September 9

My eldest uncle, dad’s oldest brother, lost his battle to cancer on this day around 26 years ago. 

Each year, as September 9 rolls by, it is a dark and gloomy day for us. Even though I was only 1 when my uncle  died, and I don’t remember anything about him- only stories, I am just as much affected by his death.

All of my family gathers at my grandparents on this day. Aunts, uncles, cousins. Dad and his siblings don’t go to work today. We have lunch and dinner with my grandparents. Dad visits my uncle’s grave with all the men. They feed the poor in my uncle’s name. We desperately try to lift my grandparents sad moods. It’s a ritual that is happening ever since I can remember. 

Of course, losing a child is hard. And it is the worst thing ever. Especially, if it’s your first born, too. My uncle died at 35, leaving behind two children. Babies, really. 2 and 4 years old. My grandmother raised them. His daughter is like my sister and we have grown up together. And maybe that’s why her pain is my pain and why this day is painful for me, too. 

I have never seen my grandmother break down before. She has always stayed strong, composed. She is the kind of woman who takes on a challenge and climbs the highest mountain without a sweat. She is never weak to the world. Sure, she has been emotional at times, but barely. Until today. 

It’s a worst kind of feeling, when you hear your grandmother sob like a child does. It wrecks you, it shatters you… It cuts like a hundred knives. And I can’t get the sound out of my head… 

I started crying, too. Everyone did.

Today was a very gloomy day, indeed. 

It’s been 26 years, but some wounds never heal… I have so much love and respect for all the parents who continue to have courage after losing their children…. You are brave and surely, your patience and courage will be rewarded. Amen. 

No matter how old or young, children should bury their parents. Not the other way around.  

Advertisements

The Richest Poor Man

In Journalism class, many many moons ago, we were asked to select a living influential person, or a celebrity, and write an obituary on them. While my classmates preferred to write on actors and singers, I chose Mr. Edhi. I have always been inspired by him to be a better human. I hope I always am.

Around 2 weeks ago, we lost him. A very remarkable human being, arguably one of the biggest social worker, humanitarian and philanthropist of his era, left behind a whole nation in mourning. What a terrible, terrible blow for us.

The nation’s hero, in the truest sense. He was probably the only good thing (of a few) to come out of this place we call Pakistan. He gave up everything to help the poor, devoted his entire life for the destitute. I feel ashamed, for I am not even half as great, selfless and modest as he was. I hope I always would be encouraged to be more like him.

His passing away is a huge loss for humanity indeed, not just for Pakistan, but for the whole world. One thing I know for sure. Angels do walk on this earth amongst us.

Here is a link to his exceptional foundation that acts as a safety net for the poor, needy and helpless that he created basically out of nothing.

May he rest in peace. Amen. 💔❤️

 

Ali

Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee. His hands can’t hit what his eyes can’t see. 

Rest in peace, Muhammad Ali. May God grant you the highest place in paradise, Ameen. ❤️❤️❤️

I grew up watching your fights on tape, on repeat. Hundred times a day, my brother would rewind, forward and pause and rewind again, and make me and my sister watch all your fights and interviews and glorious moments continuously.

You were really handsome, and tbh, you have set the bar really high for me. I admit I developed a crush on you, from the moment I first saw you on TV. You were so sassy, and beautiful and confident, you stole my heart right there and then!

A couple of years ago, I set up a google alert on my email to get news about you, and I wasn’t prepared for this. It’s so heartbreaking. I was really dreading this day. The good are always the first to leave early. And surely the world is a lot gloomier now that you’re gone.

You will always be remembered by this tomboyish girl. I love you. ❤️❤️❤️

Always, Alan Rickman

There are no words… What those books mean to me, I can’t explain it. Every character has become like a family member, and to lose one is just heartbreaking. I was so not ready for this. I wasn’t even expecting it! 😞😞😞

I am so saddened and shocked right now. Rest in peace, Alan. You will always be remembered and forever missed. 😭❤️❤️❤️

*This post got saved as a draft, and I didn’t check to see if it was published. 

screen-shot-2016-01-14-at-8-30-37-am alan_rickman_actor_man_director_briton_smile_celebrity_gray-haired_18679_1600x1200

Safe and Sound

I have never seen death, not in my family nor in friends. And I am terrified.

