English and Urdu: An etymological and historical look at the similarities between the two languages

Buffetkhor

To the majority of us, English and Urdu are two completely different languages with almost no correlation with one another. In Pakistan, aside from being the de facto and de jure languages of the state, there is absolutely nothing in common between the two languages in the eyes of the layman.

However, this is not entirely true. Aside from the 200 years of British colonialism which subsequently led Pakistan to adopt English as the official language of the state, the relationship between the two languages stretches back hundreds of years and upon close inspection using etymology juxtapositioning we can see a lot of lexical and historic similarities between the two languages and how they emerged. This article is meant to be taken with a pinch of salt and not as a guide to comparative linguistics. Additionally, this will be an objective piece looking at the correlation between the two languages…

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Guest Post: An Open Letter to the Dearly Departed

Well, my friends, as you know, I’m big on expressing emotions and what better medium to paint such a picture than to build it up word by word. This post was sent to me by a shy acquaintance, who wished to have their voice heard, albeit anonymously. Feedback and words of encouragement are welcome, as always. 🙂

 

 

Dear Ma and Abba.

I miss you. So much! Every day, every minute, every second. I need you, more than ever now. I’m in pain, so much pain that for the first time in my life since you left, I feel like I cant take it anymore. It’s bleeding me to death, which is a good thing, but the worst part is, I’m not dying quicker. I’m standing exactly where you left me. Ever since you’ve been gone, I have been trying to move forward. I’m running as fast as I can, but I haven’t moved an inch. I have done everything I could think of, to fill the bottomless pit you left in my gut when you left. But it’s getting deeper and hollower. I know there’s nothing in the world that would fill it. I don’t have the strength in me to move forward.

I’m so lonely I don’t even feel like God is watching over me anymore. I don’t feel like you can hear me call out your name in the middle of the night when I tire myself from crying to sleep. I need someone to hug me til I cry myself to oblivion in their embrace. I don’t have anyone I could think of who’d do that for me. I don’t have anything left in my heart, in my soul. I would just quit but I don’t even have the strength left in me to do that, either. The ones you left me with, left me behind and moved on. Ma, when they see me, they don’t see that I’m in pain. All they see is why the hell am I in pain, when I shouldn’t be. They can’t understand why I’m doing this to myself. They don’t hear me even when I scream for help. They can’t hear me! I know you couldn’t bear the sight of me crying, I wonder if dying has made you stronger. That could be the only explanation for me calling out to you in pain and you not answering. I’m in pain, Abu ji, I can’t take it anymore, Amma! Please save me! Please make it stop, somehow!

                      _______________________

Dear Ma and Abba,

I’m better now. Much better, even happier. I still cry, almost every day, I still wake up in the middle of the night, unable to breathe and then unable to go back to sleep; but that doesn’t happen every night, anymore. I still feel lonely, utterly and completely alone in this big world; but that’s ok, I found God and He IS watching over me! I still feel like everyone is sprinting while I’m going at the speed of snail; but even that’s ok, because I found a few winning flags on my way up. I’m still in a lot of pain; but it doesn’t make me wanna quit anymore. It makes me feel stronger and prouder of myself for having lived through it. I still miss you both, so much, every day, every minute, every second; but that’s ok, I wouldn’t want it any other way. I can still feel you around me, watching over me. I still have scars all over me and my soul still hurts; but that’s ok, because the wounds are healed and I’m grateful that at least it’s over. I still feel like giving up sometimes; but I don’t, because I know the only way I can make you two proud is if I keep going. Ma, they ones you left me with, still can’t hear me cry or see me hurting; but that’s ok, I have learned to tend to my own wounds, all by myself. I’m better now, Abu ji, I feel happier now, Amma! Thank you for watching over me, always. Thank you for giving me strength to keep going, because I wouldn’t wanna see you again, without having done anything to make you proud of me!

 

Birth and Rebirth

 

I found myself in the later hours of my maternity night duty, around 3 am. A lull in the workload served no purpose except to make me acutely aware, how in the timeless disorientation of the well lit emergency, my exhaustion was paradoxical. No matter how I tried, I could not rest.

I lay my head down on the table outside the labour room, closing my eyes slowly. Some half an hour later, I let the fatigue wash over me, begin to pull me under. But then. A piercing cry rang through the air. A heart wrenching wail. How could I have thought to sleep, when new life was coming into our world, merely a few feet away?

We enter the world, bare and crying, alone but sometimes not; vulnerable and small. Posed to protext ourselves against the elements. Shivering, guarded, unsure and dependent. If we are lucky, already loved.

I could barely keep my eyes open, as I mulled over the wonder in this seemingly ordinary fact. But then, I thought, isn’t that the case with every new stage of life? Our first day of school, or work, married life, a new neighborhood. Are we not eternally verging out from a self created womb and diving headfirst into strange and new surroundings? Are we not vulnerable, our lack of experience seemingly a lack of survival skills?

But we learn. We grow. Our bodies ease, our guarded stance uncurling, as we stretch, extend and finally learn to stand tall. Alone, but sometimes not. If we’re lucky, not just loved, but respected. Birth is a cycle that repeats itself, with less vigour, less trauma; but with infinitely more meaning.

wanting.

Sometimes I feel empty. A despairing, falling,
like a vacuum that pulls me into it’s bottomless abyss.

It seems to begin in my throat, where it catches hold of my breath,
and drags it deep into the depths of my being.

sometimes I look closer,
at this falling, despairing.
And sometimes I feel like I am not empty.
Rather, I am overflowing.

Overflowing with a wanting,
that will rise and engulf me, fervid and rife.