Waseema Azfar (Punjabi)
“Well, I remember, they used to say ‘Don’t be daft!’… Baywakoof na ban…(don’t be an idiot)…, (repeats)…’be sensible’, put it that way ‘don’t be daft’. That’s what they say in English…”
Samina Hussain (Urdu)
“Urdu ki hain, ek kahavath. (There is a saying in Urdu). My father used tell this is if you can’t do anything. So… then you start panicking and start shouting. Ye kahavath hai: “Naach na janay, angan tayra.” (Literal translation: You don’t know how to dance, so the floor is wonky. Meaning: “A poor workman blames his tools.”).
“Naach na janay, angan tayra” means you can’t, you don’t know how to dance but you are blaming on the floor, this is… you know, not even. So you are, you know, (laughter) so can’t do things properly and then you start shouting. Like if I am cooking and I’m not doing the cooking properly. Like samosay, if I am frying them and I burn them and I will say right there was something wrong with the samosas. Or something wrong… the oil was very hot, and this or… So blame to somebody else…” (laughter)
Mohammed Ishaque (Urdu)
“I remember one thing only… (laughs) It’s about religious people.
Mullah ki daur masjid tak. (The mullah’s run (focus) is just up to the mosque). The priest only thinks up to the mosque only, up to the church only. That is, he doesn’t look beyond that. That sort of thing.
Thinking is very limited, priest you know. They’re not tolerate people, they’re not tolerant people this is why they say Mullah’s running, Mullah runs only up to the mosque.”
Farida Munir (Punjabi)
“Mere ye kahavath hai ke… ((My saying is that…)
Kavva chalaa hans ki chaal, apni chaal bhi bhul gaya.”
(Literal translation: A crow copies a swan’s walk, and forgets even his own walk.
Meaning: Don’t copy others, or you will forget your own qualities and skills.)
“Utthaa jai na apnekulon, fitaymoo goadayan dah. (laughter)
(Literal translation: you can’t get up by yourself, so you blame your knees.
Meaning: lazy people make excuses.)
Ye meri daadi kaha kartiin thiin. (This is something my grandma used to say.)
Kudth nahin utt sakta. Aur ilzaam de tha hai goadayan.”
(He can’t get up by himself, and he puts the blame on his knees.)
Said Rahman (Pashto)
“There was one friend of mine he said to me brother can I tell you something: Che bud’aa shwe ah nu tab’aa shwe (once you become old, you become fragile) – because he was old and his body didn’t allow him to do what he used to, and I was lifting big heavy bags of sugar because I was young.”
Luai Ullah (Bengali)
“Amar Bafe kali, amar bafe tho amdareh fay soin na. Thain tho zaso shari kortha. Gele koy tha. Man ushor logeh sho bebohar kortham.
(Just my father, my father didn’t really see us much he was always busy. Every time we did see him he would say, always treat people with respect.)
Tumar baf zela solra tumi ola solyo.
(Carry yourself like your father did.)
Shesh thare koytha onyo amar moyeh the…koytha. Koytha hey oh dek thor bafe kelan solyer.”
(Also my aunties used to say, hey listen. Look how your dad carries himself.)