Paani Meets: Daddi Rashida Begum and Dadda Abdul Ghani
“Daddi Rashida Begum and Dadda Abdul Ghani. They had a big part in our lives, even when my parents left Pakistan for the United States. When I was just a kid, they would visit our townhome in Hanover Park, IL, for 6 months or a year if we were lucky. The townhome was split between an upper and lower level. They would always claim the lower level when they visited. My favorite memory of them was when I was a Chalaak (rowdy person), I would purposely annoy my mother, as any Chalaak would do. As any mom would do, she grabbed her purple Chapal (Sandal) and would head my way. Quickly after realizing my mistake, I Ran! I ran to the first sign of safety! I ran to the lower level of the home where my Dadda and Daddi were both sleeping and I jumped onto their bed without hesitation. They woke up startled, and their first instinct was to embrace me with a hug so tight, and yell at my mom for chasing me. I can still feel it today.
That’s what they were. They cared for others more than they did themselves. One could wonder if it would ever go away, but it never did. When my Dadda passed away, the entire block in Pakistan was full, all the way down to the Masjid. It was full of community members who they had loved. Everyone offered condolences because this loss was to the whole community.
My Daddi told stories to my dad when he was young about how difficult things were in her life and how she persevered. She spoke about the hardships of partition of the subcontinent, the friends she wishes she could talk to again. I like to think that is where she learned the importance of caring. Because sometimes it can be too late.” – ??? ?????? ??????