I do not remember how this concept developed that goats and cocks were not allowed in Saidu Sharif, the then capital of Swat State. I have not seen such decree that banned these domestic animals. Yes, one thing is sure; that little kids did not knew much about goats and cocks as they were confined to their schools and the courtyards of their houses.
I am quoting two personal experiences. It was the year 1964, we were living in Afsar Abad, Saidu Sharif Swat. Our house had a big lawn skirted on one side by old, high and strong poplar trees. In the eastern side, we had a small corner reserved for growing some vegetables, like pumpkins, lady fingers and tomatoes on small scale as the watering was hard process and one had to bring water from the public tank near the mosque in Afsar Abad. We were sitting on a cot, my two younger brothers having age of seven to ten years were playing nuts. A goat came to our lawn from the street and rushed to the vegetables. I threw a stone towards it and made it ran back the street. I asked my ten years old brother, “Do you know, what it was”. He said, “Da mangak wo”, meaning it was a mouse. I asked the youngest and he said that it was a cat.
Now I will write another story. It was the month of Ramadhan. I was lying on a cot under the poplar tree, trying to nap in the humid afternoon. A cock came and stopped under my cot. He was quite for some time. Then flapping his wings, he crowed in the highest volume possible. I was much annoyed and threw a stone, aiming at it. I do not understand how but his head went off his body, like cut with a knife and the headless cock ran for some feet and then lay still on the ground. I was shocked. After gathering information, I knew about the owner. He was a school teacher living nearby. He belonged to an old ‘Saiduwal’ working class, very hot tempered and having a loud loose mouth.
After breaking the fast in the evening, I carried the headless cock and knocked his door. He came out and I stammered the whole incident. He went inside the house and confirmed from his wife that their favorite cock was missing. He came out again and started rubbish. I asked him to take it easy and take the price of the deceased cock. He said bluntly, “No, we want exactly the same type of cock and nothing else.” The next morning I called a friend of mine and he purchased the required cock and handed it over to ‘ustad sahib’. So this was the reality on ground in 1964, relating to a sensitive residential area of Saidu Sharif, known as Afsar Abad.
However, these were the fall days of Afsar Abad as the officers have shifted to new modern houses and the golden days were over. We also soon shifted to Bangla No. AB 2 and Afsar Abad was then pulled down, the ground was leveled and modern houses were built within a years.