Rural life Last Century Part- 1

Dr. Abdus Salam [email protected]


1. Ginning Cotton was grown locally on the irrigated land of wells. Its seeds were separated by the women at home on locally designed machine called belna (wailna) ویلنا Roller gin. Cotton Seeds (pay way- پیوے) were fed to animals and a part was kept for next crop. We kids operated the belna as a fun.


Bajwara (بجواڑا) is natural brown cotton wool and is rare compared to white one. Its seeds were valued much and saved for the next crop. Bajwara Khais (کھیس) was a rare special gift traditionally meant for sons in law. My mother-in-law gifted them to senior sons in laws. Unfortunately, I was a junior one.


Captain Ajmaeen Bangash (Later Colonel) was our colleague at Sarai Alamgir in 1982. He was an education officer from Hindko Belt of Kohat. We had lingual and cultural similarities. Once he mentioned that his father longs for Bajwara Khais (بجواڑا کھیس) of Pindi Gheb. We had one in our home and gifted him.

2. Cotton carding (Fluffing- پنجائی) After ginning the process was to loosen the cotton (cotton carding). This was a special job done by professionals. The tool used for carding was called ” paynjana” (پینجنا).It produced a very typical sound. Mansoor Hallaj’s(منصور حلاج) (858 – 26 March 922-Hijri 244 AH – 309 AH) father was a cotton-carder. Hallaj means “cotton-carder” in Arabic

3.Then the cotton wool was given cigar-shaped roll called a pooni (پونی) Pooni was used for making thread on charkha (spinning wheel).


In 1998 I was at Kharian. I heard an elder reciting

مدینے توں لیا دے… روں۔۔( روئی)

میں ساری رات ..کَتیا.. کروں (spinning)

Zabar on Kaaf …Katya

چرکھا.. بی کردا اے ذکر الٰہی

میرے من وّچ وسدا اے توں

4. The accumulated thread on tarakla (Takla –Iron spindle of charkha) was called چھلي chhalli.

5. Challies were given the shape of atties (skeins) on a small wooden tool called Aterian. Atties were given to weavers for onward steps.


ایک سیدھی لکڑی کے سرے پر دو چھوٹی خمیدہ لکڑیاں لگی ہوتی ہیں۔ جن کے کنارے بھی خمدار ہوتے ہیں۔ اِس پر سوت لپیٹ کر انٹی۔۔اٹی۔۔ بناتے ہیں۔اٹی،سوت کا لچّھا،اس کی شکل انگریزی آٹھ ..8.. کی طرح ہوتی ہے۔ محاورہ میں ۔اٹی۔۔تھوڑی اور کم حیثیت چیز کو کہتے ہیں

اک سوت کی اٹی مرے سانسوں کا اثاثہ

اور یوسف ہستی کا خریدار ہوں مولا

Steps one, three, four and five was a common site at most of the houses at our village. Of course, Ammi Ji was doing all this.


6. The atties were given the shape of nalkies. Weavers’ ladies prepared nalkies نلکی for weft.

7. Weavers ( پاؤلی ) demanded flour in addition to money.  Flour was used to starch the thread as paan(پان). Pawalies completed this process in open streets. Weaver stretched cotton yarn in streets and ladies helped him to starch it.

The tani (تانی) was spread on ghories (گھوڑی) (wooden four legs structure). Threads were separated with the help of Extra-Large brush called Koochi. It was 3 feet long to cover the whole Taani.

Sometime the animal passing through the streets created tension for weavers. They broke thread and the weavers had to join the threads again. This was a time-consuming process.

8. Later threads of Taani were passed through an instrument called Kanghee (کنگھی) and joined with the piece of tani already available with Kanghee and fitted for weaving on khadi (Pit Loom). Thereafter, weft thread (پیٹا Paita-Bana) was passed through the thread of tani (warp-  تانا…Tana) transversely with the help of Nalli (shuttle). The weaver used both hands and both legs when working on loom. Pawalies retained a piece of tani about one yard in length for joining the next tani with it.

9.When cloth came out of  khadi it was in very rough . Then it was taken to Baba Faqira tailor (dhabba) of Gandakas for the process to soften it ۔ That process

was called khumming. Now the cloth was ready for stitching.

10. There were five Pit Looms in Malhuwala. Fazal Elahi was Durry & Khais specialist. Baz,

Durra, Muhammad and Yaseen were general cadre weaver.

11۔Cobblers, carpenters and hairdressers were able to spare time for cultivation and owned land.  Weaving was a whole time and all-season job so weavers couldn’t afford cultivation activities. And naturally couldn’t grow sugar cane.


ہور چوپو

گاوں والے کچھ سیانے پینڈو جمع ہوئے ۔ کہ ہم نے اگر یہاں گنے کی فصل لگائی ، اور جب فصل تیار ہوگی تو   پاؤلی  ہمارے گنے کھا جائیں گے۔  کیونکہ باقی سب قوموں کی زمین ہے ۔صرف جولاہوں کی زمین نہیں، ایک سیانے نے کہا چلو ان کو مارتے  ہیں۔             

کرتے ہیں۔۔ تاکہ وہ ڈر  کر یہ کام نہ کریں

سب نے جا کر ان  غریبوں کو مارنا شروع کردیا۔

ان بیچاروں نے پوچھا ۔ بھائی ہمیں کیوں مار رہے ہو۔

جٹوں نے کہا   ہور چو پو  گنے  

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Dr. Abdus Salam -
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