specially for you Hibiscus Rosa Noor, Greetings from England; and all of my readers who do not understand Urdu. as i do not write poetry in English, please do not mind my crude translation,
Regards,
Yasmin Elahi

Yasmin Elahi

Aa  gayaa hai

Khuda ki rehmat ka tohfa

Ye yaqeen dilaane ke lye

Upar eik Zaat hai

Jo ghum ki andheri raat se

Eik nayi subah tulooh kartee hai!

Aa gaya hai

Khuda ki rehmat ka tohfa

Zindigi ki andheri raahon mein

Eik chota sa dyaa

Jis ki nanhi see jout se

Jagmaga uthi hai mere dil ki dunya

Dard ke sehra mein jo hai

Thandee hawa ka jhonka

Aa gaya hai

Khuda ki rehmat ka tohfa!

Jis kea a jaane se

Aa  gayi hai mere gulshan mein bahar

Rukhsat ho gaya

Khizaan ka mausam

Jis ke aane ka tha

Mere dil ko yaqeen

Jo ke hai

Meri duaaon ka jawaab

Aa gaya hai wo

Khuda ki rehmat ka tohfa!!!
The gift of Allah’s blessing has arrived to further confirm my belief that there is a Divine Being above us
Who has the power to draw a new morning from…

View original post 268 more words

TOHFA! For my readers who can not read Urdu…with a simple EnglishTranslation

Aa  gayaa hai

Khuda ki rehmat ka tohfa

Ye yaqeen dilaane ke lye

Upar eik Zaat hai

Jo ghum ki andheri raat se

Eik nayi subah tulooh kartee hai!

Aa gaya hai

Khuda ki rehmat ka tohfa

Zindigi ki andheri raahon mein

Eik chota sa dyaa

Jis ki nanhi see jout se

Jagmaga uthi hai mere dil ki dunya

Dard ke sehra mein jo hai

Thandee hawa ka jhonka

Aa gaya hai

Khuda ki rehmat ka tohfa!

Jis kea a jaane se

Aa  gayi hai mere gulshan mein bahar

Rukhsat ho gaya

Khizaan ka mausam

Jis ke aane ka tha

Mere dil ko yaqeen

Jo ke hai

Meri duaaon ka jawaab

Aa gaya hai wo

Khuda ki rehmat ka tohfa!!!
The gift of Allah’s blessing has arrived to further confirm my belief that there is a Divine Being above us
Who has the power to draw a new morning from the night of despair!
She is like a little candle in the dark paths of my life which is spreading it’s tiny light to brighten up my heart!
She is like a breath of cool air in the desert of pain I am walking in!
The gift of Divine Blessing has arrived; her arrival announces the advent of Spring and the end of
Autumn in my life
In my heart there was always a firm believe that she will come one day, as she is an answer to my prayers!
The gift of Divine Blessing has finally arrived!

Edited version of a poem I wrote years ago before the birth of my first grand daughter. But I feel it is the perfect time to post this Nazm. My eldest son and daughter in law have been blessed with a beautiful baby girl in the fifteenth year of their married life. Alhumdulillah!!

Ecstasy is too small a word to express the happiness my heart is brimming with! And I can not thank Allah enough for answering to the prayers which came from the depth of my heart!

Far back in the walk of life, when I wrote this poem, I was going through a tough phase … a personal trauma too big for words!!! Although a lot has changed and life has moved miles ahead (and surely for the better), but some emotions never change! Somehow, I am going through all those feelings again, only this poem was written when my grandaughter was still to arrive! 

All readers and friends are requested to keep my little angel in their prayers!

