Bricks make houses, bones make homes…

​About 50 years ago my paternal grandfather decided to build a house in Karachi, the next big city and urban-hub-to-be for his wife and four kids. He and my maternal grandmother saved and saved for this house. My grandfather spent his entire life away from his family in Abu Dhabi to earn for the house. Finally a three story “grand” house was build.

They had four kids, my father being the eldest, and then three daughters. These kids spent a good time of their early years of life in that house till they all got married. My brothers and I were born in that house. My grandmother passed away in that house. Then my dad left for America. My aunts got married. My brothers, mother and I were the only left in that house with my now retired grandfather. Then we moved to the states and he refused to come with us to stay with his house that he worked for all his life. He refused to sell the house, and distribute its shares to his dear four children. My father and him picked a fight about it and they never talked again because shortly after my dad got Alzhiemer’s.

Recently I got a chance to hear from my grandfather and he said he gets very lonely and talks to the walls and ceilings of that house in his loneliness. All the kids are grown up and busy making houses for their kids.

My father lives in his house and sometimes I catch him blankly staring outside his room’s window as if he’s wondering what was his life’s gain?

And I look at him with a very little girl inside me shrieking what am I? Another pawn in this game of houses and walls? How long before I will be talking to walls and ceilings? How long before my kids will leave to make houses for their kids and who will be the last pawn to fall in this game? Who will they blame for this vicious cycle of making houses instead of humans? Ironically though all the houses and humans that leave these houses have one thing in common. They are, and always will be, empty.

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5 thoughts on “Bricks make houses, bones make homes…

  1. Is that what really happened or is that a version of the story your mom told you? I think it is pretty much the awesome story that your mom told you about. Do you want to check out on the real facts? Have you ever asked what take your grandfather has on that story? No, you never did. You just find this fake story as a medium to get more sentimental views or your really cheap blogs.

    Educated people like you do not write articles with only a little knowledge about of the real story. How do you really even know these things? I am just confused. You wrote your grandfather has control over the house in Karachi. Is that how it is? The two floors are occupied by your uncle and one by rent-payers who pay rent to your Mother, not my grandfather. Have you ever questioned your Mother? He lives on the top most floor that gets the most sunlight in summers. Is that good for an old man? Every family has a black sheep and in this case, the black sheep is truly your Mother who just took all those bones to build a plastic house on foreign lands leaving behind my grandfather, I REPEAT MY GRANDFATHER because you have no right to call him your grandfather after the cheap article you have written.

    That house he made for his retirement now homes your uncle’s carpet refurbishing factory through which he earns. Is this what my grandfather made that house? He made so he can live peacefully after he has retired. Not to hold some cheap refurbishing factory. Are those facts new to you? I know they are because you are happy in your own life, married with kids earning money through such fake articles getting people sentimental and you do not care about my grandfather and neither does your Mother. It is such a shame that you write such an article. I just did report your blog for this one thing. You are trying to tame people for the real world while you yourself live in a world of fantasies that is made by your Mother I assume.

    I cannot write thousands of pages but I would not because I know that the Day of Judgement is waiting for your family. I would only say one last thing; “approve this article if you have the guts.”

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    • Assalaamualaikum my dear little cousin,

      I am really happy you wrote to me. I think you, my little one, are a little delusional about what actually happened and here’s I think why. I think you are the one who is believing blindly in whatever your mom told you because as far as I can remember you were not even born, or were too young to remember things when everything I write about happened. You’re getting heated up now because you are watching and feeling everything as strongly as a young man, which is exactly the age I was in when my family was being torn in front of my eyes.

      Let me ask you how many “facts” are you aware of today as you read this? Let me enlighten you on some facts.
      1. Firstly, I maintain a blog since almost ten-twelve years and I always write personal stories there. I write because I like to write. I do not make one little penny out of whatever I write, never have, and probably never will. This is not how blogging works. You would know if you had cared to stalk my other blogging profiles.

      2. I write to Baba regularly and talk to him and I love writing to him because he is and always will be my grandfather too. Nothing in the world can change that.

      3. Yes, my Mamu lives downstairs, and yes the 2nd floor is rented but my parents do not get one penny off of that rent or whatever business my Mamu does. Instead we used to send money from here even after my dad got sick enough to not work. How we used to send that money, only Allah Knows because at that time we did not have enough to run our own house then.

      4. You have not lived life 8 years straight without a father. Your mother has not experienced childbirth and having a disabled child and two minors to care for 8 years straight without a husband. You have not seen illness like Alzheimer’s. You have not gone to a new country and had to start off from zero. You have not gotten married with a sick father. You have simply not seen enough life to come and berate my mother and father. Just like you love your parents to death, so do I, and everyone else. You have all the right to disagree with me but I will not allow you to disrespect my parents, especially my mother. You know nothing about her life, or my dad’s, or my own for that matter. All you know is what you hear, just what you are accusing me of, but the difference is I have seen and actually remember things which I base my perspective on.

