Nya Qamat

Translated into Urdu by Faizah A. Rajput

In 1974 my young father, mother and two brothers migrated from Pakistan because my father, a scientist, was invited by UCLA to do research in neurochemistry & brain development. The research my father was doing in Pakistan, hadn’t been done in America yet. So, UCLA sent someone to his college to locate him. My family believes their coming to America, when no one else they knew did, was serendipitous. My parents were also motivated to move because we’re Ahmadii Muslims, a minority sect of Islam, which is still persecuted in many countries. I’m a first generation free Ahmadii American woman. 

Faizah A. Rajput earned an MFA in creative writing from Otis College of Art and Design. She is a Los Angeles Review of Books Publishing Fellow and an editor for Otis Books.

Woh bejhijak mashoor Unani dio ke tharana naheen,
jis ka fetah karna wala haath paon suffer karte hain zameen sa
zameen taraf;
Yahaan hamaaraa samandar-dhoya, dhuptay hua sooraj ka
darwaazaa karay hain
Ek mazboot oarat shamaa ka saath, Jis ka shola
roshni qaid, aor us ki naam
Jalaa-watan ke Ma. Un ka roshen-hatt se
dunia ko chamakta hai khush amdeed; us ke narm aankh batate hai
Hawa pul bandargaah jo jora wa shehr ko milaata hain har taraf se.
“Rakho, qadeem zameen, aap ki kahani taqreeb dekhaana!” rote hai wo
khamosh hont ke saat. “Dedo mujhe apne thaka huwa, apne gareeb,
apne kabella majmaa jo khoaahish kartaa hain azaadi ke saans,
Inkaar hua wala un badnaseeb tumhare bharaa hua sahilo.
Bhejna ye, ghar ke baghayr, tufaan-bachana wala mayra raasta,
main uthana mayra bijli sona darwaazaa pass!”

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