Kooch within Kuch

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Migration through migration (Kuch in Kuch)

I was at the office (Nomad House) one day and Sara, IRANomads’ co-founder, was showing me the archive of the Kooch (transhumance, kuch) photos from her laptop, patiently explaining to me the story behind each picture with facial expressions that needless of any words, gave away all her thoughts, feelings & recollections of each and every trip. She explained to me how nomads practice a bi-annual migration (called “Kuch” in Persian) with their herd of livestock in search of green lands and suitable climate and how it is in harmony with nature, protects the environment, and is in and of itself a precious heritage worth preserving.


I had joined IRANomads team recently and the whole Kuch experience was rather new and fascinating to me. Sara kept scrolling and moved on to the more existential matters such as birth and death in the nomadic community. She told me how nomadism is about always going with the flow and how even pregnant women give birth to their children on the move, assigning their babies the names of the mountains in which they are born.
Through scrolling the photos, there came a picture of a simple, nomadic graveyard. Sara sighed & explained to me how nomads bury the deceased in the nearest graveyard in their surroundings, even when they are practicing Kooch. How death, as an inevitable part of life, is not really any different in their community as compared to ours or any others. Someone dies, others live, and life goes on…
And then it suddenly struck me:
The awakening thought that death itself is a kooch; a transition from here to there, a spiritual journey in search of greener pastures for the soul. And in that sense, I realized we are all nomads; some more professional, more light-footed for the upcoming journey, carrying with us only the essentials of life, our saddle packs filled with love, compassion & sympathy; and some of us, a little amateur, packing the unnecessary, heavy piles of vanity, jealousy & malevolence, often ignorant of the fact that we have to kooch one day as well…
From that day on, from that moment of realization, I have been thinking about my own kuch quite often; about the moment of packing. Considering each death in the circle of my family & friends as a reminder for myself, for my own death, I hope to pack wisely during my short stay on earth so as not to find my load too heavy for my soul on the day of kooch…


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