SWAT: Zari Layaq, a young student of English literature hailing from Madyan, district Swat, now famous for Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani girl who stood up to the Taliban defending the right of girls to education, has brought out her first collection of English poetry titled ‘The invisibles‘.
She is the only daughter of noted Pashto poet Layagzada Layaq, who is author of several books.
She is the first-ever Pakhtun Swati girl to have penned down poetry in English.
Drawing inspiration from her poet father at a very tender age Zari Layaq used to participate in poetry recital competitions in school and study books carrying fairy tales.
She used to get fascinated by the scenic beauty of her native village.
The crystal water rills, green meadows and the snow-capped mountains all pave d way for Zari Layaq to express herself in poetry. Currently, she is doing her Masters in English literature from the English Department, University of Peshawar.
Spreading over 110 pages, the book contains over 80 beautiful long and short poems mostly images of natural beauty that are reflective of the young poet‘s flight of imagination.
Some of these poems are emblems of a sad commentary on social injustices while a few others are focusing on bizarre images of our brutal society.
In a brief rhymed poem captioned Webbing minds the poet says:
“They weaved around
Her infant mind
The deadly web
Of customs grand...”
It visibly and clearly shows the stifling situation in which Pakhtun women are living under the garb of so-called traditions. Most Pakhtun girls are tied into wedlock even before their births while some are destined to suffer the ‘grand customs‘ in their infancy.
In another short poem titled The hidden fire Zari portrays the unfulfilled dreams of a Pashtun girl:
“Constructing without hands
She is confident I can see
I can see
In her eyes
The light of fire
That glows With blow of dreams”
This is, however, a positive image of Pakhtun women that they are confident to realise their dreams owing to strength of their willpower and determination.
The poet wants to say that despite odds in the form of social barriers a Pakhtun woman can rise from the ashes because she has now the enlightenment and awareness necessary for voicing her problems.
She can realise her dreams and can face the modern day challenges. Internews