Archive for February 18, 2011

Sindh, one of the provinces of Pakistan, also known as Mehran or Indus Valley, 5000 years old civilization, land of mystics, poets and peace-lovers. Land of Shah Bhitai, Qalaander Shahbaz, Sachal, Sami, Ayaz, Akash, Zulifqar, Benazir and Haleem Baghi.

Sindh – Land of Poets, Tolerance and Peace

In Bina Shah’s words, “Sindh is not just a state, it is a state of mind; real beauty of Sindh is not in rivers, forests but in tolerance, peace and harmony.” That beauty of Sindh has inspired Linda Bay Brown, British poet, based in UK, who has seen Sindh through Zaib Sindhi’s eyes. Linda got inspired by Sindh’s beauty and wrote a poem which was later translated by Sindh writer Hidayat Baloch and published in daily Kawish, popular Sindhi newspaper. We are thankful to Zaib Sindhi and Hidayat Baloch who are ‘Ambassadors of Sindh’ who linked a land of poets with a British Poetess, a lady with a sweet heart and a kind soul, whose love for Sindh is boundless and borderless. Linda’s poetry for us is a gift as well as a prayer for flood victims of Sindh and Pakistan. Poet/Poetess’ prayer never go unheard. It is my firm belief.

God will give us way to get out of the difficult situation, flood has created. and will protect us from future calamities.After reading Linda’s  Poetry, I felt personally moved and thought to share that lovely gift of Linda for victims of flood in Sindh with you through RightsNOW Pakistan, a magnanimous task Zaib Sindh and Hidayat Balouch have already done through Kawish. We requested Linda for interview and she agreed to share her poetry and thoughts. You are so generous woman Linda!

RightNowPak- How would you describe yourself both as a person and as a poet?

Linda: I am a woman of 59 and a mother of two adult sons and living in England, UK. I have always enjoyed writing since being very young along with other artistic activities such as cooking, drawing and painting. As a poet I would rate myself along the lines of the US artist Grandma Moses, in as much as my work is straight from the heart, mostly spontaneous and often breaks ‘the rules’ . I feel that any art should be something you ‘feel’ deeply within your core. Rules and regulations don’t always allow for spontaneity and passion . Although I see the sense in adhering to meterage and stanza size, I feel lassitude can work in some cases too. However, I mostly like to read and write rhyming verse but again this doesn’t always have to be the case. I find some non rhyming stanzas too much like a list of ‘one liners’ but all writers are different and varied and should be able to stay faithful to their chosen style, changing only if they feel they want to. Like painting artists some poets like to change the mood and feel of their work. Love, loss. colours. nature and all four seasons inspire me to write, as does the moon, sun, water of oceans ans rivers. I endeavour to carry a note book with me in order to note flashes of inspiration. In recent years I have encouraged many people to display their feelings through writing poetry and prose. I am pleased to see that some still enjoy writing still and with improvement as time goes by.

RightsNowPak: How you became a poet? When did you write first time and on what subject?

Linda: Sadly, or perhaps not, I was born largely deaf and as a result would often retreat into my own daydreaming world since I sometimes couldn’t keep up with the hearing world very easily. I became very watchful and learned many things simply by watching others and how they did things. As I grew up i became adept at reading body language and some lip reading. I developed an ability to sense others feelings of joy and pain. Throughout I was lucky enough to have the most wonderful mother who was kind , caring and encouraging and as a result it was for this wonderful lady and her love for many children that she raised alone since the death of my father when I was very young that I wrote my first poem.

Linda – Poet with sweet heart and kind soul

RightsNowPak- How do you know Sindh? Have you ever travelled to that part of the world?
Linda: Last year I forged an internet friendship via Facebook with a well known and respected writer of plays, films and poetry who introduced me to Sindh, it’s history and culture. As did other friends that I made through my friend Mr. Zaib Sindhi and Facebook . Often I would receive messages and links to subjects of great interest to me, such as Mohenjo-daro. In chat I would often be told about such things as Eid or the Festival of Culture. At times I googled some things to learn more about the Province. I felt deeply the pain of the people suffering the floods from the Indus river and indeed the aftermath of such fate. Over the last year I have been inspired byt the love the Sindhies have for their history , their culture , THEIR Sindh ! Strangely I feel a connection that I cannot explain yet I am from a vastly different back ground and culture. I am sorry but it is as simple as that.

RightsNowPak: Heard you have written a poem on for and about Sindh?

Linda: Yes, province of Sindh and also the victims of the recent awful and treacherous flood there there.  I gifted this poem to the people of Sindh via the poet Zaib Sindhi, the first Sindhi I got to know through the Internet. I wrote this poem called,  ‘All Washed Out’ through the eyes of a Sindhi person.

