It was during the Taliban regime. In that time, my cousin was a shopkeeper. He had a gold shop. His shop was in a four-story market in the old town. He was young, maybe around 18 or so, and my younger brother was working at his shop as an assistant. During that period, boys were not allowed to grow their hair long or shape it in a nice way. There was a special truck that would come and just take every one that had short and styled hair and a short beard. Every time that the Taliban arrived with their truck, everyone would escape and hide some place.
One day my cousin was on his way to his house and the Taliban arrested him because his hair was short. They took him to jail. The jail they took my cousin to was actually an old muddy room with a hole in its roof. There were around ten other people in that tiny room. Most of them were in there because they had short hair or short beards. When the Taliban arrested people and put them in jail, they kept them there for three days or until their hair or beard was long enough! My cousin decided he did not want to stay there. With the help of other men, he managed to escape from the hole of that room. When he was on the roof, he looked around. He ran and jumped down into the neighbor’s house. He ran to the door, opened it and started to run in the tiny block. As he was running, he saw two Talibs before him. One of them hit my cousin with his gun and the other one grabbed him by his patu (a big scarf that men wear.) But my cousin managed to run away.
My family and I were at my aunt’s house when my cousin arrived. As soon as he came in, we understood that something was wrong. He came and sat down. He was touching his head and we saw blood on his hand. My aunt and my mother both asked him what happened. They became very worried. He told us the story. When he rolled up his sleeves, his hands were all scratched and there were cuts on his hands. His head was cut too. He had pain in his arms. Those cuts were burning.
“Now that I think about the jump that I did and about my escape, I can’t believe how I managed to do that,” my cousin said. My aunt and my mother argued with him why he had done such dangerous thing, and what those Talibs would have done if they had arrested him.