It Has Been a Long Journey

It has been a long journey,

From the winding brick paved lanes of Panipat1,

Where Boo Ali Qalandar2

Preached the unification of God and Man,

To the wide avenues and squares of Paris,

Where Voltaire ridiculed all mysticism.

It has been a long journey,

From demonstrating passionately against injustice

In the streets of Karachi,

To discussing intellectually the concept of universal brotherhood

At meetings in the heart of London

The former devoid of reason, and the latter of sincerity.

It has been a long journey;

From waiting at the crossroads with a garland of jasmine flowers

For a hypocritically shy and coquettish beloved

To embracing chance acquaintances in public places.

It has been a long journey;

From struggling to create self-sufficiency and empowerment

In the cities and rural areas of an impoverished Asia,

To negotiating dependence in Washington and

The capitals of Europe.

It has been a long journey!

So many contradictions that I am tired.

Maybe our future generations will reconcile them.

Karachi, 1993

  1. A small town near Delhi where my family originally came from
  2. An eleventh century mystic.

One Comment

  1. Maurice Leonhardt

    Arif ….. It was a Long Journey by 1993 ….. even longer by March 13, 2013 eh !
    Wonderful poem ……
    with thanks,
    Maurice

    Posted March 18, 2013 at 9:06 pm | PermalinkReply

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