I will miss my mother: A magnanimous soul with deep compassion


I will miss my mother: A magnanimous soul with deep compassion

A daughter pays tributes to her mother Asghari Begum: 15 November, 1951-28 April, 2021.

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My mother, a magnanimous soul with deep compassion for the underprivileged, who would ensure that the entire family, the servants (and some would add even the birds that came to her balcony) were fed before she would partake of her food — that was my mother, writes Naila Anjum.

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It was her passion. No guest would ever go hungry, even if he came unannounced. No mendicant would return empty handed. She had something for everyone.

CAPTION: Asghari Begum (Photo credit: Family member)

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She was so selfless in looking after the needs of others that she forgot to take care of her own health. She had grown insulin dependent of late and had developed other related complications. Yet, unaccustomed to rest, she was always up and about.

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She had a horde of relatives whom she was in touch with. Closer home, her brothers and sisters-in-law (my father’s sisters) treated her as their mother. So, my parents were guardians to my uncles and aunts as well.

She had firm belief in the power of Sadqa. If any of us fell ill or during changing weather she would quietly donate money or in-kind to the poor. The domestic help in our area look up to and gravely miss her.

She held the family together. Through her we learnt of members who were ailing and the ones who had to be congratulated for their endeavours. She was tough and tenacious. In the last two years, she fell ill several times but bounced back to her feet.

She wasn’t informed of my father’s (Mohd Zeyaul Haque) demise though she might have sensed it. They had been married for more than fifty-five years after all. I wonder how life would have been, if only one of them had survived.

I believe the Almighty had a plan. They were meant to leave us together.  I am reminded that death during pandemic and Ramadhan in Islam means they have been accorded the highest place in Jannat. I take comfort in this belief. I was fortunate in having not just one parent but both of them who led exemplary lives. Rest in peace!

(The writer Naila Anjum is a senior associate professor, Delhi University)