Tuesday, 8 July 2014

In memory of Muhammad Ali.

This piece is a poetic translation of the Urdu original by the late Muhammad Nazir Bhatti             
(my grandfather), entitled: Muhammad Ali ke Yaad me; and written about my little brother.           

His memory came to wake me,
It left me here bereft
“What are you doing, dear grandfather?”
It whispered as it left.

I saw a field of flowers then,
Where there were blossoms bright and blue
But one lonely flower caught my eye,
Its scent, across the distance, flew.

I too picked up my poets pen
And left in its pursuit
I searched the entire field in vain,
Lost, was the flowering shoot.

By chance I heard that voice again
“Oh, grandfather do you search for me?
I am but over here.” He called
And I raised my eyes to see.

I saw him there, then, standing
My grandson: Muhammad Ali
He was there, that lonely flower
And the lonely bud, Nazir, was me.

And how do I tell you of that moment
So otherworldly and serene,
I forgot the entire field of flowers
In the scent of Muhammad Ali.

Translation by: Amina Bhatti