Pakistan, poetry

Highly objective commentary on the situation in Pakistan

Recent events in Pakistan over the past few years have left me broken-hearted. Some have wondered why I, as a Pakistani expat, don’t comment on these events. Why don’t I write an op-ed? A letter of protest? An analysis of the issues?

The truth is, I am speechless. Yesterday, after a long time, I was forced to speak. And I realized the only way  I could express my feelings was in verse. So here’s a poem from 2002.

My mother’s home

Prayer of a Pakistani expatriate for her homeland

Black clouds race across the skies

Over my mother’s home.

O come, do come, and shade the roof

With dark green leaves of the mango tree.

My mother’s house stands alone.

My father’s tired horse pulls

the cart and hurries across stones.

The river rumbles and rises higher.

No one will give my father shelter,

and my mother’s home stands alone.

My brother’s child plays in the dust

With paper horses and dolls of clay;

She does not see the clouds ahead.-

Run, child, run into the house for

Lightning cracks over your innocent play.

My sister embroiders her crimson shawl,

Smiling to think of her wedding day.

But the mad wind in the peepul moans

And tugs upon my sister’s shawl,

And my mother’s house stands alone

Across the seven seas I sit

At foreign windows and watch the sky

Until the last of the swallows has flown

And I wait until my tears alight,

Praying for my mother’s home.

My burly cousins in the neighboring town

Can thatch a roof and mend the walls,

But their own house is made of stone

And they have harvest time today

And do not think of my mother’s home.

My mother’s home stands low with no

brick wall, or gate, or dome.

The harsh wind buffets it from all sides

No one comes to my mother’s aid

And her home stands all alone.

O if I were the river I’d embrace the banks.

I would swallow the clouds if I were the sky.

I’d shade the roof if I were a tree.

If I were light I’d embrace the land

And protect her home from the evil eye.


4 thoughts on “Highly objective commentary on the situation in Pakistan”

  1. Beautiful yet heart-breaking. Many of us are in a state of shock and disbelief about events in Pakistan and it seems like there is no end. One cannot remain an ostrich but wonders at who to cling to and what to do…

  2. Chal koi ni kuriye, Allah sab theek kare ga

    Kubhi kubhi likh liya karo, achha lagta hai
    Baqi to sab kuch wese hi rehta hai, bus zara si khushi ho jaati hai

    How is everone…R, Razor and Co.

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