(Written originally in Urdu when I was forty years old. Now I am ninety)
I’m not afraid of what I would say
Not at all scared of the words I might use
No trepidation at all about anything I tell her
At seventy, fear is a word meaningless to me.
I know what I’d say when she comes
I know what she’s likely to say
All topics of we have covered before
All jokes we have told a hundred times
All she has to say she has said
In the same words each time.
What I have said to her a hundred times or more
I’ve used no different words.
It should not be difficult to repeat ourselves.
Now that I am no longer seventeen
Seventy years of age
Three scores and ten – I know
The beast cowering in my mind
Is not tongue-tied
It can speak without any misgivings
That’s why every time she comes now
The beast simply asks me:
“Say, you can, a whole lot of things, but …
What would you do when she comes?”
(1977, when I was 46 years old)
I will look back when I am a hundred years old..