تحفہ

آ گیا ہے
خدا کی رحمت کا تحفہ
یہ یقین دلانے کے لئے
اوپر ایک ذات ہے
جو غم کی اندھیری رات سے
ایک نئی صبح طلوع کرتی ہے
آ گیا ہے
خدا کی رحمت کا تحفہ
زندگی کی اندھیری راہوں میں
ایک چھوٹا سا دیا
جس کی ننھی سی جوت سے
جگمگا اٹھی ہے مرے دل کی دنیا
درد کے صحرا میں جو ہے
ٹھنڈی ہوا کا جھونکا
آ گیا ہے وہ
خدا کی رحمت کا تحفہ
جس کے آ جانے سے
آگئی ہے مرے گلشن میں بہار
اور رخصت ہو گیا
خزاں کا موسم
جس کے آنے کا تھا
مرے دل کو یقین
جو کہ ہے
میری دعائوں کا جواب
آ گیا ہے وہ
خدا کی رحمت کا تحفہ

Edited version of a poem I wrote years ago before the birth of my first grand daughter. But I feel it is the perfect time to post this Nazm. My eldest son and daughter in law have been blessed with a beautiful baby girl in the fifteenth year of their married life. Alhumdulillah!!

Ecstasy is too small a word to express the happiness my heart is brimming with! And I can not thank Allah enough for answering to the prayers which came from the depth of my heart!

Far back in the walk of life, when I wrote this poem, I was going through a tough phase … a personal trauma too big for words!!! Although a lot has changed and life has moved miles ahead (and surely for the better), but some emotions never change! Somehow, I am going through all those feelings again, only this poem was written when my grandaughter was still to arrive! 

All readers and friends are requested to keep my little angel in their prayers!

Relationships: The grand relation! (http://dawn.com/2012/11/03/relationships-the-grand-relation/)

Grandparents are your unending sources of kindness, patience and comfort. Through out their lives, they give you unconditional love and above all, they are your fierce supporters. Always!

They will never find any fault with you and defend you even if (in their hearts) they know you are wrong! According to an anonymous quote, “Grandparents/grandchildren relationships are simple. Grandparents are short on criticism and long on love.”

And above all, they have all the time in the world for you, pampering you, fulfilling your whims, replying to your queries patiently until you are satisfied, answering questions which your busy parents do not have the time to reply. Another anonymous quote beautifully sums it, “A grandparent is a little bit parent, a little bit teacher and a little bit best friend.” I call this relation ‘the grand relation’!

With each changing generation, we observe many changes in the lifestyles and social values. The fast paced-life of modern times is witnessing the slow decline of the joint family system which is slowly giving in to the nuclear family. Rising inflation, high cost of housings, plus the need to lead a life free of the intrusion of the older age group, is making the joint family style of living a thing of the past.

When grandparents and grandchildren lived under the same roof, they shared a strong bond of love and care for each other.

When parents had to go out, they often left their young ones in the care of the older generation, a task which they carried out happily. Stories where told at bedtime and this was often the most enjoyable hour in both the grandparents’ and grandchildren’s day. But sadly, with the advent of the nuclear family, this grand relation seems to suffer.

Grandparents’ love still knows no bounds. But sometimes the grandchildren fail to reciprocate their love in the same manner. It is not that they do not love their grandparents but somehow, they do not show this love. The blame for this change in attitude cannot be put entirely on the younger generation. It is basically that children today are born in a time and world that is very different from that of their grandparents’, where they interact more with electronic gadgets than they do with human beings.

After youngsters have finished with the demands of their studies, they are busy with their computers, cell phones, electronic games and unending channels on the television, thus they have hardly anytime left to spend and share with their grandparents.

Small changes in your routine can sometimes bring big (and positive) changes in your lives. By taking out a few hours every week from your busy timetable, you can spend them with your grandparents and make them feel that you care for them a much as they love you! In this way you will make them happier, because although they may not show it, grandparents are usually lonely deep down inside!

With the prime years of their life gone, they mostly lead a retired life and want activities to fill up their long hours. If you are not living with them, then a call from you or a short visit can do wonders to brighten up their day. A handmade card when they are ill or a small gift (for no particular reason) can make your bond with them stronger, something you will cherish later on in life!

And dear friends, those of you who are lucky enough to live with a grandparent, you should make sure to sit with them for a few minutes each day, greet them when you come back from school or anywhere else and always wish them a goodnight before going to bed. No medicine makes you feel better when you are sick as your grandma’s presence by your side does, your head in her lap, and her pressing your feverish forehead with her soft winkled hands and silently praying. And when the fever is down and you are at peace, you know in your heart that it was her prayers and the Holy Verses she was reading softly and blowing over you that made you well again.

