alif, is the first letter in the Urdu and Arabic alphabet, 
alif, is a simple, stubborn stroke of line,
alif, can only be punctuated, its completeness is exclusive,  
alif, only connects, only adds, 
alif, is isolated. 

alif, only articulates, is never articulated,
alif, is the anchor, 
alif, is absence, 
alif, is the beginning, 
alif, is the creator, 
alif, is silent, 
alif, is lonely,

all beginnings are silent, all creators are lonely,

alif, is not unchanging, 
alif, surrenders before letters, but 
alif, dictates their meaning, 

alif se ehtijaaj, protest, 
alif se inqalaab, revolution, 
alif se anaa, ego, 
alif se angar, embers,

alif, is what it is made, 
alif, is what it chooses to be,
alif — is a woman. 

Tasneem Khan is a student and a writer from Lucknow.

Edited by: Yusuf Aziz


The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the author. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of The Jamia Review or its members.


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