Tuesday, 30 August 2016

An Analysis of the Poem "The Road" by Hina Faisal Imam


Feminism as a movement has played a very vital role in projecting the suppressed status of women in the patriarchal society. In the domain of patriarchal culture, woman is a social construct, a site on which masculine meanings get spoken and masculine desires enacted. The road by Hina Faisal Imam sings a song of pinching pain about feminism over the miseries and sorrows experienced by married women.

The condition of women in our country, especially in rural areas, is very pathetic, or morally and ethically incorrect. This fact has been highlighted on numerous occasions by the ill treatment of women.

The Road is a very pathetic song about the miseries and sorrows experienced by the married women, who are confined to their houses. Though they are provided with all the material needs yet no one is there to fulfill the demands of their souls. They silently are registering a complaint to the sane men of this world.

On her journey towards Multan, Hina Faisal Imam notices a group of girls chanting alluring and popular songs. Their voices transport her from a desolate wilderness to a realm of dream land where she finds smiles and glances of some beloved ones. She starts thinking of sand witches made out of eggs deliciously taken by people. She is thinking of them to gain time so that she may be able to envisage a matter of graver importance and ponder over it.

Then she depicts the miserable condition of the married women in that area. They are kept confined by feudal lords within the four walls of their mansions. They are desired to pay the lowly conge to them. They are not considered as par with them. They are just there to appease their demands. Though they are loaded with gold and dressed in costly costume, yet considered as prisoners, they have to shed unceasing tears. No one comes to wipe them and muster up their courage. They live a life of physical bondage.

            The soil has bound them like pillars
            In the haveli courtyard to eat, sleep
            And talk as the sun rises and sets on
            Blank faces.

Ill–treatment of women arises from our male dominated society’s perception of women as having the relatively low key-role of child bearer, home maker, and an asset. It is common knowledge that in rural Pakistan, women are very much treated like property, similar to land, or a cow, or a tube well. How pathetic these lines are

            Tears fall on dust floor
            No one wipes them clean
            From a pretty face
            That mends loneliness
            In the bathroom.

The patriarchal society should perceive women beyond the roles of daughters, wives and mothers. Traditional male fantasies have created a particular image of women to suit their interests—submissive, servile, docile and self-abnegating. A big transformation is required at the social level, which will acknowledge women as human beings with souls, desires, feelings, ambitions and potentials.

Hina Faisal Imam asserts that women can no longer be brow-beaten into subjugation or bondage that they have a voice and a claim, and must have the confidence to know their worth. As a poetess she gives voice to issues concerning women, and appeals to the sane and compassionate people to come forward and share her feelings. Peace should be established in the life of women. They should be given their due rights. The Road is metaphorically “The road of human life”. It is undertaken by a human pair: man and woman. It will get disturbed if inalienable rights are denied to women folk and if peace does not usher in their lives. 

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