My Nana Nani (Grandfather & Grandmother) are two people who have literally spent a lifetime together, mashAllah. They got married at a very young age, back when there was no Pakistan. My Nana wasn't very educated. But he was honest and hard working. After migration, they went through very tough times. Moreover, first four kids born couldn't survive. Just when things started to look bleak, Nana just left it all to Allah. And asked for guidance. Then he started his dairy in new town. And he worked hard. It was a success. Things started looking good now. They had 8 children later, of which my mom is the youngest daughter.
We weren't ever very close to Nana Nani as kids because we used to live in Bahrain, then KSA. But for our University degree, me and my sister had to come live with them here in Karachi. Though we know that it's a huge favor to our parents, keeping us here, Nana never takes it that way. He says it's us who are here for them.
Grandparents have a soft corner for grandchildren, rather than children. So we enjoy many privileges living with them a lot. Hehe. At times, my mom can't believe the things he allows us. The thing is, my Nana moves with the times as well as holds onto old values. He listens, he tries to understand things.
He even bought an mp3 player a few months back and had me put his old favorite songs in it. :)
My Nani is a bit old fashioned. She says she should not wear bright colored saris anymore because she's old now. When we insisted, she said, but your Nana likes me in white. When we asked Nana, he says, "No, why? Abhi to tum jawan ho!" ("You're still young")
On anniversaries Nana puts his arm around Nani for photos but she gets all shy and keeps saying, ok now that's enough now. Nani can't walk much without her walker (zimmer frame) Nana prepares her breakfast in the morning and brushes her false teeth at night. Yesterday Nana had to go for his hernia surgery and when he said goodbye to Nani, she shed a few tears. She couldn't sleep all afternoon. When he returned in the evening, he looked tired and weak. He shook hands with Nani and kissed her hands. :) This morning I was up just to see if everything is ok with Nana, he was praying. Nani was still asleep. Nana went to her and "phooked" over her.
They don't speak as much because I suppose they don't need to, having lived 60+ years together. But it's adorable to see how concerned they get about each other. My Nani just has this way of knowing when things aren't right. A day before Nana was diagnosed with hernia, Nani felt worried just like that for him. They do drive each other crazy at times but get over it quickly by just exclaiming, "kya tumhe!!!"
There are so many things to be learnt from them and I pray that they share together a long long happily ever after. And looking at them brings hope this kind of true love, that endures through thick and thin, really does exist. :)
Photo: Nana & Nani with their youngest.