Written by: Mohammad Osman Najib
The tragic, sorrowful and true story of a father and daughter’s separation in
Afghanistan.
Family discrepancies cause separation between a father and his daughter. The two-
year-old, who is his first child gets separated from his father and goes to Pakistan with
her mother. After a while, the father goes to Pakistan and finds his daughter and her
mother. After a lot of problems and controversies, the daughter and her mother agree to
head back to Afghanistan. The father, who has had a second marriage too, asks his dad
to go to Pakistan and accompany his granddaughter and his daughter-in-law back to
Afghanistan. Eventually, the girl returns to the warmth of his father’s house and
embrace and starts a happy life with both of his mothers. In family gatherings, both her
mothers join her father wearing the same clothes and with no distinction from each
other. To the point where they stir admiration and at times even envy in others. Not long
goes by this happy period of the girl’s life when her biological mother starts being
unhappy and asks for a divorce. Her mother’s certain mental complications cause her
father to accept the fate of separation. Contrary to usual, her father decides to leave the
responsibility of the little girl to her mother and with the company of the girl’s
grandfather, sends them back to Pakistan where the girl’s other grandfather and
grandmother are living. The girl’s father even writes and signs a divorce letter but he
sends monthly cash funds through his friends to his daughter and his wife. After a
certain while, some major revelations occur in the life of the little girl and her mother. A
friend of the father lets him know that the mother would no longer accept the monthly
cash he sends them. Her father, with the aim of maintaining contact, goes to Pakistan
but his efforts to find them ends with no success because they had changed their
address. Left with no other choice, her father asks his friends to inform him if and when
they find any trace of his daughter or their new address. These searches and
wanderings look like a game the wolf plays with the sheep. Several times, his friends try
to make contact as soon as they find a new trace, address or contact. However, it’s as if
there some invisible being who informs his ex-wife and her family that he has found
their address. Dusk doesn’t turn to dawn, dawn doesn’t turn to dusk and they would
already change their address. More time goes by and a friend informs the father that his
ex-wife would not accept the monthly cash due to her marriage with a Pakistani man
and the little girl is now living with her grandparents, her uncle and a disabled aunt.
During all this time, the little girl faces a lot of highs and lows of life. All of her father’s
and his friends’ attempts of finding their ever changing address results to nothing. A
great deal of time passes and the little girl remains separated from his father for over 20
years. After a lot of searching, the father finds out his daughter has moved to America
bearing her grandfather’s last name and the guise of being his daughter and that her
grandparents and the rest of the family have made sure she gets the best education,

care and upbringing. However, that is all the little girl’s father can find out, nothing about
their exact whereabouts or a contact. By a scarce chance, the father who was
continuously searching for his daughter, came by a friend who had contact with one of
the girl’s aunts in Kabul and asked him to elicit some contact information from the aunt.
The father’s efforts bear fruit when his friend succeeds in finding a telephone number to
America where he believes his daughter is. He calls the number. Hearing “hello” from
the other side of the phone, the girl’s grandmother, who was a sensitive woman,
recognizes her once son-in-law’s voice after close to twenty years and starts to curse at
him on the phone and hangs up. Once again, they change the number the father is back
to square one. But he and his friends do not give up and they keep searching and
asking around until they find another number. Bearing a crushing weight of sorrow, the
father does not lose his will and calls again. The same thing happens again where the
grandmother picks the phone up, curses at him and then hangs up. After this, he loses
track of them for one more year. Meanwhile, the once little girl has grown beautiful and
youthful. Her father uses a different approach and decides to let his friends attempt to
make contact first. The father’s friend from different places like Europe, Pakistan,
Afghanistan and America join hands to try and find another contact number. They do so
and each in turn call the number and indirectly ask about the girl’s whereabouts and
wellbeing. However, all of them face the same consequence as the father and they get
yelled at by the girl’s grandmother. However, they did not fold and tried to communicate
and convince the girl’s grandmother. But it was of no use. Everybody was puzzled as to
why would the phone be answered by the grandmother every time? One day, the father
decides to call the number from his personal phone. That day, was marking the 20 th year
that his daughter was separated from him. He calls. And without any anticipation, the
girl herself answers the phone and says hello in Persian. The father gets giddy and
vertigo and wants to shout his lungs out from happiness but he instantly realizes that
the most minute mistake at a big moment like this could take all his chances away from
him, perhaps forever. The father who is a military general and has seen a lot of wars,
cries intensely inside but manages to not let it out and asks the girl: Who are you? What
is your name? What is your father’s name? The girl answers and the father realizes that
she is not stating her real name and she is even naming her grandfather as her father.
He says with himself: “You have the right to do this and not know or recognize me. I
have failed to be a good father”. He carefully asks his daughter again if that’s really her
and her father’s name and the girl says that its true. He realizes that his daughter is not
ready to hear her father’s name or anything. She does not even ask him who he is or
why has he called? Why is he asking so many questions? So, father tries to loosen the
thread a little so that it doesn’t sever and calmly says goodbye. Whiles go by and other
efforts of contact sum up to nothing, the number is never answered by anyone again no
matter who calls. If by chance its answered, its again the grandmother cursing and
swearing like always. Few months go by and the father has kept his search a secret
from his current family so that it does not cause any distress. One day around dusk, he
is standing on the balcony of his apartment and decided to leave a voicemail to his ex-
father-in-law. He called the number and as expected the number was not answered so
he started to record the voicemail. After saying hello and paying respect he said:
Father: I know you’re going to hear my message. You have full custody of the girl, all I
want is for her to talk to me just once and call be dad. I …..

As he is recording the voicemail, the phone gets picked up by the girl’s uncle:
Uncle: Yeah, Hello… I’m kissing your hands … I …. How strange that you would call
now ….. 15, 20 years but you choose today … your ex-wife passed away in Pakistan
today and you …. Like a miracle …. Show up for your daughter… what wisdom lies
behind this?
The father thinks … is he messing with me or maybe he is tired of him and friends
calling the number again and again. He asks the uncle to please not make excuses
“The girl belongs with you; all I ask is if you let me talk with her” but he heard crying
noises over the phone and realized that in fact his ex-wife has really passed away. And
just like the movies and serials, the heartbroken and sad girl loses his mother and his
dad comes back to his life again. The uncle promises to let him talk to his daughter after
twenty years once the grieving and the ceremonies are over but he insisted that the
grandmother of the girl does not find out until she too is ready to accept this reality.
And so, a morning that would end a long wait arrived and the father woke up to the ring
of his phone and the uncle said:

  • Here, talk with your daughter.
    Daughter: hello …. D…A….D….
    Father: MY DAUGHTERRRRRR
    You can soon read the entirety of this sombrous story in a treatise. Hopefully, a series-
    show will also be made about this story with the cameos of the real father and daughter
    of the story.

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