Sunday, November 4, 2007

Barr - Bahar, Hajji Eloo w Alwan..

We were cousins.. different ages, different moods.. my cousins and I used to gather at my Beebee el Hijjiya' s old house every Thursday night..
Or Fridays sometimes, especially in winter.. the house with its big garden, very tempting for our games.. chasing one another up and down the short stairs leading to the Tarma, running in imaginary tours around the house.. running to catch one another in Jommeda.. or (Selleban) -as was called in my old school.. (but cant remember its details very clearly !)..
It always seems like a colorful dream to me, whenever I look back.. no matter how many years have passed or would pass.. which reminds me that one of the favorite games was one called Alwan – Colors.. the assigned one would stand in the middle , and then suggests a certain color loudly.. each one of us should run quickly and locate that same color and touch it, or shouts out : Hayyataa..meaning he has found the required color, so he is safe !! then another color is suggested and on goes..
There was also a game which we all liked .. Barr – Bahar.. we would stand in a looong line, side by side.. on the line where the Thayyal of Beebee's garden ends..and the grayish Shtigher begins..One of us would start shouting repeatedly.. Barr, Bahar, Barr, Bahar, and we would jump from (Bahar) to (Barr) .. the Bahar would be the garden usually..Bahar, Barr, Bahar.. then a sudden repeated word: Bahar, Bahar , Barr.. "B.. You lose.." cause B missed and jumped to Barr instead of remaining in Bahar .. and so on each will miss eventually.. as the "caller" does what he can to make us miss and lose the game.. the losers would stand aside watching the others to find who is the last to win..
My favorite was Hajji Eloo.. always loved it.. again, the assigned one would stand in the middle.. we, in a circle watching him attentively.. suddenly he would shout : EEeeebdaaaaa.. (Start) .. he then starts running chasing us , we must all run at once and find a higher (something) to stand on.. the stairs, a chair, a Qanafa, anything high to be safe.. that’s where the name comes, Eloo meaning Height..the one who gets caught of course loses..
The laughs, the endless running , the green Thayyal.. Ashar el Hadiqa.. our parents would all gather inside to escape the noise .. drinking their Chai in the (Hall) with its old Qanafat.. warm family gathering and usual family chat.. my Beebee would be watching everybody with her eyes..too tired to talk..but her presence overwhelmed us all with love and Aaman..there was nothing to fear.. at that time there were nothing to fear..the outer world was as peaceful as can be.. what could happen ??!! definitely nothing..!!
Happy old days.. happy old games.. all so vivid in my mind.. I can see K, she was the oldest..B with here ever laughing face..A with his silly arrogance.. G always kept to herself.. H and F were always not so friendly.. O was trying to be the one to lead ..L was always mad, judging each one of us.. M ever so sophisticated ..and me.. I was a very bashful little girl..
How many years separate us from the past ? How many miles separate us now ?
But the colorful memories will always stay on.. warming our hearts..