Although toddlers love to be cuddled, as children grow into their preteens or teen years, they sometimes find their grandparents’ big embraces and pats on the head a bit embarrassing. It is best that you think of the pleasure it gives them when they pet or hug you, which probably others don’t do because they think you have grownup, and enjoy the feeling of love and security that it conveys. And if you really can’t put up with it, try to explain in a polite manner, that you do not feel comfortable with the hugs and that the loving pats usually spoil your hairdo, something you are very particular about. If you clarify your feelings to them, they are sure to understand.

Sometimes, some of us complain that our grandparents are naïve, old-fashioned and ill-informed, but we often under estimate the old generation. Friends, we must realise that our grandparents are not only a fountain of love and care, they also possess the wisdom and insight only experiences of life can teach us! You can get loads of information from books, television and the internet, but the experiences of life your grandparents have braved and the difficulties they have faced have given them infinite perception.

They may not know much about how to use a computer or how to avail all the options of a complex cell phone, but they can share with you the insight which can only be acquired with the passage of years. By spending more time with your grandparents, you will also get access to a great fountain of wisdom and knowledge.

So friends, before their physical presence fades into fond memories, strengthen your ties with your grandparents. You will not only feel better for brightening their days, you will also be able to see life and its problems with a new and wiser perspective!

According to Bill Cosby, “What is it about grandparents that is so lovely? I’d like to say that grandparents are God’s gifts to children. And if they can but see, hear and feel what these people have to give, they can mature at a fast rate.”

THE LITTLE GIRL WITHIN!

THE LITTLE GIRL WITHIN!

     A difficult part of aging is that those who are younger than us also have a set of rules and norms for us, which they expect us to abide by. In their opinion, an important requisite for being the eldest in the family is to be serious, grave, responsible and dignified most of the time. But there are times when we throw caution to the wind and behave like we used to do in the days of yore. And that is when the problem begins!

      I realized this hard fact on the day my college friends came over for lunch. We were a large and mischievous group in the Dhaka College of Home-Economics, famous to the extent of notoriety because of our endless pranks. But our group was also the one which always bagged the highest marks. Although we were caught red handed many times, the teachers always let us go after a lukewarm warning. After college, we stepped into practical life and drifted apart to different countries. Meetings were scattered and though most of the friends visited Karachi for one reason or another, this was the first time in decades, all of us were here at the same time. Excitedly, we had been planning this get together for weeks. E-Mails were exchanged, text messages went to and fro and at last my place was decided as the venue for the meeting.

          After lunch, we were reminiscing about the good old college days and the great time we had shared together. It seemed that everyone was talking at the same time. So much water had passed under the bridge! The joys and sorrows we had experienced during the decades we had lived apart, latest news about our lives and gossips about friends (not present) had to be shared. Amongst the laughter and chattering, we got so carried away that the years seemed to simply slip away, and we did not even realize we were behaving exactly in the same manner we did in our college days.

      “Remember the day we were caught by our English Professor bunking the ‘Home Management’ class? Ambreen asked laughingly. “Oh yes! We had hid behind the library, but just when we were about to start our Chat Party she came along from nowhere”, Naheed exclaimed. Salma said with a smile, “We were caught red handed but we all ran off leaving Seema behind with her big dish of Aloo Chat!” Seema looked visibly annoyed, “How selfish of you people! For weeks you were asking me to bring your favourite chat to college and when we were caught, you all ditched me. I remember looking like a fool holding the dish and having no explanation for the breach of discipline”, Seema was looking as agitated and angry as she was on that particular fateful day. Ambreen quipped back accusingly, “But you gave her the list of our names after being caught, you traitor! We got a good scolding only because of you”. We all laughed until tears rolled down our eyes.

