He was my husband’s younger brother – my brother in law. One of his friends living in Chicago wanted him to come to attend his daughter’s wedding. A visitor’s visa from Pakistan, tickets, confirmed seats etc., everything was done in almost no time. Bottom line is he was destined to visit this place so everything was easily done and achieved.
I am sure everyone of us is a little sad in some private corner of our hearts because he is not what we all had in our memories. How time cheats on us!
There is an aura of sad resignation around him. Has it something to do with the loss of his wife who passed away two years ago? Yes, for sure it is. She was a simple, high school graduate woman, least bothered about the world affairs or the local politics. All her interests revolved around her family. A good natured happy go lucky type.
I remember, way back, when we were visiting Pakistan, my father in law saying ” dulhan, I want to talk to you. I said yes babu ji what is it? suddenly his face was red, “talk to this stubborn, mule of a boy. There is this nice girl from a good syed family – we know the family, she comes here and recites the majlis whenever we are having one … very nice, very respectful, very religious minded. She will be good for him, for the family … but no, this high and mighty would not listen. Talk to him. Put some sense in his head. Okay babu ji, I will try. was my meek response. So one afternoon after lunch when the table was cleared I told him I had a message for him. He sat back lowering his eyes. Babu ji’s message? is it? I said yes. So you know what it is about. I heard she is nice. You have seen her. She comes here all the time. Is there something you want to talk about? like someone else you know and like or something ? There was nothing or no one. He assured me. After some more talking, Suddenly he said okay, I am ready.
I was silent. Didn’t know what to say. I remember saying a prayer silently; for him and his wife to be, their future to-gather. For myself, being responsible for helping this happen. I called out. ” time for celebration !!” and everybody came running, smiling, laughing. Babu ji just put his hand on his son’s head and went out of room, probably to thank Allah in the privacy of his room.
They were happy. They had a good life to-gather. And now when they had fulfilled all their obligations and responsibilities and were looking forward to being to-gather for hassle free twilight years, she died.
She had a heart condition that she was born with. No one knew about it till her first pregnancy. She held on to life bravely all through this time, raising a family, education, then getting them married, grandchildren and when she was sure everything was taken care of, everyone was settled and no one needed any help any more, she took a deep breath and closed her eyes.