I was 1 when my dad’s eldest brother lost the battle to cancer. He was 32 and I don’t remember it or him, though it does make me sad. And every year on his death anniversary, I pay my respects by visiting my grandparents and spending the day with them. All my family gathers there, to lessen the grief my grandparents are feeling for losing their firstborn.

And that is the closest I’ve been to death.

In the last four years, my grandfather has lost 3 of his siblings. I was not very close to them, but we did meet 4 or 5 times each year. And in our family, we treat the siblings of our grandparents with just as much love and respect. One was very kind and young at heart. He would make jokes and laugh with us, and act more like a friend than a grandfather. He was the first to go. It was so sudden and so sad. But it was more heartbreaking to see my grandfather cry. Then, my grandfather’s eldest sister passed away. She was over 90, close to 100, and she was a brave woman in her youth. She was very much involved in the Pakistan Movement, and now we have her stories with us. And then, my grandfather’s only remaining brother passed away, in 2014.

I do not do well when it comes to death and losing loved ones.

a. I have never experienced it so I don’t know what to feel

              and

b. I don’t know what to say when a friend or someone goes through this horrible time.

Just I can tell you how morbidly scared and frightened it makes me feel.

So, when my uncle called and said my grandmother isn’t feeling well and she’s asking to see us, we left immediately. We were eating dinner at that time, and all of us dropped our spoons and rushed out. It’s a good thing we live in the same block, just across the street, so we got there in a few seconds.

I was overwhelmed with emotion. Like, I didn’t know what to feel. I think I was feeling a hundred different emotions at the same time and my mind was not able to process it. I was numb and seeing my grandmother cry, it’s horrible.

My grandmother’s blood pressure was exceedingly high. And that’s because she and my grandfather had an argument. And whenever they do, my grandmother gets really worked up. But this time, she wasn’t okay.

We all stayed with her. There must have been 30 people in one room. Kids, adults. Then all the kids were told to go outside and let grandmother have some air. One of my twins brothers, Safi, and Maryam, my cousin, started crying. I hugged Safi and the second I did, I started crying, too, and kept repeating that it’ll be okay.

Anyway. After my grandmother calmed down, we all breathed a little. My uncles and Dad and my brother and male cousins all took her to the hospital. The doctor saw her and now she’s home, safe and sound. He says she’s fine and told her she shouldn’t skip her blood pressure meds.

When I came home, I really felt…. weird. A strange feeling, constantly gnawing at my heart. I just hope all my loved ones stay healthy and live a long life. I know death is inevitable. But I can never imagine a family member not being there. I can’t. And it’s terrifying. 

The Stupid, Idiot, Nonsense Balloon

She was the odd one out. She never really fit in. All the other girls got balloons. They were cool. She never had one. That is, until she was old enough.

She loved her balloon very much. It was always with her, wherever she went. The balloon became her best friend and she thought it would stay with her forever.

But alas! The balloon started feeding off of her happiness and her joy, and got bigger, rounder and sulkier every time. Too egoistic for its own good. She reasoned with it, pleaded, teared up, but all in vain. The balloon wanted the sky full of stars, and she seemed dull.

She thought she could change things. She held onto the string, her hopeless heart believing her love would be enough. But the tighter she held on, the further the balloon drifted away until the string actually snapped.

The balloon had gotten so round, so much full of stupid nonsense and idiocy that she was unable to keep her hold. And off the balloon flew into the sky full of stars.

And the moment that happened, the whole world grew dark around her. So she picked up herself and is making her way home.

The balloon got what it wanted, as it sailed among the stars. Until one day, the balloon caught on fire and burst in flames. The stars were too much for such a tiny and stupid balloon.

It fell in pieces at her feet.

It was so beautiful. She smiled.