Gojal area of the Karakorum mountains
Pakistan glossary












19 March 2001



Section 1
Today while returning from the road camp to the village, we had an overnight stay at Cuk (hot spring). In front of the hut is the majestic Malungodi glacier at the other end is the impressive Malungodi sar peak, to its left is the impressive Dastagir peak (7886 meter). It is a beautiful sunny day and the sun is reflecting from the glacier and we are exhausted from the daylong trek. Now I intend to get the information from Bashi janab (Mr, sir) regarding his life experiences.

What is your age?
67 years

Where from did you marry?
I married from Passu.

Well! You married according to your own wish or on the will of your parents?
It was in accordance with my own will.

How many generations of your family have been living in Shimshal?
13 Generations.

During the 13 generations, have any of your ancestors performed an extra ordinary work that has benefited your family and the community? Would you please tell us?
It is such that my grandfather Jeeb along with Qurban Thai had constructed an irrigation channel from Adver (the major stream of Shimshal) to Mazarbar. At Mazarbar, grandfather Qurban Thai had abandoned it but my grandfather had continued it beyond Mazarbar. This has caused great benefit to our family of almost seven households for our family still possess this land. Then my grandfather Bashi constructed an irrigation channel for the Booq (mount) that also benefited us a lot. Seven households of our family have planted trees there and [from the sale of these trees] some had purchased jeeps and some educated their children and some built houses. It gave us lots of benefits. Then my father was also skilful he was a classified carpenter, he had served the community too much and in return the community always regarded him.

Dear uncle as you asserted that your father was a classified carpenter and he benefited the village a lot. What major projects has he carried out and in which localities? Please comment.
The detail of projects he supervised/accomplished was the irrigation channel of Rezginben constructed in the name of Quban Muhammad, trek of Waeen Sar (top of the pass) Shimshal gorge in the name of Uncle arbob (Mir’s - rulers of Hunza state up to 1972 - main representative in the village)1, The trek of Okharsar (leader top), the trek in the name of Gulcheen, a trek in his own name, animal shelter at Shujerab in the name of uncle Aziz Baig and yaks shelter at Shuwert. He was the architect of all these projects
Section 2
Dear uncle. As nowadays almost every member of our community is busy with the construction of the road from down side and from the village side. The scouts are also busy with the road work. What changes do you anticipate if the road is linked to the village? Please comment.
Doctor! There will be a great change in our village, first the people will become free of loads and will travel on vehicles, and then there will be shops and hotels in the village. A good hospital will be established here and we will enjoy all facilities at our doorstep.
The visits of foreign tourists will increase and we will go trekking with them up to Pamir (Shimshal’s mountain pastures) and would earn a lot of money. These benefits would be due to the road. In our time we experienced a miserable life, we would ford the river as much as 13 times and that exhausted us. You will certainly benefit from the road but your new generation will fully benefit from the road link as you are in your middle age but your children will fully benefit from the road.

