Ode to my Nani (1935-2018)


I have not been feeling well these last few days. My grandmother, my mother’s mother, my amazing Nani – passed away this past Sunday. Inna lillahi wa inna ilaihi ra’ajion (We belong to God and to Him we shall return).

Although she was old and her health was deteriorating, it still comes as a big shock to me that she is gone. We all know at some fundamental level that our time here on this Earth is very limited. What we don’t realize is that this brief time that we have passes by faster than a blink of an eye. But then my Nani was someone who’s been in my life ever since I can remember, the woman always guiding me, so I had become accustomed to her continued presence.

Now that she’s gone, I miss her tremendously. She’s been an influential mentor in my life since I was a young girl. Her presence in my life was one of those blessings that seemed eternal. She taught me innumerable things, gave me invaluable advice, loved me unconditionally, and always, always prayed for my well-being. She had a huge role in making me the person I am today, someone that I believe she was proud of.

It’s been a few days since she passed away, and I’m trying to focus on our beautiful memories together rather than dwell on her loss. I know that deep inside of me she’s as alive as ever! Still impacting my life and influencing me from my precious memories of her.

Some of my most cherished memories are of sleepovers with my Nani. Hearing her tell enchanting stories of her life punctuated with laughter as she cracked a joke. The next morning she would make us breakfast just the way we liked it and would start planning our favorite meals to cook. She made the most delicious food in the whole world and would make sure to always make the dishes that I loved whenever I visited. The Biryani & Zarda that she used to make are still one of the most delicious food I have ever tasted!

She always made sure to pass on the family traditions from generation to generation and took the time to patiently teach anyone who wanted to learn. She has influenced and positively impacted so many people that her death has come as a blow to many. I will always remember her smiling face, the sound of her voice, and her warm, loving hugs.

I’m so thankful to all my family and friends who are supporting me in this difficult time. Thank you for all the love, without which I would be overwhelmed right now.

For all those lucky people who still have grandparents in your life, please give them a call or go visit them often. The time when you no longer have that blessing comes way too fast.

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