     “How nice it is to be with you all again”, Salma said in a wistful tone. “After Ahmer’s death I thought I would never be able to laugh again”. Suddenly a quiet descended on the room and the mood changed from merriment to mourning. We all felt sad for our dear friend who had lost her only son in a car accident three years back. “Sohail still blames me, because I was driving the car”, she said in almost a whisper. “Things were never the same between us after that unlucky day”, she broke into sobs and not knowing how to console her, we all of joined in her tears.

     Time seemed to fly as we shared memories and laughed and cried together and finally it was time for the party to be over. Amongst smiles and tears, we parted with heavy hearts because we all had the feeling that this could be our last meeting. My four year old grandson was coming and going out of the room at some pretext or other and looking at me in a strange manner. But I was so involved with my friends that I hardly noticed him.

     After everyone had left and I went to my room to rest a bit, he peeped timidly from the door. “Come inside darling, why are you standing outside”, I called out to him. But to my surprise, instead of coming to me he ran away. After some time Bahu appeared with a cup of tea, “What is wrong with Ali? Why is he not coming to me”? I asked her.

Bahu was a bit embarrassed “Forget about it Mummy, He is just a child”. Just then Ali came in, perhaps emboldened by the presence of his mother. “Amma, kya aap pagal ho gayi hain? (Amma, have you gone mad?) He asked with a troubled look on his innocent face. Surprised I turned to Bahu, “Why does he say so? “Actually Mummy, he has never seen you in this mood…. I mean chatting excitedly, laughing and crying in this manner, he has been worrying for you all day long”, she replied with a sheepish smile. I was shocked and a bit sad. I had worn this cloak of a serious and grave person for so long that even I myself had forgotten that once I was a cheerful girl, a bit naughty and always full of laughter.

          Gently I took my darling grandson in my arms, “I am alright dear, just behaving like a naughty girl today”. I rocked him gently until he fell asleep. “Amma has not gone mad, my son” I told him sadly, “But there is still a little girl in Amma who refuses to grow up”, and before I could stop them, two tears dropped and glistened on his rosy cheeks.

MORE CONFESSIONS OF A GRANDMOTHER! (Dedicated to my darling granddaughter Javeria Elahi)

 I traced my index finger tenderly down the delicate features of my granddaughter; she seemed so vulnerable as looked at me with a timid look on her little face. I exclaimed to my daughter who was sitting propped up in pillows in her hospital bed, “She is so pretty, but I will have to admit that I would never be able to love her as much as your first born”. As if instinctively, my daughter nearly grabbed her three days old daughter away from me. Holding her closer to her bosom she enquired in an indignant tone, “Why do you say that Ammi, isnt she my daughter just like Sadia is?” I laughed at her reaction (although I felt a bit surprised), “Relax darling, of course I love her too, but the bond with a first grand child is different, but maybe you will understand my feelings when you yourself will become a grandma!” I was adamant in my confession as I took the little one back from her arms and busied myself in changing her nappy.

Javeria (as she was named later) was a loveable child and although I carried on with delight the duty Grandmas usually perform when their daughters are convalescing after childbirth, some how I could not feel the same rush of ecstatic happiness I had felt more than three years back when her elder sister was born!

Days passed into weeks and weeks into months. My grand daughter was growing up, she seemed to bubble with life, was more demanding than her sister and definitely possessed the qualities which endear a child to everyone around him/her.

Snuggling closer to me whenever I took her in my arms, she seemed to look at me with questioning eyes. “Why should I be loved less if I was born a second child” she seemed to challenge me! I often felt that she remembered the discourse between me and her mother on that day in the hospital! Or maybe my inner guilt was playing games with me!

Even before I realized it, I found myself deeply in love with my second grand daughter. I would call my daughter just to hear her cooings on the phone and whenever she came to visit with her mother, I just couldn’t put the darling child down, carrying her in my arms the maximum possible time.

Yes, I had to admit to myself that she was making inroads into my heart. I was confused. My first grand daughter was as dear to me as ever, but somehow her little sister was sharing the same amount of love. After her first birthday passed and Javeria started to speak a few words, the loving way she called me Naneemee (Her way of saying Nani Ammi), her sticky kisses when I took her in my arms and the way her pretty face lit up with a happy smile when she saw me, I slowly realized that I was fighting a losing battle.

