Posts Tagged ‘poverty’
They came—- they searched my home
And they found a love letter
From one of my very old books
And torn to shreds, rose flower!
That got crushed under a long boot
A list of household things
from my old diary
of the last days of the month
that couldn’t be bought;
this list was ironically laughed at
and torn into pieces;
my genuine brilliant dated prose
was taken into custody!
I’m imprisoned now
For the crime of not having
Any ammo for self defense
My children are witnesses against me
And so are my neighbors
Translated by Tanveer Rauf
My son often saw this old lady picking weeds, dried and withered branches and conked out brooms form the roadside or from someone’s garden. The scorching sun or the icy weather or rains never hindered her way.
Whenever he saw her near his home, he gave her food and some cash. He asked her about her whereabouts and why does she collect useless things. But the language she spoke was French for my son. But they exchanged friendly smiles seeing each other.
One day my son saw her on the roadside plucking flowers and weeds. Fortunately I can speak and comprehend some regional languages of my homeland so he brought her home.
She is a Pathan. What she told me was painful. She said; “I’m a widow. My son is a cobbler. He has six children. All of them are under ten years of age. Her daughter in law is paralyzed. One child is epileptic.”
“Why do you collect grass and weeds?” I asked in Pashto. “We cook weeds as we can’t afford to buy veggies, leave aside meat.” She said.
“What do you gather torn brooms.” she replied; “I remake brooms and sell them.”I hate begging. Life is to be lived and cherished! She said chuckling.
One doesn’t have to be educated to be wise, patient and gratified to the Creator. Her gleaming eyes and skeptical smile said so much to me.
Life itself is a living book of knowledge that teaches something unique and new every moment. May we learn and practice what it teaches us. amen
It’s good, they died—–
If, lived —-what would they see?
Putrefying dead bodies
Dignity and pride being disgraced
It’s good they died!
If, lived, what would they see?
Immoral and callous conduct
Helplessness and earthiness
Inhumanity tetchy humanity
Corruption and loitering
Blessed, not seeing, this
It’s good, they died
If, lived, what would they see?
I was absorbed thinking about some topic to write on when all of a sudden the telephone bell disrupted me.
My old friend Sabiha was on the phone. It was pleasant surprise to hear her. Both of us being occupied with our chores didn’t meet for quite long so we set time to meet at her home on Saturday evening.
Sabiha greeted me with same warm smile like always.
The environment she has created in her home is very comfortable and pleasant. One feels at ease and at home in her simple but artistically set home. She not only a good cook is a very amiable host too. Home made munchies with fruit were set on the table to enjoy our friendly heart-to-heart talk.
She is serving as an Administrator in a school run by a reputed NGO.
I told her about my freelance writing.
Sabiha was surprised when I told her that I would take her interview. She tried to avoid it as she is very serene and never likes to be in glare of publicity. Her point of view was that she is not a famous lady or belongs to any political party, has influential status or media persona.
Who would be interested to read?
But I insisted to unveil her life story just to encourage other hundreds of ladies like herself
who may possibly follow her footsteps and live with bliss self-confidence and opulence.
Elite class has means and sources and does not face the bitterness of life as common people do, so they need to be encouraged. Her talk can be a landmark for one or many. Every one is born with a purpose set by Almighty so Sabiha may provide a path to follow or inspire some to boost up their moral.
Sabiha modestly agreed to unveil her struggles and turmoil, which she carried like yoke on her shoulders after her husband’s demise till date.
I requested her to answer my questions in line with the sequence.
Tanveer: when and where were you born Sabiha?
Sabiha: with a smile and taking a sip of coffee she replied that she is Virgo and was born in Karachi on 19th September.
Tanveer: will you please enlighten us about your educational credentials?
Sabiha: I did B.Sc fromGovt.P.E.C.HCollege
Tanveer: I remember you got married somewhere in early 80’s
Sabiha: you are right Tanveer I got married just after two days of Valentine’s Day i.e. on 16th February 1981
Tanveer: what are your sons Babar, Umair and Sair doing now?
Sabiha: All three sons masha Allah graduated from LUMS. Two of them are married. I have one grand daughter too.
Tanveer: you were a very submissive type of a girl. How did your husband’s death influence you?
Sabiha” My husband’s death taught me that I had strength I was unaware of. With widowhood came the surfacing of an inner self. I have learned, though it took a few years, that pain is a natural part of living. We grow by losing n leaving and letting go.
Tanveer: I am impressed with your practical approach towards life. Would you share how your husband died?
Unfortunately he got heart attack on 8th May and breathed his last on 9thMay 1993.
Tanveer: how will you put it in your words now
Sabiha: In every new experience happy or sad there is need to let go of what WAS until we do that, we can’t appreciate what’s IS.
Tanveer: Bravo! I never knew my dear friend that you have become so matured a lady now. (I was, moved and astonished by her courage to face life so daringly.)
Sabiha: The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched.
They must be felt with the heart.
Tanveer: I recollect you worked as teacher in a school too
Sabiha: Yes I served Hamdard for 11 years. I worked in two shifts in Hamdard to make my ends meet for all 3 sons were studying. I worked in Hamdard village school in evening shift along with morning shift.
Tanveer: how was your experience inVillageSchool?
Sabiha: Tanveer I observed poverty very closely there and felt the agony of appetite, poverty and poor health.
Being sailing in the same boat I could only alleviate poor students with my kind words and care. I gained their love, trust and heart felt gratification that I treasure a lot.
Tanveer: would you mind if I ask you something personal Sabiha?
Sabiha: smilingly she said, in a hot, dry season, a tiny drop of kindness makes the world healthier and more hopeful. Tanveer dear your company is a pleasure for me so you can ask me anything!
Tanveer: was your salary enough to execute your requirements?
Sabiha: To be honest no. I believe in dignity of labor and have no reservations in saying that I gave coaching in the evening, sew and designed dresses and bed sheets and exhibit them for sale. I got what I did in return for good mind, good finds.
Tanveer: Did you face any problem with authorized departments?
Sabiha: would you believe me Tanveer that departments like KDA, PTCL, KESC, POLICE all helped and solved my troubles with kindness and respect even so they have no high-quality repute. But where there is a will there is a way. I trust Allah so I over came all hindrances.
Tanveer: you are right Sabiha; God helps those who help them selves.
Tanveer: any message for readers?
Sabiha: My message for one n all is to please give time to yourself along with people around you. Enjoy life, as it is beautiful gift of God.
You never repay who help you in your trip through life, but you can pass on the payment. It will give you inner peace.
” Nothing is ever lost what I learned I put to use somewhere else”
Tanveer: Why did you not remarry nor do you miss partner?
Sabiha: I did not remarry for stepfather is crueler. He lacks endurance. He fails to tolerate forgive any shortcomings of other man’s children. Hence I sacrificed for my children’s’ betterment.
How ever one needs a companion to share pains and gains.
Tanveer: Thank you Sabiha for your time and enriching me with your positive and consistent efforts to enjoy the colors of life. God BLESS YOU.