1.River no longer laps at my feet

It is now drowning out the street

No longer running crystal clear

Soil of ancients washed up here


2.Wet gritty fossil dust leaching

Far wide and quickly reaching

Every field barn loft and home

Making a watery sodden tomb


3.Running hard fast and scared

Stricken people unprepared

For this dank flowing sorrow

Some won’t live for tomorrow


4.Fathers, husbands and sons

Toiling to close all river runs

Feeling weary as they stride

To stem full dirty flowing tide


5.Farmers cry for drowning fields

Wave goodbye to feeding yields

Weeping mothers cradle babes

In their wet and darkened caves


6.Oh what has mother nature done

Are we to struggle again alone

Greater world you have a choice

To help us back to singing voice


7.Do not let your  hearts forget

For it’s no where near over yet

Raging waters may now subside

But the aftermath’s a painful ride


8.As you go about your busy day

Please don’t forget us we pray

We didn’t deserve this nightmare

So show us please that you care


Linda’s poetry published in Kawish-Translated by Hidayat Baloch

RightsNOW: In your poem, stanza # 4-‘River no longer laps at my feet,about men and stanza  5 about women, “Weeping mothers cradle babes. How do you see it from gender perspective and how do you define it?

From a gender point of view regarding the floods I felt that the onus was strongly upon the males to protect their families which is obviously a huge stress when fighting against the odds with such raging torrents of water. they will go and seek help to bring back to the family, Women are (usually) intent on staying with the children and the elderly at the risk of endangering their own lives. I think that is indigenous to their gender and inbuilt into them regardless of culture. In both genders I saw huge fear and weariness in pictures and news footage of this awful and destructive flood.

RightsNow-Pak- You have mentioned ‘Sindhi poets Shah Lalif, Sachal Sarmast and Sheikh Ayaz. Have you read them? What do you think about them?
Linda: Yes I have heard of the various Sindhi poets such as , Latif, Ayaz and Sarmast due to reading some interpreted quotes displayed upon Facebook members wall or page under the heading of notes or status. Indeed I have been sent books on these poets and their scribes by my friends and modern day poets Mr. Sindhi and Mr. Hidayat Baloch. Sadly, due to caring for my husband who is a sufferer of brain cancer I have found little time to read and digest their contents but hope to in the future. Just as poets of ancient times here have much to offer and inspire modern readers and writers I feel sure the Sindhi poets of old do too.

RightsNow-Pak: The floods in Pakistan in 2010 have done massive destruction in Pakistan and Sindh? Do you think the response both from national and international community is proportional to the destruction?

Linda: You asked me if I think the response both from national and international community is proportional to the destruction and devastation of the 2010 floods. Internationally I confess I do not know exact figures or facts but I do know I was compelled to contribute and I did so but am not prepared to say how except that it was at local level within Sindh, in order for help to get where it was most needed. I did however read that generally the response wasn’t as huge as it could have been and if that is true then I would suspect this is due in part to worldwide recession leaving many out of work but possibly more so due to fear instilled in people by the terrorist activities of recent history. T be fair I can’t honestly say without full possession of the facts but I do know that many fear what is happening in the world today. It is such a shame that peace seems to evade us all and that a crisis may possibly be less assisted due to fear and misunderstanding on all fronts.

Nationally, since I do not live in Sindh nor anywhere in Pakistan I know nothing about the contributions made . What I do know though is that in my country we have a very profound saying … ‘action speaks louder than words’ . In other words, reciting, reading and talking about kindnesses and generous deeds towards those less fortunate is not a anything like as good as actually doing something or contributing towards helping them. In Britain/UK you will find it is a regular occurrence for the wealthy and famous members of the population to donate, organise or indeed help greatly to organise charitable events in order to raise monies for the needy and the poor. It is highly approved and appreciated by everyone at every level in life. You will also find specifically set up organisations to whom you can donate or turn to for advice regarding the particular cause that they assist. I believe anyone who is selfless enough to help the needy should be applauded for without such help many causes would be lost. Each nation will surely do it’s best to help their suffering and needy won’t they ?

Please join me in thanking Linda for her lovely boundless and borderless love for us. Thanks for the lovely gift of her poetry. Thanks a lot to Zaib Sindhi and Hidayat Baloch for great ambassadorial work for promoting Sindh and Sindhis at international level. We saw Sindh in Linda’s poetry now lets see her in this video posted by Farhan Abbassi.In case, it does not run here. Click ‘Watch on the Youtube’ on the screen or visit–>

Thanks a lot Linda for being with us. Meharbanion (thanks)