On her second birthday I had to make the confession! On her card I wrote, “My darling Javeria, this is the best day to admit that YOU are second to NONE! And I accept my defeat with pride. Because having a granddaughter as loving and caring as you, is no little honor for me!

Forever yours,

Naneemee.

          After Javeria, although I have been blessed with more grandchildren, I never made the mistake of making any above mentioned claim again. I realized that each grandchild holds a special place and brings with him/her a new fountain of love which erupts from the depths of a Grandma’s heart.

          My grandchildren have taught me that love defies all rules of Mathematics! It multiplies when it is divided, has no option of subtraction and keeps on adding up with time, until it reaches infinity!

          (Yesterday was Javeria’s twelfth birthday and in moments of nostalgia, I went down memories lane! And I found myself smiling at my folly as I remembered my hurried claim when she was just three days old!)

 

I SHALL LIVE ON!

I SHALL LIVE ON!

          My three year old grand daughter came running into my arms, not taking the trouble to remove her unruly curls which streamed down to her sparkling eyes. My sister who had come from abroad after many years remarked laughingly, “Why! Your grand daughter is just like you. Just see how she tosses her head naughtily to remove her locks from her eyes as she peeps from behind them. I just hope she has not inherited your temper”, she said in a teasing tone. On any other occasion, I would not have tolerated such a remark and immediately picked up an argument with my sister, insisting that I was not as bad tempered as she was suggesting! But as she was comparing me to my grand daughter, which in itself was a big compliment for me, I chose to ignore her comments.

As a grandmother, I can find no faults with my grand children as I am simply enchanted with the wonderful things they do, simply forgetting (or trying to forget?) that I scolded or sometimes even punished my children on these very acts! My children had the same endearing habits, played out the same naughty pranks, but at that stage of life, I was so obsessed with the idea of being the perfect mother who was raising the perfect children, I regret to say that I had no time to enjoy their childhood (and the activities which are a part of it). With kids young and all around, the house always bustling with activity, the demands and responsibilities of motherhood were so physically exhausting, I never realized until they had grown up, that it was also a very emotionally fulfilling task.

          Having grand children is one of the best things which can happen to us in life. A grandchild is one of God’s greatest gifts, a compensation for the loss of youth. It is like a silver lining to the dark and ominous cloud of old age. When we reach the stage of life when we become grandmothers, life has changed dramatically, as this is the time when we have minimum responsibilities. The strict regime of motherhood over, children grown up, married and independent, we have all the time in the world to spend with our grand children. We spoil them (or ourselves) to our heart’s extent and giving in to their whims is a source of sheer delight for us. In return they give us unconditional love and blind support, accepting us for ourselves as no one in our entire lives has ever done.

Years seem to simply melt down when I interact with my grandchildren. When they want to discuss their problems with me, I do it very seriously. Either I bend down to reach their innocent mental level or hold them high in my arms to let them come up to my mature age. And when they come to me with complaints of (our common enemy) their parents (which is very frequent), for a moment I seem to forget that the said people are my own children. Although, most of the times, I have to keep myself neutral for the sake of diplomacy and discipline, in the heart of my heart I side totally with them, considering my grandchildren the victims and their parents the culprits!

Whether the person I am talking to is interested or bored to death, I can not stop myself from talking about my grandchildren and their activities, whenever and wherever I get the chance to do so. Any achievement by my grandchildren seems to me a personal accomplishment; the praise they receive is like a compliment for me.

A remark by a friend or acquaintance that my grandchildren resemble me in looks or habits is a matter of great pride for me. An anonymous quote which said “Grandchildren are a grandparent’s link to the future, and grandparents are the child’s link to the past” touched my heart. I started to search seriously for traits which my grandchildren had inherited from me and I found some part of myself in each child.

My eldest granddaughter has a quick wit and a sense of humour which keeps her cheerful all the time. She is a born optimist just like me. Her younger sister has inherited my quick temper which flares up at the slightest pretext but cools down as suddenly. My grandson has an insatiable thirst for reading and is found most of the times with a story book while his friends are playing cricket. One grandchild is very disorganized and keeps littering his things all about his room. When he gets a scolding from my daughter in law on not finding his things in time, I am reminded of my childhood days when I was always found hunting for my books, pen, socks, or whatever, much to the chagrin of Ammi.

