Monday, November 7, 2011

Four Generations Of Females


I have postponed writing this post for the longest time now and that may be because I was not sure what to write about the above picture... I feel it says it all. 

Four generations of females who have shared similar as well as different experiences.  Four females who are connected much like a Venn diagram where each circle has its own variables and at the same time shares some with other circles. They are all connected! One who has been living in this realm for a long time while another has only just begun her life and yet somehow, they each have a part of the other in them.

I have lived my entire life having my Tata (grandmother) and my Mama in my life and I cannot imagine a life without them. I have been lucky and blessed.

Later that night.....

After writing the above first few lines, I realized that I had not told my Tata how much I loved her in a long time. I have told her that I had missed her and that she should come for a visit as we would love to have her, but not I Love You!

And so...

I decided to give her a call, a special one for her and at the same time wish her a Happy Eid Al Adha. So I called my mom's cell phone twice but there was no answer... then I called my Baba's (Dad) and when I lost hope of anyone picking up, he finally did.

After we exchanged blessings and then talked to my mama for a bit, I asked to speak to my Tata. After wishing her well, I burst into tears. She thought I was stressed out about the floods and was trying to assure me that everything will be ok and the waters will recede. But when she heard I LOVE YOU TATA, she understood that it was not about the floods but about me missing the family. She told me that she loved me too and tried to make me stop but then, being an emotional Tata herself, she burst into tears and quickly gave the phone to my brother hoping that he would succeed in calming me down.

My brother could not understand at first what was going on as I would not answer and at one point he thought that I had hung up but I was in tears and could not speak a word.... Then he heard a hi mixed in with a few sobs and realized that I was crying because I was homesick.

He immediately went into protective mode and told me that I am stronger than this and that I can do it. Mama then came to the phone trying to calm my nerves but she could not resist the tears either and handed me over to my Baba who immediately started to stroke my hurt and caress my pain. At that point, I felt so bad worrying them this way that I changed my tone and told Baba that I was ok, and will be, but that I had missed being with them and the whole family on such occasions.

You see, both Eids in Islam, like any other holiday around the world, is a time to give to the poor and visit family members you do not usually see unless there is a wedding or a funeral. It is a time to catch up on the whole extended family and then go off to have lunch with the closest.

For three days, every home would be full of visitors coming to pay their respect. And because my grandmother is now living with my parents, and her being the eldest in the family, she is always the first to be visited and our home would start to receive family members from 10 am in the morning, until lunch time at 2... then they start to filter in again after 4 o'clock till about 7pm.

On the second and third day, younger members of the family would be visited as well. Visits are usually based on age rankings... something to do with respecting the elders in the family.

So you can imagine how emotional someone like me can be at these times. I am very close to my family and enjoy seeing and spending time with them. This was not always the case though. When I was younger and before I had children of my own, I liked being independent, traveling and discovering the world away from my family.

I still love going on all these adventures, but when my children were born, something inside me changed and I longed to be with my extended family. I have discovered that the family dynamics change once one has children of his/her own and I am not sure why. 

4 comments:

Claudia Q. said...

wow what a lovely post, you made run to the phone and call my gradmother too and told her that i loved her.

Tabouleh said...

HI Claudia... good on you! sometimes the day just takes us and we forget such small touches... thanks also for visiting and taking the time to comment..

ms. devi said...

I am so late in catching up with things. It's been really hectic in a good way lately but I hope I am now establishing a good newer routine.

When I first read this post I wanted to try to comment, but no words could come out of my mouth. I had so many mixed emotions that it was like my brain froze and I could only feel.

But now on second reading the words can come pouring out. But instead of a long, long post I will say to you how blessed you are - which you already know - and how happy I am that you have been born into your warm, loving family. Having your mom and Tata - yourself - Mena - women who strengthen you and share with you and your Mena to pass this on to - All of this is something that I can only look through another woman's window to see. What you share in the post is truly the Meaning of Life - what it is, what it should be - this family, this generational respect, honor and love is what gives the world its loving, empathetic and compassionate people. These are the people who keep the balance between good and evil. This lifetime's realm is already happening - may we all be born into this loving, nuturing and ethical family in our next time here - then we will have Peace, Harmony and no suffering for anyone. Inshallah - B'ezraht HaShem.

Tabouleh said...

I am blessed to have you as a friend Paula... You are a wise woman... I wish I wish I wish peace for everyone!