Grandparents are definitely a blessing. You are lucky if you are blessed with even one. In these turbulent times, the more tech-savvy we become, we start to lose sight of other important things in life: a touch of humanity, humane behaviour and a concern for ‘the other’. In such times, who else to turn to for solace, but to those who played a special part in bringing us up? How many of us value our grandparents today?
As a kid, I had been blessed with this grandest love of all: two sets of grandparents, maternal and paternal. My grandparents would shield me from the wrath of my parents. Above all, they were my friends. I listened to stories of their childhood and of the times when they had matured. They nurtured and taught me the importance of being a humble and honest person, and how one should respect, and most of all, love ‘the other’. All age-old dictums were taught to me by them. Sadly, today, I have no more old friends, no one to turn to as I bear a very forlorn face and a sad heart.
Old age and illness took them away from me, one by one and a part of me has died with them. I still rejoice when I think of them and the stories told by them, of real people and age-old characters from old story books — of reliving the times of the Second World War, of those spent in pre-Partition India, of the journey to Karachi at the birth of Pakistan, as well as stories about Jinnah, and so on and so forth.
Hardly a day passes by when I don’t think of them, when I don’t miss them, when I don’t hear their voices scolding me in the backdrop, telling me to be patient and to wait, and to not fight with my younger siblings.
Today, I dedicate this piece to their profound memory, for bringing me up, for loving me unconditionally, and I thank the Almighty for bringing such delightful people into my life.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 11th, 2013.