My grandmother: The homemaker

My grandmother: The homemaker

Fatima Farooqui, Ayesha Arif and Asna Farooqui, the grandchildren of Hashmat Begum fondly remember her grandmother, who passed away last Friday.

She was 82 years old and died of heart attack.


Not many have ever felt what dying or losing one of your dear ones is, writes Fatima Farooqui.

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I remember gaining consciousness when I sensed my grandmother’s multi-faceted skills which have made me learn and idolise her. She would pray five times a day and would take care of everyone’s need and desire. Relatives reminisce her as an agile lady who would cook and stitch for many.

I remember the time when one of the visitors had engulfed her handmade aloo paratha. She had gone bananas swallowing a first bite. My grandmother (Hashmat Begum) was a lady of words and piety. She was one among the many ladies who loved to fulfil her duty towards her husband and children with a gut of smile coming out from within her soul. She would train every girl to have an independent identity like all her daughters are, hale and hearty.

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Hashmat Begum

I recollect a time during winter when she had me have aloo saag methi ki sabzi. What supreme quality of food she cooked and had me have! She would cook biryani adding milk and sugar (a secret ingredient to make it sumptuous). I rejoice the time of spending weekends with her after my college. My Nani was a soul full of calmness and divinity.

May she join her soulmate in heaven. Rest in peace, my Nani!

Fatima Farooqui

You were, hence we are

Growing up, I had a love-hate relationship with my grandmother/dadi whom I call Amma, writes Ayesha Arif.

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Asna (left) and Fatima with their Nani

I was always closer to my Dada (grandfather). With Amma it was a hit and a miss as a child. As I grew up, got married, moved countries and she grew older I realised even though she seemed tough on the outside, she had a gentle soul and she loved and cared for me deeply. I understood her better staying apart, what a gem she was. Be it her amazing cooking which she passed onto my mother and my mother to me, her stitching talents, being fiercely independent and not taking any nonsense from anyone (even my dada!). She always told me to learn how to work in the kitchen and manage household along with my education so as not to be dependent on anyone be it at home or in the outside world.

I will always cherish the sweet loving bond she had with my son (her great grandson) who loves her so much and will always have a piece of her in the clothes she made for him (even before he was born).

Amma, you will be missed across generations. Thankyou for being you. You were, hence we are.

Ayesha Arif

The Versatile Lady

Naani, as we had known her since our childhood, was called by many other names like Amma, writes Asna Farooqui.

The earliest memories that I have of Naani is of feeding us with the authentic delicacies like extra large Rawa-Maida Paranthe served with Saem ke Beej Qeema. In the midst of cooking, she would take a breather by sitting in the takhat/small bed placed in the common room. Most of my childhood, I remember wearing Salwar-Kameez that were stitched by her. And it wasn’t just for me but all of her other grandchildren.

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Ayesha with her dadi

She was a woman who believed in nurturing her children by means of all resources.

As we grew, the nature of conversations changed where she would impart her life lessons so that we become adaptable to the house we are married off to. Advising me to take over all the household chores way before my MIL (Mother-in-law) does, not uttering unnecessary things are to be mentioned. She passed away on a Friday of Ramadan, which is considered as an auspicious day for Muslims. To my memory, never has it happened that I met her and she wasn’t in dhikr. She always cared for people and her life is known to have been devoted in helping others. Allah SWT surely liked many traits of her, some of which I try to imbibe in my life.

May Allah SWT elevate her ranks in Jannah. Ameen.

Asna Farooqui