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“We Sinful Women” which is the translation of Yeh Hum Gunahgar Aurtain Hain, is a beautiful poem written by poet Kishwar Naheed. Kishwar (born 1940) is a feminist Urdu poet from Pakistan. She has written several poetry books.

Given below is the poem with its translation.

Yeh Hum Gunahgar Aurtain Hain

yeh hum gunahgar aurtain hain

jo ahl-e-jubba ki tamkanat se na roab khaen

na jaan bechen

na sar jhukaen

na haath joden

yeh hum gunahgar aurtain hai

ki jin ke jismon ki fasl bechen jo log

vo sarfaraz thahren

niyabat-e-imtiya thahren

vo davar-e-ahl-e-saaz thahren

yeh hum gunahgar aurtain hai

ki sach ka parcham utha ke niklen

to jhuut se shahrahen ati mile hain

har ek dahliz pe sazaon ki dastanen rakhi mile hain

jo bol sakti thi vo zabanen katti mile hain

yeh hum gunahgar aurtain hai

ki ab taaqub mein raat bi aaye

toh yeh aankhen nahi bujhegi

ki ab jo devar gir chuki hain

use uthane ki zid na kare

yeh hum gunahgar aurtain hai

jo ahl-e-jubba ki tamkanat se na roab khaen

na jaan bechen

na sar jhukaen na haath joden

 

Translation

It is we sinful women
who are not awed by the grandeur of those who wear gowns

who don’t sell our lives
who don’t bow our heads
who don’t fold our hands together.

It is we sinful women
while those who sell the harvests of our bodies
become exalted
become distinguished
become the just princes of the material world.

It is we sinful women
who come out raising the banner of truth
up against barricades of lies on the highways
who find stories of persecution piled on each threshold
who find that tongues which could speak have been severed.

It is we sinful women.
Now, even if the night gives chase
these eyes shall not be put out.
For the wall which has been razed
don’t insist now on raising it again.

It is we sinful women
who are not awed by the grandeur of those who wear gowns

who don’t sell our bodies
who don’t bow our heads
who don’t fold our hands together.

By Kishwar Naheed (Pakistan, 1940) translated from Urdu to English by Rukhsana Ahmed