The year was 1950, when my Grand father Tufail Ahmed, with his 4 daughters, and 4 sons and a wife. And his brother with his 2 sons, and our other members of the family set foot in the newly found nation Pakistan.
In the Uttar Pradesh India, Meerut was the city where this family called home. Tufail Ahmed and his brother were a tailors by profession who sewed clothes to earn a living. Tufail had a house two portions of which were rented out, to contribute to his earnings. But after 1947, since every one of the family was moving to Pakistan, and the situation was getting more tense, and each day more difficult to survive in India, they had to make the tough decision to migrate to the land of the pure.
Leaving all the property, and every thing behind my grandfather and his brother left for Pakistan. Being a tailor and coming to a new city life had staked a pile of challenges for him to deal with the moment he set his foot in Karachi. The house to shelter his eight kids was made of mug walls and straw roof. To keep his family feed he sew clothes, his eldest son helped him in his work, so did the one younger than him. The son older than the youngest one worked at a tea stall and than at some other place.
Tufail could only afford education for his youngest son and the youngest of his daughters, My mother. The whole of his family were against the thought that being a women my mother should be educated. But her parents and all her siblings supported the idea and stood bold and strong by their decision.
At that time a lot of people suggested that my grand father should claim his property he left back in India, and each time he told them that He had didn’t left anything behind, he just gave it all to his cousin who was left behind in India. He was happy that he had the land of pure to breath freely, he wanted nothing more from Pakistan.
My mother grew up surrounded by mud walls , while straw sheltered her from the son, she remember bringing mud and stones for her mother so she could keep repair and the mud walls built strong around the family. My mother remembers when it rained, they used to put everything on the cots, to keep them from drowning in the water. The rain often used to bring down the mud walls, which were rebuilt once the rain was over.
In this mud house, my mother not only learned to read and write but also to cherish the little joys of life, be content with what one gets, and to be thankful to Allah and also to enjoy the blessings he had given to this family. They laughed they cried, at times they slept without food but my mother even now when she looks back at that time of her childhood she says she never felt she had anything missing. The love, joys, and the carefree days of her childhood are the things she miss the most about her past, but the only think she regrets is that her mother passed away without a solid roof on her head.
My grand mother was also a remarkable women, she worked day and night, erected walls out of mud and rocks, cooked for the whole family burning wood and blowing through a pipe to keep the flame burning, sacrificing for her children, and boldly battling through all the odds without giving a single frown. She taught her children to love, sacrifice respect and care for other's feelings. She always ate the leftovers and fed the fresh food to her kids. She let them have the fresh fruit and chose to keep the rotten ones for her self. She never let the food go to waste, the stale bread and rice too was processed and fed to the birds.
My grand father worked day and night married off his all kids, the son were given rooms adding walls to the same mud and rock structure. The three alder girls too were wedded off. Some years after their marriage two of the sons moved to proper houses in different parts of Karachi. Others followed later. My moms elder sister wedded to a doctor also soon moved to a proper house and Later in the end my mom was wedded off too and soon after that my grand mother passed away.
My moms biggest regret to this day is that her mother didn’t get to leave that hut where she spent her whole life struggling, without electricity, clean water or basic necessities of life, that today we take for granted. My grand father moved to one of his sons house, where he spent almost 20 yeas in good health before he passed away.
The whole life time of my grand parents passed in an struggle and hard work, raising their children with hard earned money, enabling them to be able to break out and make their own homes and raise their children with proper education their parents couldn’t afford for them. The most remarkable part of the whole story was that none of the children of my grand parents ever resorted to any un fair means of earning. They all worked hard to raise their kids, stood strong through all thick and thins and provided for their children the best they could. They never bowed to any one, never took any loans, never asked anyone for help or support. It was just their hard work and determination which enabled them to complete a success story they started of a new beginning with a new nation.