I met Rashidah Ismaili in Medellin, Colombia in 2009. A brilliant person, poet and writer, she was the one who wanted to offer her help to an Uzbek poet in prison. “I would like to send him warm blankets and towels,” she said to me… That Uzbek poet was later released; but I still remember and forever treasure the sincerity of this wonderful woman, who is always ready to help others. Happy birthday, my dear Rashidah Ismaili! Many, many happy returns of the day!
I wanted to kiss the hands of Rashidah Ismaili
For she dreamt of bringing some warm clothes
To an Uzbek poet in prison.
I wanted to bring a fan to Usha
So that she would visit India often.
I wanted to bring the first Uzbek
To that land and to let them see.
I wanted to hug people
Who look like my late relatives
In the other part of the earth…
With this poet’s heart of mine
I cannot go to Nicaragua.
With my empty pocket.
I shall better adopt a child
It will be the best celebration of poetry