时间:2020-03-31 来源:文都网校 浏览: 分享:



      They called him "flat-nosed" because of Ali and Hassan's characteristic Hazara Mongoloidfeatures. For years, that was all I knew about the Hazaras, that they were Mogul descendants, and that they looked a little like Chinese people. School text books barely mentioned them andreferred to their ancestry only in passing. Then one day, I was in Baba's study, lookingthrough his stuff, when I found one of my mother's old history books. It was written by anIranian named Khorami. I blew the dust off it, sneaked it into bed with me that night, and wasstunned to find an entire chapter on Hazara history. An entire chapter dedicated to Hassan'speople! In it, I read that my people, the Pashtuns, had persecuted and oppressed the Hazaras. It said the Hazaras had tried to rise against the Pashtuns in the nineteenth century, but thePashtuns had "quelled them with unspeakable violence." The book said that my people hadkilled the Hazaras, driven them from their lands, burned their Homes, and sold their women. The book said part of the reason Pashtuns had oppressed the Hazaras was that Pashtuns wereSunni Muslims, while Hazaras were Shi'a. The book said a lot of things I didn't know, things myteachers hadn't mentioned. Things Baba hadn't mentioned either. It also said some things I didknow, like that people called Hazaras "mice-eating, flat-nosed, load-carrying d&111nkeys". I hadheard some of the kids in the neighborhood yell those names to Hassan.


      The following week, after class, I showed the book to my teacher and pointed to the chapter onthe Hazaras. He skimmed through a couple of pages, snickered, handed the book back. "That'sthe one thing Shi'a people do well," he said, picking up his papers, "passing themselves asmartyrs." He wrinkled his nose when he said the word Shi'a, like it was some kind of disease.


      But despite sharing ethnic heritage and family blood, Sanaubar joined the neighborhood kids intaunting Ali. I have heard that she made no secret of her disdain for his appearance.


      "This is a husband?" she would sneer. "I have seen old d&111nkeys better suited to be a husband."


      In the end, most people suspected the marriage had been an arrangement of sorts betweenAli and his uncle, Sanaubar's father. They said Ali had married his cousin to help restore somehonor to his uncle's blemished name, even though Ali, who had been orphaned at the age offive, had no worldly possessions or inheritance to speak of.


      Ali never retaliated against any of his tormentors, I suppose partly because he could nevercatch them with that twisted leg dragging behind him. But mostly because Ali was immune tothe insults of his assailants; he had found his joy, his antidote, the moment Sanaubar hadgiven birth to Hassan. It had been a simple enough affair. No obstetricians, noanesthesiologists, no fancy monitoring devices. Just Sanaubar lying on a stained, nakedmattress with Ali and a midwife helping her. She hadn't needed much help at all, because, even in birth, Hassan was true to his nature:

      He was incapable of hurting anyone. A few grunts, a couple of pushes, and out came Hassan. Out he came smiling.


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