Uncle! It would be very nice if you could narrate us an interesting tale?
Yes doctor! There was a king he had two wives, one was the favourite of the king whereas the king neglected the other. One day both of them were washing clothes on the bank of a canal. There were two complete and fresh apples and one bruised apple flowing on the surface of the water. The two complete apples were picked by the favourite and the bruised /rotten apple was picked and eaten by the neglected wife. Soon both became pregnant and gave birth to babies, the favourite bore two healthy sons and the neglected wife gave birth to a baloq (person with deformed lips; harelip) son, and the princes became mature. One day the two princes decided to go on a hunting excursion. The baloq prince also persisted to go with them but his mother told him that they will not allow you to accompany them, but he insisted and at last he went with them.
The two princes went to one valley and the baloq went to another valley. The baloq hunted lots of game but the two prices did not find anything, they also went to the valley of the baloq prince and tied him up with a big boulder and returned back with the game he had hunted and claimed that they hunted the game. The baloq prince carried the big boulder on his back and returned to his house and put the boulder outside his house he told his mother that he has brought her a platform to sit on.
After quite some time Baloq (referring to the baloq prince) and the two princes again went on a hunting excursion, this time they exchanged the valleys, the two princes went to the valley that was first visited by Baloq and the Baloq went to the other valley. They found nothing while Baloq hunted several games. The two princes returned to the valley where Baloq was visiting and when they saw a lot of game hunted by him, they tied him up to a maple tree and returned to the palace with the game whereas Baloq took the maple tree on his back to the village and planted it outside his house and told his mother that he has brought the maple tree in order to provide her with the shelter. He had brought with him some pieces of abdomen/intestine (meat) from the game he had hunted and asked his mother to make soup out of it so that he could go to greet the king. His mother advised him not to visit the king lest the king get angry, as he had hunted no game whereas the two princes had hunted game but he ignored the advice and went to greet the king. The king disallowed his access to the palace, however the ministers convinced the king that after all he was the son of the king so he allowed him. He greeted the king and offered him the soup and requested him to take the soup. The king dipped his finger in to the soup and put his finger in his mouth in order to taste the soup. The soup was so tasty that he chewed up his finger. His finger was injured and the two princes set out to find medicine. Baloq also went in search of medicine.
The medicine named gule seekh daro was available in a valley named Aiana Jan Numa (the living mirror). They went to separate valleys, the two princes went to Gulistan Valley (full of flowers) where they were imprisoned by a king and Baloq went to his valley and managed to reach the place where the medicine was available. He found the person possessing the medicine as sleeping so he searched for the medicine and found it, while removing his cloths for searching for the medicine the man woke up and Baloq run away. The man ordered the inner door to close to stop him but the door said why should I stop him you always kept me closed and he opened me, then the man requested the outer door to stop him but it also refused by saying that you always left me opened and he closed me. The man requested the dog to hold him but he also refused saying that why should I stop him he fed me with delicious food whereas you fed me with grasses. The man said to the horse may I sacrifice for you please stop him, the horse said why should I stop him he offered me grass whereas you offered me bones to eat. Then he requested to the fertile field to stop the man but the field said no you have always told me fertile whereas he told me barren land. The man requested to the suspension bridge to stop him but the bridge refused by saying that you always named me a broken bridge and he named me a paved bridge.
Consequently, Baloq escaped from him and on the way back he saw a house when he entered the house he found a woman weeping while cooking bread, he greeted her with respect and called her sister and asked as to why she was weeping. She told him that a dragon is about to come and she was preparing all this food for the dragon and if she did not prepare the food the dragon would eat her. He asked her how and from which direction the dragon comes. She told that the flakes of snow and storm precede the dragon. So he held his swords firmly in his hands and got ready for the fight. The woman told him oh, my father (respectful complement to a man it means that I respect you as much as I respect my father) the flakes of snow have started and the dragon is about to come so you please leave the house, don’t put your life at risk, he told the woman not to worry about him. When the multi-headed dragon entered the house he attacked the dragon and cut one of his heads. The dragon said that he had eight heads more and the man said I have my sword sufficient to cut all of your heads. Consequently he killed the nine-headed dragon so the woman thanked him.
