Sara Shagufta

Urdu poet from Pakistan

Sara Shagufta (31 October 1954 – 4 June 1984) was a Pakistani poet who wrote poetry in Urdu and Punjabi language.

Quotes edit

  • I woke up that night to the screams of women. I don’t know when I’d fallen asleep, or passed out, but when I woke up, the manic, lost, women were all around me, walking, shambling. I remember that night, my first night in this asylum – I had retreated into the corner, into the shadows, and looked through the bars, bars that had been chained with many locks. The locks were like eyes: the eyes of a man’s vigilance. As I focused, the lock slowly extended to reveal the form of a man, a man sprawling on the bed: I thought of the violence of beds, of my marriage. The man on this bed was my husband – a man who used to beat me metal-blue to eliminate his fear of women. There were other ways of elimination: polishing his black boots and making them shine, washing his clothes, suspending them onto a hanging wire. And the starvation. And the rising lilt of his family’s voices: awaara. A cuss word, a slap – his marriage to me? – The violence of a mongering dog, his teeth digging into my flesh. His skin the color of a chameleon turned blue. Me? I was a churi, a glass bangle. The house? The impersonation of a ghetto. My agency, his anger. So I ran. I ran to a divorce, yes, and I reached my destination after six months of torture. But the six months led to psychosis. So my mother dragged me here, to this mental asylum. Then I woke up, that night, to the screams of women.
  • He grabbed me. We got into a terrible fight. My verdict was given: “You will now be given an electric shock, Shagufta. We need to calm you down.” I tore away, and ran to the other side of the asylum, and on one of its walls, I wrote: “Nazi Camp.” He began grinning.
  • This evening, I am being released. I sit in the courtyard of the Karachi Psychiatric Asylum and write this. Half an hour ago, the women bid me farewell; they gathered about me: we all began crying together in loud, mournful tones. The eye on the lock shut itself: the door was opened. They stood clinging to the bars, still crying. I turned and asked, perplexed: “Aren’t you happy for me girls? I’m finally free.” “No Sara Shagufta.” They spoke, almost in one voice. “Don’t you know? You’re now stepping into the real mental asylum.”

External links edit

Wikipedia has an article about: