Wednesday, August 22, 2012


I've heard the lore of Aqa Moula's first visit to Chicago in 1978, first utaro at mom and dad's house, but I got a new even more fantastic perspective of it yesterday.

Last night I got to be part of something so special.  I got watch as mom read 'the letter'.  I can't go into the history of the letter too much for fear I would be incomplete and I would not do it justice.  The letter's content and journey has a story that can't be made up and I can only understand as my naseeb to be witness to its reading.

All the stories I've heard before have been from memories and amazing experiences people remember and many of them I've heard second hand.  At the time, mom wrote a letter to her parents in India.  35 years ago India may have well been another planet.  The letter is about 15 pages and rich in detail and emotion.  After many years and some amazing trip, the letter made its way back to mom.

I watched mom read the letter word for word.  It was filled with details like dates, times, the clothes Aqa Moula was wearing, the food Aqa Moula ate and so many more details, details that would have otherwise been lost. As mom read the letter, it was magical.  She was reading, but also reliving every moment and it was moving.

In addition to the letter, Dad had the incredible foresight to document so much of the trip with moving pictures and portraits.  A video camera was no small thing in 1978.

By the end of the 45 minutes, I was so captivated that I could hardly digest what I had just been a part of.  I think about this amazing, amazing thing that mom and dad have to pass down to Aziz and Zahra and as my great luck would have it, me too.

It occurs to me now that mom was round about my age when she wrote the letter.  She was even in just about the same stage of parenthood.  I doubt very that mom and dad could have imagined the legacy they would have to give to us so many years later.  I can't think about Yusuf and Nooriya so many years from now.  It isn't obvious to me the legacy Zahra and I will pass down to them, but I don't want to take it for granted that it will be so valuably documented as mom and dad have been able to do.

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