(In the memory of a daughter buried alive in Pre-Islamic times.)

O! Father where are we going to? Bazaar!
What will you buy for me?
Doll, toys and a string of pearls!
I shall put on a string of white pearls
On my blue costume,
And shall return before the evening befalls.

Father! The shadows make me appalled,
Mother said, “Come back before the darkness prevails.”
Father! Would you take me back along?
“Yes! Will go back, ” the father answered.
The girl was little,
But cumbersome were her apprehensions
Of darkness and shadows.

A thought to go back to mother,
Affection of the younger brother, everything she was recalling.
“Father never showed affection before this day,
How he took along me to buy a doll and a string of pearls,
All assurances of father are false and intention mala-fide,
There dwell serpents of hatred of in his heart, “she said to herself.
But the world whispered to him, “The daughter is a spot
Of disgrace and one becomes downcast.”

How meager were the demands of the girl of six!
How many sons her two brothers had!
Yes; the same sons, heirs of the heredity,
Who enhance grandeur;
They enable a father to walk with high head.
Though he had nine sons,
Yet one daughter made his nights sleepless.

All times she had been saying, “My good father!
Swing me on the arms; bring me a string of pearls.”
She always complained to her father,
“Why am I not an apple of your eyes?
Why don’t you have affection for me? “
I am all alone why mother remains annoyed
And brothers irritated too.
Though we live in the same house yet no one cares for me.”

(When shadows began to merge the father and the daughter stopped over a spot and she became afraid.)
“This is not a bazaar,
Everywhere surrounds inhibited wilderness,
With no human being.
O! Father what you are doing.
Have you concealed some treasure in sand of the desert?
Yes; I have to find my diamonds,
My pearls, my gold and prestige to live life with splendour.
O! Father I am thirsty, we have travelled a long way,
Let’s go back home without loss of more time.”

Father said, “Now you will have to remain here forever! “
“This is a wasteland; I will not live here,
I will go back to my mother,
I will play in the company of my brother,
He might be missing me, ” the daughter said weeping.

The father dug a ditch with his own hands and said,
“I shall bring you here all things you yearn for,
Now you just lie in the ditch.”
The father began to bury his daughter,
The daughter wept, shrieked, shouted in agony,
“Father you promised to bring me a doll from the bazaar,
A string of pearls, dress, father what you have done!
Inside is dismal dark, let me come out,
I shall demand from you nothing.
I promise to you, I am being stifled inside here.
Father! Mom said to return before the night falls,
Let me go home you will never find me out,
My good father! I shall never tease you,
My promise, for the sake of God let me come out,
Inside I shall die, at last I am your daughter,
Just see my face once. Will you never remember me? “

Alas! Her weeping and wailing subdued in the grave,
But father’s heart did not soften,
In the depth of ditch, and loneliness of the desert
He buried his daughter with his own hands
And he returned with a high head and splendid walk
But silences bemoaned and bewailed behind,
And now bewailing voices are buried
Beneath the layers of fifteen centuries.

Written By Sumaira Baqra
Translated by Muhammad Shanazar

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