|besan ka halva|
my dadi (paternal grandmother) is a formidable woman. as a child, her appetite for grisly stories intended to inculcate fearlessness in her grandchildren gave me nightmares. they were peppered with kidnappings and robberies by wadera’s and daku’s (vernacular for tribal chieftains and robbers). it did not help that my vivid imagination was easily supplemented by figures in dramas like kashkol and dasht. the latter was about the story of two lovers caught between personal enmities of warring tribes in balochistan. it was replete with burly men with butterfly moustaches bearing arms. the former was about a beggar cartel whose network was made up of kidnapped children. she was keen on us watching these with her. in addition she had grown up in an age when religion was synonymous with fearing god. and so i grew up hearing much about sinning, the afterlife and hell.