by Iftikhar Nasim



On this crossroad of adolescence, I stand alone.


         “Even my womb, outside me,

               is in another person’s body”

 Singing this lullaby every night,

I have been putting my unborn children to sleep.


My songs are an elegy to Nature.


None of the sacred books carries

any word of love for me!


I am aware of the intricacy of my kind

I an aware of the infamy of my nights

I am aware of the spectres from these lights


I, the cursed and condemned from the beginning to the end,

have been stoning the wretched prisoner within me,

with my own hands.


All my playmates have gone,

leaving me on this crossroad of adolescence.

Alone I wait for that special person,

            who would be a member of my tribe.

Who would know the secrets of my body,

            know the way to the depth of my soul.

Then I would not feel the need,

            to hide my face with masks.


In this age of turmoil,

            no one comprehends me.

Where is the one,

            for whom I am travelling without any direction?

Where is the wayfarer of my paths!



(Translated from Urdu by Sain Sucha)


From THE SEARCH FOR IDENTITY, 1991, Vudya Kitaban. ISBN: 91-86620-04-5