Turned Out You Were Just Like Us

Turned Out You Were Just Like Us

(Pakistani poet, human-rights activist and feminist, Fahmida Riaz, passed away at the age of 72 on November 22, 2018. We are publishing below the English translation of one of her oft-quoted nazms, “Tum bilkul hum jaise nikle”.)


So it turned out you were just like us!

Where were you hiding all this time, buddy?

That stupidity, that ignorance

we wallowed in for a century

Look, it arrived at your shores too!

Many congratulations to you!

Raising the flag of religion,

I guess now you’ll be setting up Hindu Raj?

You too will commence to muddle everything up

You, too, will ravage your beautiful garden.

You, too, will sit and ponder,

I can tell preparations are afoot,

Who is truly Hindu, who is not.

I guess you’ll be passing fatwas soon!

There, too, it will become hard to survive.

There, too, you will sweat and bleed.

You’ll barely make do joylessly.

You will gasp for air like us.

I used to wonder with such deep sorrow,

And now, I laugh at the idea,

It turned out you were just like us!

We weren’t two nations after all!

To hell with education and learning

Let’s sing the praises of ignorance

Don’t look at the potholes in your path

Bring back instead the times of yore!

Practice harder till you master

the skill of always walking backwards.

Let not a single thought of the present

break your focus upon the past!

Repeat the same thing over and over

over and over,

Say only this:

How glorious was India in the past!

How sublime was India in days gone by!

Then, dear friends, you will arrive

in heaven after all.

Yep. We’ve been there for a while now.

Once you are there,

Once you’re in the same hell-hole,

Keep in touch and tell us how it goes!

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दिल्लीत सुरु असलेल्या शेतकरी आंदोलनाच्या पार्श्वभूमीवर या लहान पुस्तिकेचे प्रकाशन लोकायत मार्फत करण्यात आले आहे. शेतकरी आंदोलन आणि त्यातल्या मागण्या या केवळ शेतकऱ्यांपुरत्याच नसून विविध अंगांनी सर्व सामान्य जनतेच्या हिताच्या आहेत, याबाबत मांडणी करणारी ही पुस्तिका!