Off You Go


I gave you wings
So you could fly

Let go of doubt
Just don’t be shy

Shake off your fears
Give them a try

At first you’ll fall
May even cry

But I’ll be there
To wipe your eye

In but a blink
Your tears shall dry

’cause night will pass
The light is nigh

With dreams in tow
You shall go high

The winds of time
Will pass you by

And lift you up
Beyond the sky

– Yousuf Bawany, September 2016

Note: One moment you’re carrying them in your arms, and the next, you’re dropping them off to school on their first day. Children grow up so fast and as much as you want to hold on to them, there’s nothing you can do to stop them from their destiny. This poem is a gift to my children Fatima and Muhammad; they are the light of my life, the twinkle in my eye, and the beat of my heart. To them, I say:

There’s nothing you cannot do or accomplish if you set your mind to it. If you ever need me, you just need to to call; I’ll be there to break your fall and support you in getting your bearing straight. All the best, my little birdies; fly high and let nothing drag you down. The world is your nest now.


The Cheat Sheet

Composed Upon Westminster Bridge, a sonnet by William Wordsworth, is undoubtedly an English classic. But for an eighth grader, it can be a nightmare, especially if he/she belongs to a country where English is not the native language. So I wasn’t surprised to see this lying on the ground outside my office one day. This is a Cheat Sheet, or a pharra, as we native Urdu speakers like to call it, and it must have belonged to one of the students at the nearby school. Measuring a mere 3 inches by 4 (approximately), this contains the critical appreciation of the aforementioned sonnet and looks like a work of art; I just hope the student passed!

Needless to say, it brought back a lot of fond memories. Damn, I used to be daring (nothing implied)!