Sunday 10th March – Mother’s Day in the United Kingdom. It is also the anniversary of Saeeda Yonnus’s death and her children have chosen to remember her with a memorial lunch in the beautiful surroundings of Mughal-E-Azam restaurant on Stratford Road in Birmingham.
Three of us from Writers Without Borders (Sue Brown, Predencia Dixon and Vivian Yates) were able to attend to learn more about this vibrant and caring member of our group.
We were privileged to hear what she meant to several generations of her family, beginning with the grand-children who spoke eloquently and affectionately about their grandmother.
As the sumptuous lunch was served it only added to the rich mix that was Saeeda, as all who spoke of her confirmed.
WWB was honoured to be asked to contribute to the tributes. Sue Brown delivered a moving piece about Saeeda’s life and our experience of her in WWB. Vivian Yates read one of her poems, 10 Men. (See attached)
We’re very happy that we were a part of that mission. She was, and continues to be, well loved.
Ten men married ten women
And made ten couples
One of them settled in the town
Nine men in the village always missed him
They remained in the village
We were ten; we are one short of our numbers
The one in the town found tens of men in the town
He did not miss the villagers
One day he returned to the village
The villagers rejoiced in his return
We are ten again.
Townsman said, ‘No, we are more than ten’
‘How?’, villagers asked
The day we married we became twice the ten
And now look at our families
We have multiplied five times in the last ten years
And if we put our resources together
We have the power of one hundred men,
Ten times more than ten
‘You were always the clever one’
© Saeeda Younus 2010
One of the presenters, a fellow writer, presented Sue with a copy of his book as a souvenir of the day.