#WhatInspiresMe Two

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‘We will see

That day…
When the cruel mountains of injustice
Will blow away like cotton wool
We will see.’

Hum Dekhenge by Faiz Ahmed Faiz

Someone asked me the other day what inspired me as a writer and activist so going to be putting up some key influences on my novel page and on here over the next few weeks. As a child growing up in a Pakistani household you could not avoid Faiz. His name was imprinted in the minds of anyone who loved poetry and music and this was something that was common in the seventies and eighties. It was only when I was older when I began to understand urdu better and read him in translation about the power of his words and what he meant:

Before You Came

‘Tum jo naa aa’e the to har chiiz vahii thii kih jo hai
aasmaaN hadd-e-nazar, raahguzar raahguzar, shiishaah-e-mai,
shiishaah-e-mai’

‘Before you came,
things were as they should be:
the sky was the dead-end of sight,
the road was just a road, wine merely wine.’

Faiz continues to be an influence on me and other South Asian writers and you see countless references to him in our works. It is that mix of revolutionary spirit and beautiful lyricism that inspires us.

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