Then he left the house and when he reached the mouth of the valley where his brothers (the two princes) were separated from him he saw the stick which he had planted had turned dry so he guessed that his brothers were in trouble. So he went on and found that his brothers were slaved by the king. The king received him with great respect and told him whatever he would demand would be granted to him So he requested the king to grant him the two shepherds (slaved princes). The king granted him with the two shepherds along with a dog and he left the palace. When they reached a desert they needed water the two princes drunk the water from the eye (the tears) of Baloq and left him in the desert along with the dog. They snatched the medicine from him and took it to the king and told his father that they had brought the medicine for him, the king was very happy with them.
Baloq was blinded and was left along with the dog in the desert, there appeared two more dogs and they helped him walking through the desert and at last reached a place where there was fresh spring water and there was a maple tree beside the fountain. They drunk water and became fresh. The loyal dog heard two parrots whispering that the poor blind man would recover from blindness by the next morning if they dip a maple leaf in the spring water and put on his eye. So the dog started jumping to get maple leaf and soon he got a couple of leaves then he dipped these leaves in to the spring water and put them on his eyes. They all went to sleep; the next morning when they got up Baloq was alright, his vision was recovered. Then he went round the dogs (it is an expression of thanks to take a turn around a person or thing) and thanked the dogs and he moved ahead and at last reached his house.
Her mother was very anxious to see him. She told him that his stepbrothers have brought the king the medicines and the king is very happy with them. Then Baloq said, “ok mum I am going to greet the king” but his mother stopped him and said that this time the king will kill you because they succeeded and you failed in bringing the medicine. But he insisted and went to the palace and requested the minister and told him that he had some urgent work with the king so they allowed him and he went to the king. He had the hairs of the two princes in his pocket, which he trimmed after releasing them from the king. So he started telling the king that the two princes had made no justice with him as he had hunted game and they snatched the game and tied him with the boulder which he transported to his home and is laying outside his house and second time he also was tied up with maple tree and the game he had hunted was snatched from him and presented to the king, that maple tree he transported to the village and planted outside his house as a proof. Then I went to fetch the medicine for you I found the medicine and on the way back I found them as slaved by a king and I got them free but they blinded me and took the medicine leaving me in the desert where the dogs helped me curing my eye then I reached here. He took the hairs out of his pocket and showed to the king as proof then he asked the king that how the princes could be his favourite sons and he would be ignored. The king inquired from the two princes about the reality and they admitted their wrong acts.
The king then loved his son and termed him as his loyal son and ordered to tie up the two princes with the tail of tosoon (wild horse) and raced the horses in a desert till the princes died. From then onward he lived with Baloq.
Whatever I heard and possessed I narrated, the piece of qamachdoon (thick bread baked in cast iron oven) didn’t fill my stomach and the lame donkey didn’t take me to the destination (the closing sentence of every tale).
Section 5
Very good uncle! You narrated a very interesting tale. It would be nice if you could tell us some more tales?
Yes Doctor! There was a couple they had a son, his name was Tosh Baig. He demanded from his parents that he wanted to marry a fairy. His parents were helpless they tried to convince him that marrying a fairy is not possible but he was not convinced instead he set out in search of the fairy, (there was a song but I could not recollect it). There lived three brothers in a desert. He entered the house there was an old man when Tosh Baig asked for his help, he told that his elder brother was living further ahead and he would tell him about the fairy. Tosh Baig went on to the second man he also told him that his elder brother was living ahead of him. He went to his elder brother and was surprised to see him quite younger than his two younger brothers. Tosh Baig expressed his surprise over the fact and said that I found your younger brother very old as his hairs have turned white and your middle brother also looked older than you but you are very young as compared to them. The man told him that his shoes are broken he has insufficient household things but he never worries about it so he is still young.
The family of the man then inquired about the purpose of visit of Tosh Baig and he told them he is in search of a fairy to marry with her and he didn’t know how and where to find her. So they advised Tosh Baig to go straight ahead and where a gate would appear, on one side of the gate there would be a maple tree and near the tree there is a spring from where the servants of the king fetch water and he can meet the servant.
