Dammo didn't say anthing, she went back and sat down at her usual place Then she came back, then she went away again But it was clear she couldn't stay away After a little while she came back to us and changed the child's shirt, which was all wet from his drooling I said to her, "Madam, who knows but even his palsy may disappear one day "
Dammo's face lit up
It went on like that for many days Every day on my way back from the bank, 1 would bring something for the child Then one day. I picked him up and held him in my arms for a long time I pulled out my handkerchief and used it to wipe the child's face Then I kissed him on the mouth
Dammo began to blush Her face turned red with embarrassment After a moment's hesitation, she moved closer to me There was a smile flickering over her face
Just then a strong gust of wind made the willow tree sway wildly That truant student feeling the chilly air began to hum his favorite song "When winter comes, can spring be far behind9" The palsy-stricken child struggled out of my lap and began to crawl in the grass at our feet
At that moment both Dammo and I knew that he was not going to be cured—ever
Translated by C M Nairn
Annual of Urdu Studies, ^5