      5. Do you know your mother is the only Phupho who lived the longest with us? I was the closest to her till she got married? I used to cry for hours after she got married because I loved her too much? You don’t know any of that because, hey, you’re just going to believe blindly in whatever you’re told.

      There are many other things you simply are not aware of.

      My blog, first of all, is not to belittle, hurt, or disrespect anyone. From my dad’s side Baba is the eldest in the family and I wouldn’t dare disrespect him because he is the only elder I have left. You say you’re confused? Well you should be because you’re only looking at one side of the picture. I’m surprised that after all these years and knowing how much my parents have already suffered, and continue to do so, you still have all this hatred and venom hoisted in your head. You are calling my mother, a woman older than your own mother, words that I can’t ever imagining calling any of my phuphos? What does that say about your mom and her upbringing? My mom has never tried to brainwash me against any of my paternal relatives.

      Plastic house on foreign land? Where do you even come up with this stuff? Has anyone ever tried to come and see how my parents survive over here? Has anyone ever, in so many years, called once to see are we dead or alive? The answer is no. Only Baby Phupho keeps in touch, without taking sides or pointing fingers. Other than that who else is constantly trying to let bygones be and move on?

      Yes I am living my own life because that is how life works, you have to move forward. But sometimes when the baggage your past carries you have to go back and address things to peacefully let them go. I repeat, I do not make a penny off of my blogs my dear little boy. I write for my own self. Not for anyone to judge me or my family. And dear boy, you too are my family. You may not like it or want it but that is the true fact of life. Your mother was very close to my heart for a good part of my life which is why nothing you say bothers me.

      Your mother and my mother are same to me because they are mothers, and this is something you won’t understand until you have kids of your own one day InshaAllah. Sacrifices that parents make for their children cannot ever be returned. My mother is a noble woman who took care of three kids without a husband, and all the adversity she got from relatives, hers and ours. She is a noble woman who is still taking care of two disabled people single handedly, and nothing you or anyone says can take that nobility and status away from her. Respect is from Allah, and Alhamdulillah she has a lot of it.

      Yes, the Day of Judgement is waiting for all of us and May Allah Forgive us all before that day, and May He Open all our hearts to be people of wisdom and peace, rising above worldly issues. Although in most cases karma itself takes care of a lot of stuff and we do not even have to wait for the ultimate judgement day.

      You wrote, and I am glad you did. You “dared” me to approve your comment, and I will. From how you write you seem to be a very smart and educated young man and I am very happy to see that. I hope Allah Blesses you with the best in both worlds, and your parents too. Life is very hard my dear cousin and if there’s one thing I can tell you as your older cousin, just be careful of the battles you pick and the people you unintentionally hurt. May Allah Bless your parents with a long and healthy life. May He never have any child undergo the suffering that I had to undergo, Ameen.

      The fact that you spew all this hatred after all these years is another reason why this has to stop. Rifts amongst elders carry on generation after generation and the real loss is only the peace of heart and mind of generations that come after, who know nothing of what happened, yet have all this hatred and negativity in their hearts that brings no one any good, instead makes them useless to contribute to the world.

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  2. I appreciate that you replied and approved the comment. We could have communicated in a much sober way but I had no other choice. I am not blindly believing what my Mother has told me and you need not to enlighten me about the facts because I know better facts than you because I live in PAKISTAN and you do not. I am close to my grandfather and you are not. You mention that you were about my age when the family was torn apart, was it torn apart? No, we live with our grandfather and all the three sisters live with each other. It was your particular family that decided to part ways with the real family that was based upon “Gul Hussain Raja”. That family is still alive always ready to help you even during your bad times but it was your “Noble Mother” who destroyed your family. We still welcome you to live with us.

    Do not get me wrong because I know what the facts are and you do not even if you are old enough. I have seen my grandfather suffer and you haven’t. Nana suffers every day without his son and I see it every week when I visit him. Do you even know what condition he lives in? Should I send you the pictures? You say that you do not get a single penny of that house, right? So where does that money go? I know all the transactions of Nana and I do not see that money anywhere. To inform you of the situation clearly, Nana has no legal papers of that house because they were stolen anonymously during your last visit. You know that anonymous person, I just don’t want to take names again and again. You would never know that but Nana does know and so does our whole family. Even today, if Nana tries to sell that house or get control of it, he cannot do it because everything that goes in and out of that house is controlled by your Mother. Why would Nana ever want to be on the top most floor of the house where the sun melts everything during summers? He cannot shift to any other floor because he has no control over that house. Your “Mamu” bosses around that house as if it is his house he made after his life’s work. These are true facts.
    Rent Value of the House = Rs.50,000-80,000
    What Nana gets = Rs.20,000 (What you send him.)
    He gets nothing out of that house, where does that money go. I am stating the facts in the form of numbers now. Your uncle also lives on rent. Where does his rent of Rs.40,000 go?

