The latest collection of poems ‘Write Me in Red’ by Sadaf Raza


Ideas for Life Trust has published the second collection of poems by Sadaf Raza, ‘Write me in red’. Sadaf Raza is a writer and a rights activist, her first collection of poems Like a Sleepwalker” was published in 2003, and brought many reviews from acclaimed writers of South Asia.

In her latest collection “Write Me in Red”, she talks about violence against women and in doing so she becomes the voice of the women who suffer and stay quiet. She as a writer talks boldly about the issues which people in general are reluctant to talk about. Sadaf very rightly says in her foreword, ‘Red becomes me, it is the colour of my rage, their denial and my confession.’

The collection carries reviews by the renowned, writers, activists and intellectuals. Defining her work, Iftikhar Arif, says ‘Drawing the transformations of feminine, feminist and female writers Sadaf Raza is blend of both feminist and female writer of modern times’.   

While Harris Khalique talking about the use of imagery, he says: ‘Write me in Red’ flows. The haunting imagery and astounding similes capture the changing season of anguish in a woman’s life. The colours of her voice splash across the canvas of our being.’

Women in our society through systematic oppression have been robbed of their power of speech, but the urge to speak out simmers just below the conscious level of most of the women. In this environment, where there are checks imposed on thoughts and free expression, the writer, activist like Tahira Abdullah says: ‘Sadaf’s second collection shows an evolution from mainly romantic yearning idealism and pain, towards a growing anger and protest arising from an increasing awareness of the injustice and cruelty that surrounds us, particularly as women. Sadaf wants to shock readers out of their comfortable stupor.’   

Sadaf says about herself, ‘Is it my physicality that dictates that I am a woman, as I am sure a brush stroke can undo that or it is something more, something which can’t be undone, can’t be wiped clean, or be denied.
I am a daughter, a wife, a sister and a mother, but more than that I am Sadaf Raza.’
In words of Maya Angelou
Cause I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.
Sadaf also says in her book,
Tell me why your hands don’t shake,
When you write me in red… my existence a mere smear
To be wiped clean, when you want a clean slate

Sadaf believes that Gender based violence is an outcome of discriminatory attitude, which makes women/girls susceptible to violence. She believes in using her voice not only through her writing but also through talk shows, forums, seminars and workshops. Violence against women is one area where she thinks a lot needs to be done.

Most of her work focused on women rights, be it girls rights to education, amendment in the discriminatory laws against women, or ending violence against women. She believes that her words are an extension of her work.

The book is available at the leading bookstores of the town. Ideas for Life Trust would utilize the fund generated out of the proceeds from the sale of this book to its ‘end violence against women campaign’ in Pakistan. 

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