A letter for her (VII) – the light years between mortality and Adam’s twilight at Barzakh

*Nani Jaan!

It’s early morning here and I’m wrapped in your white chicken-karri **chaadar. You know the one that you used to wear while praying? Yeah, that one. There’s so much peace in your room; maybe the walls of this room are beginning to love your memories, guarding them, frequently tossing them our way. There’s always someone to catch them here!

Your rooster still gives his early morning call to prayer. The familiarity and comfort of his loud cock-a-doodle-do reminds me of the warmth of the sunshine on wet, shivering humans drenched by the first winter rain. The heart grows accustomed to strange things, doesn’t it?

You knew I wouldn’t get to say goodbye to you. Is that why you cried in my arms on the Twenty-third? I’m really sorry. I’m sorry.

It didn’t hurt too much, right? I know it didn’t. Can you help me prepare for mine?

I wonder how I’ll feel when I am about to join you. Where will my tired, tired soul seek an exit from? Which limb of mine will let go of its last breath first? Will my eyes flutter with uncertainty? Will my tongue testify to His Oneness, too? Will my soul be pleased with deserting my body? “And We have already created man and know what his soul whispers to him, and we are closer to him than (his) jugular vein”. Will my last heartbeat – my very last heartbeat – fly out from my jugular vein? And diffuse into the stardust suspended around my earthly self, slowly covering the light years between mortality and Adam’s twilight at Barzakh? How will I feel as my soul breezes out of the home it has known so well – the last breath caught in my throat – and my eyelids prostrate one last time? And the last beats of my only heart following the tinkling in my toes, the final sense of emptiness moving up through my body as little by little, the miracle of life leaves this flesh and bones? Will the loneliness just get deeper as they carry me away? Will they suddenly become more real and will I just diffuse into the air around, the memories in the hearts, another empty space in another house? How will it feel in that triangular house of mud? How dark will it be? Will it be scary? I’m scared of spiders and snakes. How will all this – this traffic of meaningless gatherings and false colours and loud music – finally end?

There are a hundred billion sunsets waiting on the horizon, and the Known and the Unknown are shaking hands.

Do you think the sea on our earth is the sky of our skies?

Miss you. Love you.

Yours ever.

Photo credits: Vashma Junaid

*Maternal grandmother

** traditional shawl


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