My Nana, the Lawyer

In: Other Topics

Submitted By iamhappy1212
Words 5579
Pages 23
Maham Choudhry
15110160

My Nana, the Lawyer He asks me my name. I tell him. It’s not as if he forgets, it is just that he never bothered to remember. Committing the names of his nine children’s offspring is understandably a tedious task.
“Tell me about Sirhind, nana,” I ask.
He smiles, a maze of crow’s feet forming at the edge of his cataract-inflicted eyes.
“I went there last night.”
My nana’s ‘dreams’ take him to Sirhind Shareef, a place he calls home. Sirhind (the popular name of Fatehgarh Sahib), where there is a shrine of Shaikh Ahmad Mujaddid Alf-i-Sani, was situated in Patiala state, a region between Ludhiana and Ambala Districts. It was the head-quarter of the province under Mughal rule.
My nana has never demanded anything from his children. But he asks them to take him to Sirhind, a word he speaks with such longing and love that every syllable seems covered in honey. Perhaps that is why he has started hallucinating. His desire to re-visit Sirhind is so strong, the place where his father had slapped a Sikh who tried to stop a Shia procession and where he had shared loaves covered in ghee with his father’s Hindu business partners. Every night, nana claims that ‘his friends’ in his dreams take him across the border to his home, where he was born in the year 1935.
My nana is Chaudhry Muhammad Bashir, one of the most capable and eminent lawyers in Faisalabad. His grandfather was the late Allah Baksh, who owned two acres of land in Sirhind. He was illiterate and supported his family through a very unconventional business advantage. His wife Naseem, also illiterate, was host to a Jinn at night. By virtue of this supernatural guest, she used to recite the Holy Quran with fervor. My great-great grandfather used to ask the Jinn what merchandise he should sell in the…...

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