Tosh Baig went to the site and sat near the spring but nobody came to the spring so he went to roam around and he saw a house where a lot of people were imprisoned. They were holding cheleem (smoking pipe also known as huqqa) in their hands but there was no fire, he lit a fire with the help of chiqmaq (flint) and throw it down to them and they lit their chiqmaq and prayed for him and said whatever you wished God help you in fulfilling your wishes. He returned to the spring and kept on waiting, soon the servants came and when they saw him they were astonished, the servants went to the princess and told her that a strange man has come whose face is as white as the moon and as bright as the sun.
The princess summoned Tosh Baig and chatted with him. The next morning the king was informed about the strange man. The king had strong enemies, so he put the proposal before Tosh Baig that if he defeated his enemies he would win the love of the princess. Tosh Baig promised him that he would defeat the enemies, the king inquired as to how many horses and soldiers are with him he replied that only five, the king said how would he defeat the enemy with only five soldiers while the enemy possesses hundreds of soldiers. But he reiterated his plea and set out to fight with the enemy and singing the song.
“Tosh Baig has five companions and has worn poosteen (overcoat made of animal hide) and is holding a wooden sword in his hand. Tomorrow when the sun will rise I will start the battle so come to see me tomorrow morning”.
“Sahar Aftab ghazal Sazam, Dar Jangi man Nazar dori”
“Tomorrow when the sun rises the music of battle will be played. So come and look at me in the battlefield”
Doctor sahib! Next morning he went to the battlefield and started killing the enemies, the enemies told that we have a lot of heads (soldiers) and Tosh Baig replied that he has a sharp sword sufficient to cut all the heads. He killed all the soldiers and slaved the king and the ministers and took them to the king (father of the princess) and told the king that he has killed all the enemies but the king did not believe him. Then Tosh Baig presented the defeated king and his ministers, they greeted the king and the king inquired about the validity of his statement about the battle and they verified that the young man defeated them.
So the king then married the fairy (princess) with Tosh Baig and he started living in the palace. One day it started raining in the village and Tosh Baig sighed and became worried. The princess noticed and asked him as to why he was worried lest she had done anything wrong. He said you have done nothing wrong I am worried about my parents in what condition they would be as I see a black cloud over my village. Then he asked the princess to accompany him to his village. The princess said that the king will not allow us to leave the palace but Tosh Baig said that he would try to seek the permission of the king.
Then he went to the king but the king allowed him to go alone. So he told the princess to wait for him at the gate of the palace, five sawar (horse riders) will come one with a pigeon in his hand and the other with a green dress that would be around me and I will have my wedding ring in my finger and one of my feet will be out of the rikob (stirrup) my face would be covered so recognize me and when I approach you hold my hand then we will go out of their reach. She went and sat there soon they came she recognised as he has one foot out of the paddle and was running the horse, she also noticed the ring in his finger then she griped his hand and the next moment they disappeared.
They headed towards his village and near the village they the spent night in one house; the owners of the house congratulated him for winning the love of princess and expressed their happiness and told him that as soon he left the village it became barren because nobody diverted water to the village. The next day he left his wife there and went to the intake and diverted water to his village and went to his house. He climbed up the roof of his house looked through the window in to his house. He also heard the servant as saying that he smells the fragrance of Tosh Baig but his parents said that to them Tosh Baig is ash and soil (dead). When Tosh Baig heard this dialogue he entered his house and first of all he cleaned the face of his servant and then the faces of his parents. They became as fresh as they were in their youth, then Tosh Baig told them that he has married the princess. The next day it was announced in the village and they all gathered with pathok (offerings) then he sent his parents who brought the princess to the village, his parents became young.
Whatever I heard and possessed I narrated. The piece of qamachdoon didn’t fill my stomach and the lame donkey didn’t take me to the destination.
Section 6
Dear uncle! Now I would like to thank you on my behalf and on behalf of the Shimshal Nature Trust and the PANOS international for the very interesting discussion on your history and the tales you narrated
Thank you very much
Section 7
Lastly I would like to ask you that this information will be compiled in the shape of a booklet or cassette so what would you suggest, should we publish your name in the book or you will not like your name to be published?
I would like my name to be published in the book.

Very good.
Thank you.

1 It is customary for people to address others with their title not their name, even after their retirement from that position. This means that at any one time several people in the village may be referred to by the same position.