families are forever …

Everyone looks a little lost. first it was adjusting routines, making room in tight schedules welcoming a guest who would stay with us for a month. And now when he has left after being with us for a month, every one looks a little lost,unsure of where to start or readjust the routines.
My husband and our sons went to the airport to see him off. They were a little quiet when they came back. I know we all are going to miss him

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.

My children were happy that their chacha was coming, my granddaughters were excited that they would see their chhote dada for the first time. My husband was happy and getting things done to welcome his younger brother. Once he was here both the brothers spent hours reminiscing their long lost times and I am sure they still were not done when he left after all this time. I mean here I am, a quiet person by nature who loves peace and silence and avoids crowds; and there they were never getting tired of their talks. It was good to see them enjoying each other’s company but I would excuse myself when talking would turn into hours of non stop …. “remember that  …”  “oh do you remember what happened …”
Another funny thing about them was their similar looks. They are brothers. True. But such resemblance one only witnesses in identical twins. My granddaughter asked her father the next day on her way to school … ” baba are you sure my dada and chhote dada are not twins?
I love and value family and family reunions even if it was just one more person joining.  There was time when we used to go to Pakistan every year to see our families. My children loved to visit their grandparent’s house because apart from being pampered by dada abba and dadi amman, there was their chacha – a hero with a wonderful motorbike who would take them out on a spin every afternoon after coming home from his office.

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.

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