and Sher Alam's friend instructed the servant to go the main house and ask for Sher Alam's tobacco pouch.

Maimoonai unaware that her husband was not present sent the tobacco pouch out. It was a beautiful pouch that she herself had embroidered and had proudly presented to Sher Alam.

In the hujra the friend threw the pouch to the traveler and told him to keep it, unknowingly the man pocketed it. A while later Sher Alam was home and sat down with his friends. When the opportunity arose the friend called out to the traveler to give Sher Alam some tobacco, upon which the traveler promptly pulled out the pouch which Sher Alam recognized.

Seeing the pouch in the hand of a stranger angered Sher Alam, he stood up to confront the traveler, but his friend quickly took him aside and told him he had something important to discuss with him. He told him that he had seen Maimoonai talking intimately to this stranger and when he had seen the pouch with the stranger he wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt but seeing Sher Alams reaction had confirmed it all. He had not wished to draw any attention to the matter but he did not appreciate Sher Alam being cuckolded like this.

The friend pretended to calm down Sher Alam and suggested he go talk to Maimoonai before he did anything harsh. Sher Alam unable to hold his fury any longer went straight home and rudely awakened Maimoonai, he told her to prepare for death.

She smiled to greet him thinking he was joking, but he angrily asked her if she thought he was a fool. Asking what had happened, she tried to make sense of it. He asked about the pouch and she told him how the servant had come and told her that Sher Alam had asked for the pouch. Not believing what she was saying he pulled out his knife. She swore that she was innocent and that she would never forgive him for having so little trust in her.

Sher Alam was too angry to listen and with a swipe of the knife killed Maimoonai.

As news of the cold blooded murder spread it reached the ears of the traveler, he came forward and swore that he had never seen or talked to Maimoonai, so did the servant who had fetched the pouch that fateful night.
Sher Alam over come by guilt and remorse took to the hills and was never seen again, but once in a while shepherd's would talk of a crazy man who would cry “Oh Maimoonai,my Maimoonai”

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