What is Real Education? (For Shaheen)

On 31st January 1995

Tiny hands push the base of my palm

To sink into 50 year old

Corded sofa


The first they brought

After landing.

Nanny has double tones in her soft voice

I am taught how we talked


she takes me through the truth in our

Folk songs 

Sings with no western hesitation

Humming leaves my throat.


March 1998

Fingers entangled in the string

Of a long awaited yoyo

Juvenile frustrations paints

My expression

The knowing hand of Grandma

Teaches me how to

Throw away and command this tiny satellite

And smile with my eyes


In 2006

I learnt that

When I saw her crying I didn’t need permission

To hold her velvet hands

And love in silence


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