My mother’s pregnant belly
feared that God will announce a girl
that the neighbors will refuse
and her father will ask for more
but my mother’s fragile heart
skipped a beat in sync with mine
when she heard my father whisper
the adhan* into my ears.
*Adhan is a call for prayer that Muslims recite in the newborn’s ear.
Fatima Siddiqui, PhD Coursework Student, Department of English and M.E.L., University of Lucknow. In her own words, “As a literature student, I have learnt that everything in the world is capable of teaching us something. Words are extremely powerful and I believe that the right ones are capable of making all the difference. So, I write to express what I feel and understand that which puzzles me. I write to imagine things the way they should be and because there is nothing more liberating than the freedom of expression.”