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My grandmother is an incredibly bold and strong woman. Having been separated from her husband after having her sixth child, my grandmother raised all of her kids on the income she earned as the principal of a college in Lahore, Pakistan. She is Afghani Pathaan blood, which means that she is from the Pathaan tribe in Afghanistan and Northern Pakistan, which is known for its ferocity and inability to be controlled; these are the people whom even Alexander the Great wasn’t able to conquer. With blue eyes and a stature just over five feet tall, she does not look intimidating, but she can be quite intimidating when it comes to something that she is determined to do.
Our family legend has it that when she was around 10 years old, she got in a fight with one of her cousins over some trivial matter. The cousin had somehow slighted my grandmother – no one quite knows exactly what the cousin did. Needless to say, my grandmother was incredibly irked and was determined to get revenge and set her cousin straight.
She ran around the house and the neighborhood looking for her cousin, but all to no avail. Instead, she found her aunt, the mother of the cousin whom she was looking for. The aunt had no idea where her young daughter was and set my grandmother off on a goose-hunt. Finally, after having searched for her cousin everywhere without fruition, my grandmother came back to her aunt and slapped her. This is not something that our family is necessarily proud of. However, when my grandmother describes the slap, she laughs heartily and says “My poor, innocent aunt. She was always so nice.” In her ten-year old mind, it was perfectly okay to slap her aunt to get revenge on her cousin.
– Nayab Khan