Author: Abdol Aziz Azizi
Many young and old people from Baluchistan were forced to leave their native country and relocate to western countries because of poverty, deprivation or to protect themselves from life threatening ordeals in their home country. But regardless of the safe, well-protected and calm life in the west, they keep longing for their families and (forbidden) homes they have left behind. This story sheds light on the life of one such man in exile who keeps yearning for his homeland.
The edge of the coast where I have been living; those tiny raindrops that are falling in the alley behind my house and I have forgotten that I would sit by the window and watch the soft pour all day. I can’t recall that season well now, but I remember the alley behind the window of my room and my eyes that would stare at the alley, no one passed from that alley, not even a passerby during daytime. I could only hear the sound of sparrows from that tree by the window, the sound of them fluttering their wings, breaking my deep silence. The same silence that is beautiful, but for me it was the sound of the death. Suddenly the sound of thunder took me down the memory lane.
I heard my Grandma’s voice: “Sammi! Go get some oil from the store room and fill the lanterns and clean their blurred glasses with a cloth, it’s going to get dark soon, your little brother, Kanbaroo will be coming home anytime, he will need the lanterns to read his lessons and do his homework.”
“The sandstorm is over, collect bowls and jars so that the wind does not blow them away.”she continued.
Sammy answered: “Where is Kanbaroo? You always call me about everything, it seems as if I am your paid servant.” Grandmother replied: “Do not speak for so long, get hold of your tongue. My dear Kanbaroo has gone to the barn. He came from school, ate his lunch and without a moment of rest, he went to the barn to bring grass for the goats.”
When trail of my memories broke, I took a look and saw small boats and boats twisting along the shore. People have returned to their homes from the sea. Not even the sound of seagulls can be heard anymore. They have gone to their nests and there is no sound except the sound of small waves hitting the shore. The breathtaking wind was continuously whistling and howling.
I opened my eyes at the beach with the first rays of the rising sun, I was confused, which place was that? Dardanelles, the English Channel or the Strait of Skagerrak or Bering Strait; I was wandering in search of my dreams.
Then the memories of the past came flooding back again. After closing the long door, I crawled back to my room and saw that the lantern was on and my sister had lit a wood fire in the fireplace as it was winter. I opened my books and started writing. After a while. I, who was exhausted from shepherding goats, fell asleep, suddenly my head hit the lantern and my hair burnt. I woke up in shock and horror, that nightmare was repeated several times until my mother woke me up for dinner, but my grandmother always said not to wake the children when they were asleep, “sleep is better than eating”, she would say.
In the morning, I would wake up to always find myself in my bed place in the corner of the room and oily flat bread and milk would be ready for me. When I start eating, my mother would say that she had put my lunchbox in the school bag. But dear Kanbaroo! the apple of my eyes you are too far away. What do you think? Are you going to school or not? My neighbor Golatoon said that her child was putting tantrums for not going to school but I said I would go. But my dear mother, when I return please wait for me by the river, water level may be too high for me to cross.
When I opened my eyes with first rays of the sun, I saw that the crabs woke up earlier than me and went to the rocks and algae in search of food. I’m always behind in my life just like the people of my country and this time even crabs were ahead of me.
As I watched the sea, the sun shone on my eyes like a diamond in a skillful earring! But there definitely was no comparison between two places.
I thought about how my elementary school years and when I went to Chabahar to study in high school, spent four years in a government dormitory, then in the military and the university. Meanwhile, in my village, they were building a power line and plumbing lines, the stories of that period are hidden, the writing and publication of which is necessary for me. Because human experience and history will guide the nation’s youth to think about the responsibilities they owe to their land and to help solve them to some extent.
I finally got up, put my stole on my shoulders, and looked back. There was a deep forest in that part, and a terrible darkness had arisen from it, and last night sometimes I also heard the sound of a wild animal. My grandmother had said in her stories that in the distant lands there is a mountain whose peak is higher than the clouds and its name is El Dorado, a man must conquer its peak to achieve happiness and victory. And it makes me think sometimes that I’m in exile because I couldn’t conquer that fort yet. In this mountain, there is a cave and in that cave two men are sitting facing each other and reciting a word, one is the native of Chile and the other is from the Aral Sea and we should learn from them.
Now I was walking on the road that passed between the sea and the forest and it was muddy from yesterday’s rains and I was going through the old memories in my mind and I thought to myself that if I turn this story into a book, it will shake and bring the voices of that world to me because somewhere in my life a lantern has been used, and somewhere, someone has become a beacon and guide for me, and somewhere a pressure has also been built on the elders of the community (to deliver).