By: Pratap Somvanshi
Malala Yousufzai, the Pakistani schoolgirl shot by the Taliban, continues to inspire people around the world with her courage and her message of education for all. Reproduced here, two Hindi poems from India, with translations.
Kaisa baap hai Ziauddin Yousufzai?
Who is this Ziauddin Yousufzai?
English translation by Namita Sethi
Who is he? What does he want?
When terror sweeps across
The valley of Swat
Fear inspired by the Taliban’s diktat:
“Acid shall deface
Any girl who goes to school”;
Spills into the hearts of mothers who hush their daughters behind hastily shut doors holding them close.
At that very moment
Teacher and poet of the valley,
Sows the seed of courage
In his daughter Malala’s heart
In the hope that it shall take root
In the barren soil of Swat
And blossom some day:
A defiant orchard.
In his daughter’s hand
He places poetry
Tagore’s Ekla Chalo Re:
To find her own way
And forge her own path
Alone through streets deserted
To school and to freedom.
She faces the camera
As others quiver
And hide in fear
Why can’t girls come to school?
Why threaten them with acid, whips, guns?
Why erase their voice, their face, their rights?
Which religion teaches thus?
And the world hears.
And in his heart
The poet rejoices
At the possibility
That girl shall be enabled to become all they want
And walk the corridors of power
Malala shall be a doctor, as she would like to be
Not the victim of an anonymous acid thrower
Like the mighty Himalayas
Stands Malala’s guardian
His hand gentle on her head
Defying the extremists,
Firm in his resolve to stay
Anchored in the valley
Nor shall Malala quit school:
Deal with it
Or leave Swat alone.
Pratap Somvanshi is Senior Resident Editor Hindustan Times Group, New Delhi (Hindi Editions). This poem for Malala’s father Ziauddin Yousufzai, written in Hindi, was translated and published in Urdu in Sahafat Daily.
By: Pankaj Nigam
Duniya ki sabse bahadur beti Malala Yusufazai ke liye
For the Bravest Girl in the World, Malala Yousufzai
English translation by Ali Jafari
Through these tiny hands shall emerge
A rising and resounding voice
Proudly fluttering standards of liberty
These tiny hands shall raise and rejoice
Darkness of times shall be put to rout
From the palms of these hands, new suns will come out
These hands will be wings to leap and prance
For butterflies of peace in fairylands to sing and dance
These hands will now settle the accounts
Of those fields of suppression and injustice that no one recounts
These hands will now craft a shining future
For generations to live in love, peace and pleasure
These hands shall now create their fair and shining world
A world devoid of wars, now times will herald
And devoid of atrocities on women and children
A world that I proudly call my own
I pine not for much but be able to laugh
A laughter that doesn’t frighten you — the so ‘tough’ into half
Pankaj Nigam is a media analyst and artist based in New Delhi
Ziauddin Yousufzai with Malala, aged 11, in the NYT film ‘Class Dismissed’ (2009)