From Arvand to China


by Kamangir

I am near the Pire Sabz mountain close to yazd, I have been here many times but never for so long. I have waited and waited, then I hear her voice I see her face, she looks in my eyes and asks me: do you know where my family is? I tell her that her brother went to china and never came back, that her father was gonne forever and her sister was taken to a strange land where she kept dreaming of her family and house, I tell her that her sister finally scaped and returned home, just to see nobody was there. I can see her tears rolling on her cheeks. She holds my hand and tells me her name is Nikbanou that her older sister's name is Bibibanou and her good brother Pirooz always looked after them, she then asks me if I know who her father is and I tell her yes I know my dear king, I know Yazdgerd.

She asks me why her brother went to such a far away land and never returned. I tell her that her brother went to china along with other friends and members of the Royal family, they joined a community of merchant persiand already stablished there and the great emperor of china accepted Pirooz as a guest. As per why pirooz never returned, well I have heard that he wanted to return and he made great efforts to gather a chinese army in order to repell the strangers from his beloved homeland. He became the commander of the western chinese provinces that borderered Persia. There was a battle near today's Tajikistan where the chinese army led by Pirooz lost the battle against the Arabs.  Suddenly she looks away at the horizon, with tears in her eyes she recalls that last day where she on a horseback fled being followed by the Arabs. The mountain here was her last refuge as her horse couldn't keep up.

I asked her about the last days in the Royal palace, I always wanted to know what happened during those last weeks before the colapse of the government. Nikbanou looks down, blinks quietly looks back to the horizon and says: We knew that they were coming and we had detailed accounts of what had happened in Tisphoon Palace, we knew what they had done and what they where capable of doing, therefore we were afraid, specially us the women. Some elderly members of the government close to my father Yazdgerd, thought that we could still gather enough troops to defend ourselves, however others, including Barbad, the musician was already asking permission to leave, saying that he had to take his family away and out of harms way... my father Yazdgerd was very simpathetic towards those who wanted to leave, he understood their fear, mainly among us there were some that had managed to run away from Tisphoon and were telling others what the Arabs would do to us if we stayed. Some of their family members had been killed and others taken to Arab lands as slaves. There was a young man among us who believed that we sould all try to get to Rome and ask for help.  Among us there were many that were familiar with the latin language and tehrefore felt was easier to deal with Romans. As Nikbanou goes on about the details of those sad days, I wonder if King Yazdger would have wanted to ask the Romans for help.


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