Saturday, July 2, 2016


17-year-old Leila Rasul Khan, an A-Level student at KGS,  is well worth a watch. Keep your eyes open: She's going to be a great dancer. And keep your ears open, too: She could be a well-known poet someday.
Leila is a student of Sheema Kermani — whom we all know is one of our great Dancers, Theatre-makers, Actress, and a Human Rights / Women's Rights supporter.

Sheema during an Interview

When you see Leila's performances you can feel that she has put her heart right into it. Her facial expressions are just right, something I don't see in many young dancers here.
Here is Leila a couple of years ago at T2F.

The Face

The Feet
The next two were taken at Alliance Française
during Creative Karachi Festival.
It was held on Sabeen's First Death Anniversary.
Sheema and Leila
performed a tribute to Sabeen.

Sheema and Leila
Leila's Tribute to Sabeen

Leila is a poet, too. 
I enjoyed the few that she sent me.
Hope she continues doing this.
Here are two.
She wrote this on today's times

Stand, bend, kneel, stand. 
“Amma, why are we doing this?”
“Beta, this is something you must learn.”
“But why must I learn, Amma?”
“Beta, it is your Deen.” 
“Deen, Amma?”
Your deen. Your faith. Your love. Your heart.
Stand, bend, kneel, stand. 
“Did I do it right, Amma?
I think I’m getting the hang of this. 
“Yes , well done. Don’t lose your focus. 
You lose your focus, all this loses its meaning.”
Stand, bend, kneel, stand. 
“Oh must I, Amma? I’m so tired now. 
“I won’t ever force you, beta.
But there will come a time
When you realize that this was more important
“I’ll do it later.”
“I’m sure you will.”
Stand, bend, kneel, stand. 
“Isn’t it rather poetic, Amma?
All of us millions, doing 
The same thing, at the same time, on the same day.
How loud do you suppose it is,
When the same low murmur
Rises from every corner of the globe?
“That is how He meant it, beta. 
Stand, bend, kneel, stand.

Everything has changed now, Amma. 
I wonder if I should teach this to my children
If this is something they should learn at all
The act of Deen has been twisted
Pushed, and pulled, and shoved 
It has become an act of defiance 
Exploding from the throats of the mad few
Into the lives of the many unfortunate
Nobody does it right anymore
They’ve lost their focus, Amma. 
I have to do it later now,
Because in public, I am afraid.
It’s not poetic anymore, is it? 
The low murmur 
Seems to have changed  
Seems to have devolved
Into a scream.
“Is this how He meant it, Amma?”


Here is one she wrote after Sabeen's Assassination

The value of what she did for us all

The number of lives she touched 

The number of people she gave a voice, that she inspired , that she gave a belief that they too could change their world, just like her 

Three hundred
The meagre cost of the invaluable enrichment a session at her little paradise would provide 

The number of times I had the honour of meeting her myself

Little pieces of metal

Beautiful, blazing, blinding light



Good luck, Leila!

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