What’s yours will find you, said Imam Ali. Sad that meeting Dina was never meant to be – despite a few attempts I made to reach out to her. Today I learn Dina passed away, at 98.
RIP Dina, daughter of your beloved Grey wolf. May you rest in eternal peace.
One day, I hope I collect all my thoughts and write about you and your mother. You two are sadly the neglected part of our history. Rest In Peace.
By now, most of the readers would have heard about Pope Francis visiting the Philippines #PopeFrancisPH
I was showing his videos to J&S my boys aged 13 and 7 respectively. I was showing them how much respect I have for the Pope for the way he interacts with people of all ages, color and creed – how he keeps a smile on his face, and blesses everyone as he meets them. My 7-year old asked me, who is a Pope. Out of convenience, I told him casually, ‘well, think of him as a Maulvi’. ‘Oh okay,’ he said thoughtfully. ‘So mama, who is our Pope in Pakistan?’
His question, which came as a painful shock to me, left me speechless. I wish I could show him one religious leader in Pakistan who is loved and respected as much as the Pope, even the Muslim Ummah if you please, and who in return would treat people with this much love and compassion. I give up. Can you think of one such name? Will somebody please stand up?
My dearest Pakistan
I may have been away for almost four years now, but my heart still lies in Pakistan. While I may be far from the madding crowd, my mind is constantly on what is happening in my country. I too get worried when I see the political antics and since my sources are limited to the crazy media, and word of mouth, it probably makes it worse.
I shall only say this – to all those who love Pakistan. It is not easy being a patriot in the given situation. Patriotism, like I mentioned to a friend yesterday – is like your Great Love. It is loony, crazy and totally confusing! Hang in there, do not lose yourself amidst the ongoing stampede of what you thought was your political ideology. Politicians, like any other person, disappoint us. Anybody you consider a ‘hero’ will disappoint you – with great expectations, comes greater disappointment. We do not fail with mistakes, we only learn to make a better decision next time! In a chaos, holding onto yourself and your patriotism is difficult, and there is no quick fix to the solution. But remember that things do fall back in their place in their own good time. This too shall pass. I hope. One day!
Ruttie revered his wisdom and logic; he was enamoured by her exceptional intellect. However, despite their unfaltering love and dedication to each other, the marriage suffered as Jinnah’s political commitments resulted in extended separations while he toured India in his fight for independence from the British yoke.
Extract from Khawaja Razi Haider book, “Ruttie Jinnah”
Last evening, a group of friends in Manila were gathered together to bid a melodious farewell to two of their fellow colleagues, retiring and returning back to Pakistan. Everyone swayed to Kabhi Alvida na Kehna and enjoying every moment of a camaraderie that living away from home connects you to. When one of my friends shared the shocking news of attack on a dear friend, and colleague Raza Ahmad (aka Raza Rumi), it was as if a huge dampener has been put on everyone. Only a night before I was sharing with Raza how we will all miss him here in Manila at this event, this news was beyond scary – it was as if terror hit home!
Allah is the best protector, Raza remained safe, but his guard was injured, and the poor driver, an innocent victim and sole bread earner of his family succumbed to injuries and passed away. He, like many others in Pakistan, died for no fault of his own.
How long will we continue to put up with this blatant injustice, the ‘unknown’ force that goes around shooting people of courage, because the truth they stand up for and speak against is not according to another school of thought. We are not indifferent, you may say – as we go about living our own lives and doing our own things. I recently wrote about indifference, and how “….It makes everything it touches meaningless. Love and hate don’t stand a chance against it. It lets neglect and decay and monstrous injustice go unchecked. It doesn’t act, it allows. And that’s what gives it so much power.”
I condemn this, and all the other innocent lives being killed by the dozen every other hour in Pakistan – not because this time terror hit too close for comfort – but because its about time remaining silent is akin to supporting the terrorists. Neutrality – in any given situation always supports the oppressor, never the victim.
Stand up for justice, freedom, for your friends, family and countrymen! We are only given today. It is tomorrow which is not promised. Life is too short – live it well!
As I sat down, wondering what to write on this forgotten blog – I received my father’s email sent to me and my siblings. My father who I fondly refer to as AJ, his initials, wrote from his heart, as he always does. It touched a chord in my heart and I could not help but share with all my friends and family. We can all learn a few words of wisdom from a man I admire most in my life.
My personal favourite is lesson no. 4. Which one is yours?
“My very dear ones,
After a few days I am completing three years after my retirement. These THREE years have enabled me to understand this world in a much better way than previous sixty years on life. I have learnt few lessons which I want to share with you. I believe anyone who would follow these would be at least a satisfied person like me. I am thankful to God almighty for helping me to understand these TEN lessons in their true spirits. These lessons are:-
1) Surround yourself with people who are smarter than you and move out of their way
2) The only constant in life is change… Get comfortable with it
3) Fail often, fail quickly….you’ll never succeed unless you take risks
4) You only get one shot – make it count!
5) Your schedule makes you dumber…find time to learn about worlds outside of the one you live in.
6) Good ideas rule all.
7) Believe in a Bawaqar Pakistan…You would make it happen, not others.
8) Family first…if some situation arises.
9) Make your own definitions of success and believe that you can make it happen.
10) Only God can help you….nobody else!
God be with you in whatever you do in your life, I love you all.”
In the night between 14th and 15th of August, 1919 – shortly after midnight, Jinnah’s first born child was born. Oddly enough, his second off-spring, Pakistan, came into being exactly twenty-eight years after! Dina Jinnah, daughter to Jinnah and Ruttie was a dark-eyed beautiful child, with her mother’s smile and her father’s intelligence, Dina was the ‘sole comfort’ of a doting father.
Here is wishing Dina a very happy 93rd Birthday, with love, all the way from Pakistan!
For some odd reasons, I have always been intrigued by the two key women in Jinnah’s life – Ruttie and Dina. I wish I had the lucky opportunity to meet with Dina, and learn more about her father from her! The side of her father we only get to see in rare photographs – the happy Jinnah who would read H.C.Armstrong’s biography of Kemal Ataturk, Grey Wolf, to his daughter. The book was all he would talk about to Dina to the extent that she would lovingly call her father ‘Grey Wolf’.
Dina did return to Pakistan – for the second time – in 2004. She visited her father’s mausoleum in Karachi and her remarks are a stark reminder to today’s Pakistan of how far we have come – “This has been very sad and wonderful for me. May his dream for Pakistan come true.” I wonder if she was echoing what Jinnah would perhaps say too, if you were to ask him for his comments on today’s Pakistan.
Ruttie and Dina are the two missing links in our history – perhaps one day, I shall find the time and peace to write more in detail. Until then, here is wishing Grey Wolf‘s daughter a very very Happy Birthday!