A few days back I went to visit my daughter. Her youngest, who is still a toddler, was sleeping peacefully, her long eyelashes shadowing her rosy cheeks. “Ammi, she resembles you a lot when she is sleeping. I am sure you looked the same when you were her age”. “I am happy for you my darling”, I quipped back, “Tomorrow when I shall be around no more, she will remind you of me”. When I look at my grand children a sense of content descends upon my heart. They are my link to the future! A little in this one, a bit in the other, after my death I shall continue to live on in my grandchildren!

 

Confessions of a Grandmother!

REFLECTIONS: Confessions Of A Grandmother

Yasmin Elahi writes on the joys of becoming a grandparent

There are some sentiments in life too great to be described in words. We search for them but find them too weak to express our feelings. Holding your first child in your arms, or for that matter just knowing that he or she is on the way, is one of those sentiments.

When my eldest daughter was born, I thought that no happiness I shall ever witness in life would be greater than this one, but oh, how wrong I was! Pure ecstasy was still in store for me and I learnt this when my first granddaughter was born.

To this day I cannot analyse my feelings when I first saw her. It was joy to the limit of agony, awe, a strange sense of nostalgia for the time which had flown away so quickly. All these mixed emotions gripped my heart when I set my eyes on her, all wrapped up in a big green blanket. I laughed and wept at the same time, while the little darling, my granddaughter, gazed back at me with a triumphant look in her eyes. It would not be wrong to say that she came, she saw and she conquered. From the day she was born, my granddaughter spins my heart around her little finger.

The confession that I have to make today is of the change of heart as soon as I became a grandmother. Gone were the rules and principles, which were strict and inflexible, according to which I had raised my children. I was surprised to see myself helpless, giving in to the whims of my granddaughter. With the passage of years, a silent war began between me and my daughter. She was sometimes amused and sometimes annoyed by my interferences in the upbringing of her child and reminded me time and again how strict, as a mother, I was with her.

There are times when a rush of guilt seizes me and I think that if I had the chance to live my life all over again, I would be more lenient with my children. But in my heart of heart I know very well that I would be the same firm mother that I was, with my unbending rules. But to be a grandmother is something totally different!

How can I bear to see someone scolding my darling on trivial matters? (even if the person giving this scolding is the darling’s mother!). To me she is the prettiest, the best-behaved and the most intelligent child in this whole wide world, who needs to be pampered and cuddled all the time. No! Scolding is not for my granddaughter –– she is too sensitive for them.

As the issue does not seem to settle down with time, I have decided to set up a Grandmothers Action Committee, The GMAC, to safeguard the rights of grandmothers. The rights are as follow:

1, It is the basic right of all GMs (grandmothers) to spoil their GCs (grandchildren) to their heart’s content, and parents, especially mothers should not deny them this right. Complaints that we, as GMs, have changed should not be entertained as everyone has a right to change his or her opinion at any stage in life.

2, GMs should be given the right to interfere, whenever they want, in matters relating to the discipline of their GCs, after all they are more experienced than the parents, therefore their opinion should be valued.

3, GMs should be given the above mentioned rights because they have no idea of how much time in life they have left to follow these delightful pursuits!

All GMs who agree with me are invited cordially to join my committee, but if some of you do not share my feelings, please be kind enough to keep your thoughts to yourself, or you will be guilty of accelerating the silent war going on between me and my daughter for the past many years.
Attention, all grandmothers! A meeting of the GMAC is about to be held at Hug House, Love Lane, Mohabbat Nagar… all the GMs who want to attend plz join my Committee… those who do not want to join (for fear of their daughters), can come as guests. GMs can bring along their GCs, but their daughters are strictly not allowed:)))))
N.B. The GCs will be served with ice cream, cold drinks, chocolates, chips etc. i.e. all the junk foods they love but can not eat to their heart’s fill under Mama’s strict eyes!!!