Saturday, August 14, 2010


The bright needles clicked;
The old woman's hands,
Quick, dextrous, expert,
Were a blur of colour.
"Your new gloves are finished."
She eased them on to my short plump fingers.
"Now you can play in the snow."
I ran into
the street, excited.
The gloves, soft, warm and dry
Were a magical source
Of safety and love.
Time drew on;
The winters grew colder;
The snow fell thicker.
Today my gloves
Are faded and thread-bare;
Her needles lie silent
And my hands are so cold.

- Robert McGregor


My grandmother passed away about a month ago. She had been sick for a while, losing weight inexplicably, skin carefully sculpted around bones. The doctors diagnosed an occult malignancy and in a few days she stopped breathing. I could no longer call her on the weekend and wait for the delight in her voice when she recognised me on the phone. Her physical presence had started to diminish long before her death but she retained a spry and inquisitive mind. We spoke often about books and history, about politics and moral values. The last time we met had been in March. My room was next to hers and she would often sit me by her bedside and share her life's experiences with me. Sometimes we would even get up together for morning prayer. In spite of a crumbling spine and fingers knotted with arthritis, she would unfailingly get up at Fajr, wash up and perform her prayers. She always made it a point to say a dua for all her family after the prayer, asking for each person individually. Usually I wouldn’t wake up on time and her voice, raised in supplication for her children, would draw me out of my sleep. It is the absence of that voice, clear and unbent by age, that I miss the most. My grandmother no longer wakes up in the dark to pray for me, one door down, listening to her under the bedcovers.

May Allah have mercy on her soul.


Blogger vengayam said...

and may Allah accept her good deeds, and grant her jannah, and bless her beautiful family with himma and hikmah to bear her loss, ameen, ya rabbil 'aalameen.

1:30 PM  
Blogger karrvakarela said...

vengayam: jazak Allah for your duas and ameen.

9:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Innalillahe wa inna ilayhi rajioun. May Allah swt grant her jannah :(

12:22 AM  
Blogger karrvakarela said...

humaira: ameen. jazak Allah for your duas.

6:04 PM  
Blogger Sujatha said...

I'm very sorry to hear about you grandmother, KK. May her soul rest in peace. My deepest condolences to you and your family.

10:04 AM  
Blogger karrvakarela said...

Thank you, Sujatha

9:52 AM  

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