“Your husband won’t eat poems and
mothers-in-law like food;
they’ll slaughter you if you snap at them
in your poetic mood.

Stop reading: getting crow’s feet is
as bad as going blind.”

— Unique encouragement for girls
of a literary bent of mind.

-me, 15th January, 1991.


Fehmida Riaz, “Faiz would say”

Pakistani poet Fehmida Riaz, “Faiz Kehte” (Faiz would say). She imagines what Faiz would say were he alive, and it is timely for so many of us. This is the last stanza.

Dr. Azra Raza recites.


کچھ لوگ تمہیں سمجھائیں گے

وہ تم کو خوف دلائینگے

جو ہے وہ بھی کھو سکتا ہے

اس راہ میں رہزن ہیں اتنے

کچھ اور یہاں ہو سکتا ہے

ارے کچھ اور تو اکثر ہوتا ہے

تم جس لمحے میں زندہ ہو

وہ لمحہ تم سے زندہ ہے

یہ وقت نہیں پھر آئیگا

تم اپنی کرنی کر گزرو

جو ہوگا دیکھا جائےگا


My translation:

Some people will counsel you

they will surely frighten you:

“Whatever we have, can be lost too!

So many bandits in this path,

something else can happen here too”

Why, something else happens all the time!

The moment you are living in,

that moment is alive by you

This time will not come back again

What you must do, go on and do:

whatever happens, we’ll deal with then!