“This is an old Seraiki myth that is mostly unheard of now a days”
Superstition runs high in the Seraiki region of Pakistan. The region has many myths ranging from local issues to super natural phenomenons. There are two myths related to Andhi (dust storm), one is about murder and the other is about demons.
Similar myths across the world
There is one myth that is closely related to Seraiki myth that is also about the storm containing dust. The Indigenous Australians have a similar myth. In Aboriginal myths, dust devils are spirits that are trapped in their misery for disobeying God and the Angels. These spirits have a devilish plot that is to mislead the childern of Adam. Parents often used to warn children they if they misbehave, the spirits would emerge from the spinning storm and come for them.
Infamous Seraiki myths
The myths are very popular till the early 1990s, the downfall occurred in the 21st century;
‘Murder in Multan’
It is said that whenever a dust storm is approaching, it means that a person has been murdered nearby due to personal enmity.
‘Kali and Lal Andhis’
The famous myth that is attached to the Multan’s famous red Andhi is that Jinns (Demons) travel with them. Wierd Nah? But this myth is very popular among the aged generation of Seraiki belt of Pakistan. Before the Andhi, children were forbidden to go outside during the time of Kali Andhi as it was said that Jinns would attack the children and bring sadness to that very house. Women were told to cover their heads if they were outside the time of Andhi.
It was said that Jinns at the time of dust storms are looking for shelter that is why they start looking for open houses . Once they enter a house, they used to stay till years or even decades. Cry, sorrow and death was quite common on that house. Thus everybody in Multan used to stay inside the house at the time of Andhi with childern inside and doors closed.
So beware! as you have entered the month of Kali Andhi.
Is this myth true?
A big ‘NO’! But then a question arises, why do some countries term the dust-laden storms as bad. From Egypt till Ancient Australia, dust related storms were said to be possessed by demons.
- In Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Jordan and few other Arab states the dust laden storms are called djin (Devil).
- In Egypt, they are called fasset el ‘afreet (Ghost’s wind).
- In Iran, it is believed that these types of storms bring bad luck.
- In Kenya, they are called ngoma cia aka (Women’s demon/devil).