Razia as most elders called her in the family for the initial decade since I was born, and after that, she’s been the eldest member of our family alive mashAllah.
At school, students and teachers addressed her as Ms. Azeem. And I have seen her name on very old papers as Mehboob Unnisa Begum.
To the rest of the world, she’s known as.. Bibi..
Born in the early 1920’s in the peaceful, one of the most ethnic cities of India, Hyderabad Deccan, Bibi was the eldest born in a family of 4 sisters and 3 brothers. From our late conversations and the bedtime stories that we used to love as kids, and still ask her about sometimes even now, what I have gathered about her personality is that she was a much disciplined child. At the same time, being the first born, she had the natural aura of authority with a hilarious combination of emotion and sensitivity towards her family in such a rich, strong bond that is still evident when you discuss “family” with her.
She was not what we would generally refer to as a brat 🙂 as spoilt as she was, even her father and grandfather made sure to do so in the most civilized manner. I find that very charming.
I have never been as close to Bibi as I was to nanijan; and I don’t find it fair to compare my two grand mothers. As much as Bibi’s tantrums raised the level of rage in me on a number of occasions, I love the woman, and not just because she’s my grandmother. I respect her for who she is; especially because I know how she single-handedly managed the situations she has come across in her life.
She joined St.Joseph’s Convent High School as a 6th grade Urdu teacher on July 01, 1953 after migrating to Pakistan- she taught there for a good 40+ years mashAllah! Though she was strict, I have seen the love and respect her students had for her.
Well.. they say that the presence of such elder people in your house keeps the flow of blessings running.. May Allah bless her.
Happy Birthday Bibi! 🙂
I know you don’t remember much of it, but I do miss the purana qissaz you used to tell us on weekend nights.. With Love, sara..
p.s. photo credits: Rumana Husain