    Some more facts for you:
    1. I do not care to stalk your blog because I have lots and lots of other work to do. I write because I cannot see false information about my family circulating on the internet, that too about my beloved grandfather. I found out this information through what you say sources that I cannot speak about openly.

    2. You write to Baba regularly, I talk to him and live with him. No one can stop him from being your grandfather but just claiming that does not do him any good. What would be good is if you let him meet his son and re-unite the family because the elders of the family are now elders. I and my cousins including you are the youth. We can probably still do this if you get to know what is right and what is wrong.

    3. Your “Mamu” lives in that house and he runs a carpet refurbishing factory that Nana does not want there. I can send you pictures now if you want them so you can be sure I am not lying. He runs it and ignores what Nana has to say about it. You sent the money with so much difficulties with a rent of nearly Rs.120,000 that came from the house even at that time. Baba made that house and he did not want any money from you guys. The rent was enough for him if it was directly paid to him. This would be a new fact for you.

    4. How can you even say that you have lived without a father? Even if my father had Alzheimer, I would never say such words for him. You just simply declared Mamu dead and it sounded harsh to me. That is a moment of shame for you if you realize it. Without a father? These 3 words haunted me and you wrote them. I do not disrespect your parents because your father is the brother of my Mother and I have my deepest regards for him. My perspective is based on what really happened and I have provided you facts above and will keep on providing more and more facts. You can never have a clear picture sitting thousands of miles away from Pakistan on foreign lands. The most disheartening thing was you declaring your father spiritually dead just because of a disease. One of the best ways to cure Alzheimer is to bring the effected person back to the people he has lived with, his family. I live in this world and as a business and law student, I know the laws of America that are for ill people.

    5. I know my Mother was very close to you because she told me that herself. Who is going to tell me things that I would blindly believe? I am aware of things because I am conscious and a person with a working brain who can see and observe things around him. No one tells me to believe something.

    Repeating your lines; “There are many other things you simply are not aware of.”

    I am not looking at the only side of picture and there is no hatred in my mind except for the hatred that is because of seeing Nana go through all of this. I am just stating the facts and my Mother’s upbringing is very good since I can think properly and I am not seeing things how I want them to be. That ability is called reasoning. I just told you true things about your Mother and I do not see any disrespect in saying true stuff. We always welcomed your parent’s even providing financial support if they needed it and it was their decision to settle on foreign lands leaving behind Nana in such conditions. Karma is already in effect, you just do not see it around you.

    We tried to reach Mamu in all the ways we could but it was no use because your Mother never let us near him. My Mother is worried about her brother all the time. Any relative that tried to visit Mamu was and is threatened by your Mother to be arrested by the cops. Should I send you witnesses? Your Mother has blocked all family members on Facebook and I can send you the proof now. Is there any way left we can contact Mamu? She told Anis Mamu to back off and threatened Abbas Bhai through cops when they tried to meet Mamu in America. They were our sources.

    Forgetting things is not life, moving on is a choice in some cases but not in all cases. You have got to try to repair things if you have the power. You try to repair things! Nothing against your Mother apart from the facts I have that you do not want to believe. Everyone loves their Mother but sometimes you have to see the wrong sides of the coin. I would not testify for my Mother if I see her killing someone.

    I appreciate again that you approved my comment and I hope you will approve this one too. Life is hard but sometimes you got to move on and comeback to repair the damages that were caused. You are the oldest among us, the cousins. Generations should not get affected and I agree with it. Things have to be repaired gradually. My Mother and Khala wish to interact with Mamu once again and that can only be made possible if you help me. I am sure you would look into that because we, here in Pakistan, would definitely love to hear and see Mamu once again whatever his condition maybe. It would be the biggest thing for his Sisters and Father. You tell me a day and I will make the arrangements for a get together at our home. Skype, Facebook or anything you use. May you understand the facts and truth. May Allah guide us who has the power to bring the dead back to life. Take your time and privately message me if you need any of the evidences or witnesses.
    Fee Amanillah.

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    • Thank you, Zain. I have read your concerns and Insha’Allah will respond in detail later tonight. It is mid day here and I have to pick up from school. All I see is years’ worth of miscommunication and non-communication and Allah Willing we should be able to solve a little bit if not all of the issues. God Bless you.

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  3. Your silence has given me answer I did not want to listen. You deleted the blog post from your Facebook account and deleted your Facebook page. You can now tell me all the lies about having no time for your grandfather and replying me back. It has been a long time since I have been waiting. None of the concerns are answered and I got no success in seeing what condition my Mamo is living in. None of the other family members did. Even after I listed the facts, I think you were not able to understand the real situation. I have nothing more to say because I know that smashing your head on a stone will only hurt me and not anyone else. You are living in your world not trying to help the person who has brought you up, paid your schools and ration bills. I think you are still really delusional about who has brought you up. It was your grandfather and now when he needs you, you have left him and you deny the real facts. Ah! I started again with the stone thing. It hurts, it really HURTS!

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