**”Bismillahir rahmaanir raheem”
-in the name of Allah, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful-**
His sketch was left incomplete. Hanzalahs grandparents had arrived. He could hear the car pull into the driveway and 3 car doors banging closed
“Ummi! Ummi! They’re here.. Dada and dadi are here!” He shouted as he ran out of the study towards the front door to open up for them…
Dadi was an elderly lady but looked so fit. The only sign that she was old was the slight hunch that was apparent on her back.
Hanzalah envisioned his dadi to be tall and big built with a maroon and gold punjabi and the orni draped around her head and shoulders loosely. But dadi was not at all what he’d expected. Instead she was a petite old lady in an abaya and niqaab..
Dadas old age was visible through his wooden walking stick that he used for support.
Dada had a full white sunnah beard with streaks of greyish black in it. Most of his hair had turned white too but was neatly trimmed and kept under a white knitted topi. He wore a traditional white kurta which flowed till just under his knee and a white pants of the same material to match.
Hanzalah suddenly felt more conscious of himself. Would they approve of how he looked? Would the like him? Would they be friendly enough to talk to?
His Dada turned to the door and spotted his grandson standing there and a wide smile spread across his face. He opened his hands up wide with his walking stick now in mid air, welcoming his grandson into arms for a hug..
Hanzalah complied and ran to hug him.
“Assalaamu alaykum beta.. how are you my child?” He spoke affectionately in urdu
Hanzalah understood a little bit of their home language since his ummi and abba spoke to eachother often in urdu so that his home language isn’t forgotten. He can’t speak it very well but he understands mostly everything
“Give me a chance to hug my only grandson too you selfish old man” dadi scolded jokingly and enveloped hanzalah in another tight hug..
So much attention and hanzalah was already looking forward to their 1 month visit.. He spotted their suitcases and wondered what awesome gifts they’d brought for him from pakistan.
Once everyone had settled in, they sat down on the mat laid down on the floor the way the prophet muhammad(peace be upon him) and his companions often did, to eat the delectable chilli beef curry and roghni naan that naseema had prepared with so much of love..
They dug in with their hands and licked they’re fingers as a compliment to the chef for the wholesome meal she’d prepared..
“Good to see you haven’t forgotten our traditional way of cooking naseema beti…” Her mother in law joked.. “We would think that you would be living on take outs and english food by now..”
They all laughed…
“An pakistani will always remain pakistani ma..” Naseema replied affectionately. “We can never abandon our ways…”
It was so good to catch up on everything that they’ve missed all these years.
Abdullah and naseema are quite lonely on this end of the world with no real family around, so finally having company feels so good.
Not to say that they don’t get to meet other pakistanis around, they do, and the bond is quite strong.. But family is family…. And no-one can fill the void of a blood relative.
Hanzalah was so excited that he practically dragged his grandparents all around the house showing them every little thing that they had and explained to them everything that they did.. Despite the language barrier, they all seemed to be having a lot of fun.
Dadi tried taking over for the next few days so that naseema could rest, but naseema was so used to doing everything herself that she just couldn’t sit and do nothing.
Upon dadis insistence, the cooking was no longer her duty, so all she had to do was continue with teaching hanzalahs and studying.
But She decided to put her studies aside till after she’d given birth and was settled again.
The days were drawing near and naseema had just entered her 39th week of pregnancy. She was beginning to feel big and heavy. With hanzalah too she only gave birth at 40 weeks. But her first labour was pretty easy. Before she could even reach the delivery room, hanzalah had popped out.
Abba like to joke about it shaking his head: “You were too excited to get into this world son.. If only you knew … You would’ve stayed inside longer”
It was around 12:30 one night when the time had come.. Abdullah had to wake his parents up to let them know that he was taking naseema to the hospital since her waters had broken and that they should see to hanzalah if he woke up. It was finally time for little habeeba to come home…..
Posted by silent living…