Tuesday, October 11, 2016

You turned out to be just like us

tr. from Fahmida Riaz's 'Tum bilkul ham jaise nikle'

(from Pakistan with love)

You turned out to be just like us,
where were you hiding all this while?
The same foolishness, the same fuss,
which made us waste a century
now knocks at your door, don't you see?
Well done sir, really. Well done.

Bogeymen of faith loom around.
Really, you'll set up Hindu Raj?
Spoil every thing at large,
and darken your own skies.
Will you too sit and devise
(seems like you're all too ready)
who is Hindu, who is not,
you too will issue fatwas.
Here too, life will be fraught,
here too, you'll sweat & hum &
haw & somehow pass the days,
suffocated, sick, in daze.
Till recently I was saddened
by all this but now I find it funny
- you turned out to be just like us,
we are one people after all, honey.

Let education go rot. We'll
make a virtue out of not knowing.
So what if the road ahead is potholed,
backward's the only way we're going.
If we only practice harder,
we'll get to go back farther.
We won't think of anything else
except look backwards, again
and again, and say it loud,
again and again -
How strong and great was Bharat!
What an epic State was Bharat!
It will be then that you will surely
reach - surely reach the paradise.
See, we are already here,
you must now find time for us -
from the hell you are in, my boo,
keep on sending a letter or two.

Fahmida Riaz

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