My Dear Aunty Kaneez


I often find that people who are about to leave this world become very quiet near their end; maybe they have learned alot, or maybe they think about the unknown or are trying to accept the inescapable journey of their life. A transition like death can not be challenged and that is probably a reason enough to make a person as quiet as a statue. No words can ever console or makeup for the lost person!

My dear aunty, whom I fondly remember since I was a very young child passed after suffering from cancer for over a year. Abbu said call her khala G, not khala! She had a unique style of greeting, limited specific talk, very straight forward, blurting out whatever was in her heart! She never hesitated to express what she liked; If you asked her what gift she would like, either you would hear nothing or something like a nice small white bag. You would never hear a “No” from her if you were going for an outing.

She made me a beautiful red frock when I was three and she was very good at knitting sweaters. She was excellent at embroidery too and made a number of pictures (very precious to me). Once I painted a green pathway with a tree using fabric paints and she embroidered it with fruits.
Apart from arts and crafts she enjoyed reading English novels.

I remember her reading Mills and Boons which were always covered with a newspaper cover! She keenly went to Raja center to read books on rent. I learned a number of things from her which include modesty in dress up, making the beds, discipline in life, lulling kids to sleep, helping elders and unique spiritual and mysterious stories of the bygone ancestors. She was a very good story teller.

She liked gardening and loved plants. She would never stay alone at home; always ready to go out for shopping, eating and outing! She loved sweet dishes and chocolates. One would often find mint or other flavoured chocolates in her bag. She was the type of person with whom you could unburden your heart and share your agonies. She had much in common with me in her ways, hobbies, likes/dislikes. She liked to wear real jewellery with stones in her hands, arms, ears and around her neck. She would take care of her things; especially never throw away the birthday cards given to her. She would never burden herself with memorizing phone numbers, places and things.

The best time was sitting with her in the sun, going to festivals, taking evening tea with her, watching TV together and lying down with my arm on her tummy while she read a book or talked about something. Whenever I think of her, an image of a clean, cautious, thoughtful and a responsible person comes to my mind. She was the wife of late Chaudhry Ghulam Jilani, one of the founders of Jamaat-e-Islami.

My message to her is: You were a very brave person! (patiently bore the loss of your dear daughter who died young for 16 years!) I love you khala G; you spent a good human’s life and died on a very special day (27 Ramadan). You were not only pious and decent but a very nice person. I will miss you till I am alive and I hope to see you in Heaven (Jannah) inshAllah!