I want to pen down my thoughts and express them via prose but I always end up making it into a poem. When I wrote a poem for the very first time, I remember my grandma saying, “in poetry, it’s the thought that matters and the way you put it. You are a poet and it’s called a poet’s liberty. Put your thoughts as they come. That’s your forte, your gift from God. Don’t live by the dogma that people will laugh and make fun of your writings. Unless you write , you won’t know your mistakes and you won’t improve.” I always remember these encouraging words of hers before writing anything.
My grandma, a beautiful lady, delicate in her looks and always with a smile on her face, was a Senior Cambridge graduate. She taught and retired as an English teacher in the same school where she had studied. There was not a single day that she missed reading the local newspapers and solving their daily crosswords. I remember searching for words and trying to learn new words from her English dictionary which she continuously updated with new words. My grandpa used to discuss and help grandma on words while solving the crosswords.
I reminisce about days I visited her home and she cooked my favorite dishes. We both waited for the weekends to come as I used to sleep at her place. We watched comedy Hindi/ English movies together on television on Saturday nights and slept late.
She was of a noble birth and passed away peacefully in sleep in the most holiest place of Najaf (Iraq), without any pain or suffering last year in December after completing her pilgrimage. I was lucky to get her love for 24 years and during her last few days she and I even shared a hotel room.
My grandpa was a very handsome, fair and tall National level volley ball player. He was a government officer and was actively involved in serving our community in various capacities and was for many years the President of the Intezamia Committee of Mahdi Bagh, Nagpur. He was very fond of chocolates, sweets and fruits. I remember him making the tastiest desserts, juices and sweets that I have ever eaten. He was a good shopper and always bought us fresh and best quality fruits. He was a complete family man. He had endless love for his children and grandchildren. We were pampered a lot by him. He was a self made man. I must say he had excellent leadership qualities.
I liked his straight forwardness in every situation and try to follow it in my life. People say I’ve got his leadership qualities and a few of my grandma’s qualities, which I’m proud of!
I called my grandfather , Dada. Dada loved traveling very much, had travelled all over India and during his last days always wished and made plans to make a road trip to Vishakhapatnam, where my aunt stays. He used to be ever ready for day outings with us in our car.
In his last days, he was confined to his bed due to severe anemia and weakness. During his illness, he had stopped eating and I remember diverting his mind with other stuff and feeding him with my own hands like a small baby. He was the pillar of strength and integrity of our family. He passed away in January 2013 and his death is an un-healing wound.
When I recollect memories of my grandparents, I regret not spending more time with them and tears roll down my eyes every time I visit their empty house, seeing their smiling faces in a photo frame and strongly wish to see their smiling faces welcoming us again. They used to stand outside when we left for our home, waved us good byes and waited for our phone call till we reached safely. I miss their presence in my life every single day.
This blog is dedicated to my grandparents. I wish they could read this before I posted it here and would give me their valuable inputs. But I’m sure they are blessing me and are proud of my effort.
Mrs Zehra and Mr Asghar Sheikh Hussain, Mahdi Bagh, Nagpur.