Will any D. Litt. in the English literature please stand up and be counted to enlighten me with the proper word used for a female hare? There is a renowned word “bitch” for a female dog! All the dictionaries are observing a “fast of silence” on the subject. For the sake of convenience we will use the word “female-hare”.
The other day my cardiologist narrated a strange incident. The hair-raising story – literally speaking – narrated by Dr Virendra Jain started with the purchase of a few pairs of hare from a bazaar near the Jama Masjid Delhi. After about three months a female hare felt rather uneasy in the well-laid, well-washed marble-floor. Suddenly, she started picking up her hair from her frail body. One by one, she removed as many hairs from her stomach, back, legs, hands, ears and head, etc, soon it turned into an uncouth being. Dr. Jain, unable to help the creature, watched all this silently.
To be noted is the fact that the she-hare did not throw away all those hairs, painfully picked up from her body. She gobbled them up all. One fine morning she threw up all the hairs without any nauseant. An observation of the thrown up material revealed it was a rope woven meticulously. It was long enough to be folded into the form of a mattress. It was on this warm rug that the she-hare gave birth to her young ones!
All of us know what we, human folk do with what they call unwanted babies, especially the girl-child. Of late things have come to such a pass in the affluent States like Haryana that brides are brought (read bought) from Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.
Years ago each and every uninvited person from one of the said States spontaneously participated in a village “baraat”. Reason? After decades a baraat had come in their village. They could not control their joy.
Only recently an anthology of Mr. Intizar Naeem’s poetic composition has hit the book stalls. In the Shart-e-Wafa there is a blank verse, consisting of about 40 lines. My translation would, I am afraid, kill the fine-print and exquisiteness of Urdu.
My mom, My mom
Die will I, Mom,
As if the darkness is deepening,
As if an eclipse has overtaken all over,
As if suffocation is enveloping me
As if hot red nails are piercing through
each and every limb of mine!
Let me come out, my Mom, in the world
Although I am too tiny,
I have knitted some dreams,
Let me see the light of the day, Mom
Let me visit the world, Mom!
Through my laughter I will charm you
I will play with papa and with pranks
I will not annoy you, Mom
I will turn our small house into a paradise.
Wipe turn from your eyes!