Uth Jao -Wake Up – اُٹھ جاؤ – उठ जाओ- by Mehreen Khan

Uth Jao; mano

I lift my head up towards the hospital bed;

the machine screaming so loudly at us all,

Furious in its exhaustion.

It needs to rest.

“He is asleep now” it tells us.

I glare at him, unsure,

Questioning his motives.

“We need more time” I insist.

But he stares back

with fury,

“He doesn’t need me anymore” claiming.

I don’t agree.

“We need more time” I beg.

We glance over at abu.

Clearly

he is at peace.

“We still need more time” I plea, “please!”

But Ma nods,

Signaling for him to shut off.

“He is ready,” she pauses,

“We don’t need more time; mano”

Silence prevails in the room.

She’s right.

There is no need

For more time.  

Utha Jao; mano

I lay myself on her,

my head gravitating straight

towards her stomach.

“I’ve become mere bones” her stomach exclaims.

“I can’t comfort you in the same way!”

I ignore her claim

And rest anyways.

Her nimble hand reaches toward my head;

“And what of me,” It questions.

It lifts up slowly,

Desperate to be noticed-

Shrieking in pain,

Each wrinkle felt fully on my face

As it lifts towards my cheeks.

A brief moment passes as I hear screaming.

It’s her eyes,

They’re furious.

Furious that they have been neglected,

In these very last moments.

They lower their gaze within moments,

All while –

Her entire lifetime screams at me

One last time.  

Uth Jao; mano

I look up at the ceiling mirror.

“Aap kay baghair kasay kuroongee, ma?”

I feel numb everywhere.

“Dard hoga tho kya karoon, ma?”

I hear screaming; she’s here.

“Pehlee dufaa kaisay pukroon ussay, ma?”

They place her on my chest.

“Naam kya rukoon iska, ma?”

They take her from my chest and clean her.

“Agar sehath-mand na ho toh kya kuroongee main, ma?”

I look up;

– 

Where is Ma, Omer?

“Mano, voh yahaan nahin hain, putha hain tumhain”

He’s wrong;

She has been with me,

This entire time.

Baar Baar avaaz athee hain mujhay vohee,

Usee apnayath sah voh kahthee hain;

Uth Jao; mano.

Par uthee hui to hoon main; kabse.

Mehreen reciting “Uth Jao; mano”
Mehreens mother
Ma

Baar Baar avaaz athee hain mujhay vohee,Usee apnayath sah voh kahthee hain;Uth Jao; mano.Par uthee hui to hoon main; kabse.

During the day, Mehreen Khan is a customer success manager on the go-to-market/sales team at an Open Source Software start-up in San Francisco, CA.

Growing up with extrovert parents, Mehreen has always enjoyed relationship building & meeting new people. It is this same passion of interacting with people that has helped her build her career in a field that is focused primarily on building relationships. 

I enjoy interacting with clients, and though most of them are software engineers or developers, and I am not, there is so much to be learned from every single one of them. I’ve lived in three different countries and met so many different personalities along the way – and even though I may not be in touch with every individual, I have taken away learnings from every relationship I’ve built. Moreover, I use the observations through interactions with people in driving my own life decisions; there is something to be learned from every individual you meet along your journey.

Mehreen completed her undergraduate degree in English Literature from CalState East Bay; minoring in Creative Writing. She hopes that she continues to meet new people, whether through her career or her personal life, and leverage those interactions to extend writing throughout her life. Her favorite writers are Pakistani writers, Saadat Hasan Manto and Mohsin Hamid.

To do something extraordinary, you have to be willing to push the envelope into having those uncomfortable, raw, real conversations through your literature; something both of these writers have done.

2 Comments »

  1. Oh wow Mehreen!!!!! Such beautiful words!!!!! Tender with depth and such endearing messages of love and care…
    “She has been with me. This entire time” 🥲🥰😍

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