Broadcast from 9th of April till 13th of April 2017
Refugees’ return to Afghanistan:
Mullah Karim Khan has returned with his wife and one son – Abdur Rahim – to Afghanistan. They are unable to go to their own village, due to security concerns. They have an old enmity with the Malik of their own village, so instead of going to their own village, they come to Kandao village, where the village mullah Taza Gul is a former student of Mullah Karim Khan. They have managed to repair one room in Kandao for their own use. In this week’s episodes they decide to make a verandah, since the sun is shining directly into their room. For this purpose they need some wood, for which they approach their neighbor Marjan. Marjan directs them to Kashmala, who recently rebuilt her home – along with her sister Zarmina. The elder sister Kashmala prevails on the hard-headed Zarmina to spare some wood for the religious scholar and his family, who have recently returned to their native Afghanistan.
It is not only the matter of some shade for their sparse dwelling that is preoccupying Mullah Karim Khan’s family. They are also trying to prepare an identity card for Abdul Rahim, who was born in the country of refuge. Abdul Rahim’s mother is very concerned about their son, who is missing his life and friends in the country of refuge. If he can make him an identity card, then at least he will be able to pursue his studies and will have something to occupy his mind. The problem is, who is going to attest their application for an identity card on his behalf? They have an old feud with the Malik of their own village, so he is unlikely to attest their application. In any case, they do not wish to divert the attention of their Malik, to their presence in Afghanistan. Mullah Karim Khan decides to try his luck with Malik Ghan, the Malik of Kandao village. Perhaps he will be able to attest their application for an identity card on behalf of Abdul Rahim?
However, Mullah Karim Khan’s worst fears are realized when Malik Ghani checks with the Malik of his own village, and finds out that the two households are locked in an age-old feud. Malik Ghani feels unable to help Mullah Karim Khan, since in so doing he will offend his colleague – the Malik of Karim Khan’s village. Mullah Karim Khan decides to send a Jirga to his own village, to prevail upon the Malik there to attest his son’s documents, so that his son can continue his education.
Village development under the guidance of Farid:
Farid is the nephew of Marjan. A fully qualified civil engineer, he returned to Afghanistan to try and help his country move forward on the path to peace and development. He has now secured the agreement of Malik Ghani to make a small hydroelectric plant in the village. Along with the father and son team of Mewa Gul and Taza Gul, who head the village shura, Farid bought all the equipment needed to set up a small hydroelectric plant in Kandao village. Mysteriously, some of the equipment disappeared from Mewa Gul’s home. Farid had his reasons for suspecting Mewa Gul’s brother Ajab Gul of being behind the theft. He put these reasons to Mewa Gul: Ajab Gul was miffed about not being given work on construction of the hydroelectric plant. Furthermore, who could have come to Mewa Gul’s house to take away the electrical equipment but his own brother – Ajab Gul. And most of all, what had aroused Farid’s suspicion was the fact that Ajab Gul made a point of asking where the electrical equipment was kept. What business did he have to ask such a question, which did not concern, if he did not intend to steal the equipment? In this week’s episodes, Mewa Gul confronts his brother on the matter. Ajab Gul’s haughty and irrational attitude on being confronted regarding the electrical equipment only makes Mewa Gul more suspicious that it was his younger brother who took the equipment. Knowing his younger brother, Mewa Gul is confident that he will return the equipment very soon.
It is not only Mewa Gul who is suspicious of Ajab Gul. His wife Shabana is also suspicious of him. What has he hidden in the store-room that he does not want anybody to know about? Why has he put a lock on the door of the store-room? Ajab Gul determines to return the stolen property. One morning, he tries to get rid of Shabana and his son Abid by sending them off to Kashmala’s learning centre, and madrassah respectively. They are very suspicious of why their father is suddenly so enthusiastic about encouraging their educational endeavors. Their fears prove justified. In fact, Ajab Gul was trying to get rid of them, so that he could return the stolen property. When they return home, they find the head of their household lying on the floor, entangled in masses of heavy electricity wire. Ajab Gul had taken a tumble when trying to recover the equipment from the high shelf where he had stored it. Eventually, he is able to take the equipment back to Mewa Gul’s house. Mewa Gul’s daughter Zirka sees Ajab Gul leaving their home, having left the electrical equipment where he found it, but both she and Shabana keep quiet, not wishing to heap further shame on their family member, wayward though he may be.
Zafar Khan receives his come-uppance:
The former strongman of Kandao village is now a shadow of his former self. Having been wounded by his partner in crime Matlab Shah, Zafar Khan – fearing arrest in the provincial centre – ran away from the provincial hospital without his wound having properly healed. The wound became infected and Zafar Khan had to have his leg amputated. Matlab Shah tries to console him, by saying that at least he wasn’t arrested in the provincial centre, in the course of having the amputation done. This remark only adds to Zafar Khan’s annoyance. Okay, I would have been in jail for a few years, but at least my leg would still be intact! Zafar Khan used to have a lot of men under his command. He was a much-feared gunslinger. Seeing his state, his men also desert him. He is left alone, with no one to keep him company but Matlab Shah. In fact, Zafar Khan is being accosted on all sides. His wife Bas Pari is also at her wit’s end. What are they going to eat? Previously, Zafar Khan’s notorious reputation and the fear he engendered, along with his nefarious activities, were enough to keep the family going.
As if all this were not enough, Matlab Shah also decides that he should claim from Zafar Khan all the expenses that he incurred while Zafar Khan was admitted into hospital. But Zafar Khan is ready for this claim. What about my leg, which you shot off? And what about the fact that you are sitting in my hujra, eating food every day? He and Bas Pari decide to chase Matlab Shah out of their hujra, but Matlab Shah proves difficult to get rid of.
They decide to put their minds together, to do something about their mutual plight. After all, Matlab Shah used to be mulla in the mosque, before he was chased out of the mosque for embezzlement of funds. He used to be the munshi – clerk – of the village shura, before he was found out. He also is not much better off than Zafar Khan. Matlab Shah comes up with a plan.
Gul Bibi missing her son, Yasir:
All that Malik Ghani’s wife Gul Bibi can think about is her son Yasir, who left for Europe some time ago: if they get electricity in Kandao village, she thinks, she will be able to talk to Yasir, since there was electricity in her brother Mamur Bedar’s house, and there she was able to talk to Yasir on the computer. Then, when her husband Malik Ghani is talking in a loud voice on the mobile phone, with the Malimk of Mullah Karim Khan’s village, she thinks he must be talking to Yasir. ‘Keep quiet will you?’ Malik Ghani shouts at her, only for the Malik at the other end of the line to think he is telling him to keep quiet!
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