Here is the translated version of a poem by the great Pakistani poet Anwar Masood. I urge all who read this to watch the original version. It is absolutely hear-wrenching and brought me to tears.
The poem is actually a dialogue between a teacher and a student who has arrived late in the class.
“Late Bashir, you’re late today.
Right here is your village, so close to the school.
I’ll break your bones and set you straight,
for being so reckless, two bells late. “
“Teacher ji, I beg you, please hear me out:
The vilest of vile things Akram has done.
He strikes his mother, and he beats her hard,
but today’s was the worst and left her scarred.
With the churning stick he struck her till it broke,
and fled when the neighbors gathered at the door.
He took his books, and ran for the school.”
“Teacher ji, his mother came to our house
with a face bruised blue, and a hand swollen round.
She had tears in her eyes, and blood on her lips.
She said, ”My son Bashir, My sweet Bashir.
Do me a favor son, my precious Bashir.
Please take this food to the school for my Akram.
He was angry when he left, upset with me.
Take him this bread kneaded with ghee,
and this scramble of eggs, prepared with love.”
Wrapped in a napkin, she handed me his lunch,
and repeatedly for only one thing she pled,
“Go son quickly, swiftly, ahead.
My Akram must be starving by now.
He left for the school without breaking bread.”
“Teacher Ji, she gave me the meal, and here I’ve come.
The vilest of vile things Akram has done.”