In August 2012, a group of Shia Muslims was apprehended and slaughtered by a militant strain of Sunni Muslims, a blasphemy-accused disabled Christian male was lynched and killed by a mob, and, an 11-year old Rimsha Masih (now given refuge in Canada) was accused of blasphemy. Coming out of these three religion-based violent crimes, the poem ‘Holier Than Life’ was a painful experience to write. One of those moments hours days when verses flow like tears, and tears drop like molten wax.
In the ebook Holier Than Life, ‘Porn creation’ is another such poem, ‘The Clowns of Blasphemy’, and of course, ‘Mirwah’s Unnamed Girl’, a translation of one of five Punjabi poems on the 2008 alive burials of eight Balochi women.
The poem ‘Holier than Life’ was posted on facebook at night, and the next morning, i saw an Urdu translation of it on my timeline. Not just that it was a translation that would make the poem accessible where it most needed to, but also because it was clean, actually beautiful, depiction of the original. What a pleasant surprise, Shamoon Saleem.
As much as it’s possible to extract pleasure from pain, than this was one of those occasions in 2012. And this morning again i was happy to find a new post from Shamoon Saleem with his translation, and a link to the eBook Holier Than Life containing the original. Thank you, Shamoon. I hope that some more of my poems inspire you.
Earlier in 2011, Daljit Ami had script-converted my Punjabi poem ‘Aahr 2011’ from Shahmukhi to Gurmukhi within minutes of its posting on facebook.
I am grateful to everyone, people and pages, for creating with and sharing my poems in 2012, before and after.