When females were asked to learn to cook, she wanted us to educate ourselves
This has been a long time coming. Everytime I tried to put pen to paper, words failed me. Like I was attempting to take on a task too gargantuan. It still is, as I struggle to pay homage to a human being par excellence... To sing her praises from the mountains tops...
Ever since I was a little girl, I always wanted to be like my grandmother. She was very beautiful, as one was likely to notice at that age. Her smile would light up any room. She was made of steel - my superwoman. People looked up to her. Respected her. Loved her. Impressionable as I was, I wanted that. The plaudits. The praise. The respect. The whole nine yards. I even remember telling her, youthful naivete in full force, “your children are useless. They are not anywhere as perfect as you are. But one day, I will be like you!” Today, several years later, I am nowhere close. Neither am I naive enough to believe it is an achievable ideal. Filling such large shoes is near impossible. But everyday I try to emulate her, do as much good as she did. To be fiercely protective of my family. To love unconditionally and help others as much as I can, never expecting anything in return.
She was a true feminist. At a time when females were asked to learn to cook, she wanted us to educate ourselves. She taught us the importance of self respect. And she taught us that true equality lay in loving and respecting each other.
She carried herself with poise and grace
She lost her husband at a relatively young age, but she never let that faze her. She educated her children in the best of schools, and persevered to become a woman to be reckoned with. She carried herself with poise and grace. She exuded charisma. She was always well dressed, her million dollar smile at her disposal. She was the most selfless person I know, always putting everyone else first. She was a nurturing, loving, beautiful, strong woman who always wanted the best for everyone.
But all the words in the world won’t suffice eloquently to describe the person she was. Even now, I look at what I’ve written and want to discard it - I haven’t done near enough justice and I doubt I will ever be able to.
I don’t begrudge her for leaving us so soon. It was always her wish not to be a burden on anyone; to live a life dependent on others. People tell me she was as beautiful and ethereal as she was when she was alive as she was as she lay there, a beautiful smile on her face. No doubt she has left a void in our hearts that can never be filled, but above all, she left behind a legacy. She will always remain in our hearts, thoughts and prayers. My parents Zulkif & Rahana and my siblings Amreeya & Imaad join me in honouring her memory.
May the Almighty grant her Jennathul Firdaus.
By Rihaab Mowlana