I wrote my first article when I was around 15 years old. It was an opinion article and a much needed entry for my personal journal. I wrote this while I was studying in Pakistan. Mind you, this is around 20 years old news! I was upset about a news story about abuse of a local woman; so I got heated enough to let all my thoughts out. Some friends of mine read the article as well. Soon—and I do not know how—the word got to my English teacher, Rukhshanda. She found me; took my journal from my hand by force; and, locked it in the Principal’s office. I was pretty young back then so I just became very scared and sullen. I did not protest about what was going on; but, I promised myself that I will get away from such situations in the future so that I may write again. I still think that my teacher did a very filthy thing. The only queer thing about that article was that it was filled with my thoughts about an atrocity that my mind could not fathom. And, my English teacher could not handle the fact that one of her top students had decided to find her voice—I feel like vomiting. Rukhshanda was not a bad woman though—I mean when my periods started while I was at a field trip, she immedialty took care of me
Anyways, I grew up watching how some Pakistani people push their children and even their friends’ children to achieve perfection. But, when someone is special enough to deliver exceptional results, they make that person sound odd and dumb. Even some of my relatives point out to me that I should not be writing or reading poetry. One of my male relatives said to me, “If you need to do all this, then do it at home”. I decided to pay no attention to all of this; however, I feel that it is still having some impact on my activities. This is why I am noting this here on the web so that I may have a more real reminder in front of me.
To summarize all this, I learned how to write creatively at an early age. Furthermore, I even learned how to read at an early age. My mom has told me that when I was a toddler, I could read some words from the TV screen. She used to get so surprised when she would hear me speak these words—no wonder, I even poty trained my older sibling. I have been fighting all my life to make room for my writing. And, I intend to do this in the future as well. All this is beyond incredible, don’t you think so.
Copyright © by Arzoo Zaheer. All Rights Reserved.