My young friend has translated Fahmida Riaz‘s words, and how inspiring these are..
“There is a wall in front of us, we have a choice , either to die lamenting or die by banging our heads against the wall, in that case we would have at least tried to break the wall—“
And, his conclusion was: “The wall is same, the heads are same , the choice is ours——-”
Here is the last stanza of a poem, Condolence Resolution by Fahmida Riaz:
Don’t be distressed if Â I am left unburied
If the priest denies me the final rites.
Carry the remains to the woods and leave it there.
It comforts me to think that the beasts would feast
At my bones, my flesh, this strong red heart,
They would feel no need to screen my thoughts.
Their bellies filled, they’ll clean their paws
And their sinless eyes will gleam with a truth
That you, my friends, dare never express:
‘She always said what she had to say,
And for all her life had no regrets.’
(translation by Patricia Sharpe)
P.S. I have to share a sad piece of news: Fahmida- the greatest living Urdu voice now – lost her only son Kabeer, last month, who drowned in the US. She only found out days later. This is a tragic loss for her – a son whose future she was nurturing and wanted him to get the best education (that involved personal sacrifices on her part). I have not been able to talk – she is away from the phone and I have no words – they continue to elude me – to utter!