• Thursday, Dec 03, 2020
  • Last Update : 12:48 pm

‘Her vision was limitless’

  • Published at 11:57 pm February 17th, 2017
  • Last updated at 01:37 am February 18th, 2017
‘Her vision was limitless’
I delayed writing this for far too long because I didn’t know where to begin. The memory of my grandmother, Shamsun Nahar Paran, is no small matter. After pondering on it for nearly two months, here I am at four in the morning, hunched over my laptop, determined to write it down before the words escape me once again. Everybody reading this is already aware of my Nanu’s many achievements and accolades, the details of which would fill an entire book. I will share the story of our unique relationship, our special bond, our kindred spirits. People say that I was her favourite granddaughter. But the truth goes far deeper than that. In many ways, I inherited my Nanu’s spirit, and she knew it. We’re both poets, her and I. And we see the world through a poet’s lens, a precarious balance between vision and reality. We see the world for what it is, and we long for it to be better. We see the truth and the lies. The beauty and the ugliness. The tragedy and the potential. And we feel a moral imperative to do something about it, to fight injustice wherever we see it, however we can.
Ghashful, the institution that she built out of her living room, lives on as her legacy today, serving the poor and the disenfranchised. It is her greatest wish come true
Nanu recognised herself in me. She nurtured and inspired me from a very young age. She was the person who gave me my first journal, which proved to be the single most influential moment of my entire life. I don’t remember exactly when it happened, but it was a few years shy of my tenth birthday. She told me to write down anything that came to mind, and I’ve been doing it ever since. One of my favourite memories is of when Nanu dropped by our house during my last visit. I was having an especially creative summer, the fruits of which I shared with her. I read my work out loud, and she gave me constructive criticism. She appreciated what I did well, but didn’t hesitate to say where I needed improvement. Like a true writer. No matter how long she lived, or how badly her body deteriorated, Nanu held on to her youthful essence. She greeted new things with an almost childlike wonder. She never stopped wanting to see more, do more, be more. She always told me, “Act locally. Think globally”. Her vision was limitless. She never ran out of plans. And she never stopped collecting things that meant something to her. As she aged and slipped into that second childhood, not everyone was so tolerant of her endless passion, a fact that caused her great sadness. She once told me, “Ar keo amake bujhe na. Ek matro tumi amake bujho” (No one else understands me. Only you do). If this is true, I consider it an honour and a privilege. As a young girl, I took great pleasure in the fact that my Nanu wasn’t like other grandparents. In fact, I still do. She was always positive, always active, and she always encouraged me to fly as far from the nest as I could. She enriched my life in ways that I didn’t even realise until many years later. From giving me certain literature to read, or certain tasks to do, to taking me to cultural events, and even sometimes forcing me to participate. One thing that she didn’t do was preach. She didn’t need to. She led by example, a formidable one. Ghashful, the institution that she built out of her living room, lives on as her legacy today, serving the poor and the disenfranchised. It is her greatest wish come true. I hope I can make her proud one day by proving myself worthy of the special place that I held in her heart. I am so fortunate that my life was touched by someone so beautiful, brilliant, inimitable, and indomitable. Nanu was a trailblazer who not only dreamed of leaving this world a far better place than she found it, but succeeded.
50
50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail