Stories That need to be Lived: Because We all Live a Single Life.
2nd February, 2016.
So, here I am, an university student of English Literature and Language writing the third draft of my first ever blog, not only because I like to write in red colour (ofcourse red colour works best in correcting on what doesn’t seem to be too right for us) but also because the first draft, lacked something essentialist, something about who I am, the girl I am. In my first draft, I was everyone, a brown Pakistani Asian Muslim girl who was a daughter, a sister and a student. But little did I write about what I wanted to be, what makes me The Girl I am today.
Back in the innocent days, I used to hop into my maternal grandfather’s lap and look at the starry night in the balcony. Surrounded by darkness, I used to keep on wondering which star was the biggest and the brightest. I used to wonder and wonder and in a state of frenzy, at last, would ask my grandfather to answer my little query. To this, my grandfather would smile, and tell me, that stars embody our loved ones who we have lost and are now transcended eternally to take forms of these stars. And with his voice trembling, he would add in, the ones you love entirely and very deary embody the brighter ones, but as they are very far away from you which is why they appear small, and conclusively would add in, ‘Mariam, it doesn’t matter which star is the biggest or the smallest. All that matters, which one is the brightest because it means that, that loved one loves you the most.’ And then, one day, he asked me out of surprise, ‘Would you search for me, Mariam, amongst these stars when I am gone?’ And I would tell him, ofcourse not, because you are meant to stay with me, always by my side.
With this belief, I grew up with my very first storyteller, my maternal grandfather. Lying by its side, I used to always listen to a bedtime story, however tired he would be. And my grandfather would tell me stories of prophets, of saints, of brave people and of children, just like me. Some of them were scary, while some of them were happily ever after ones. But everytime, I used to be feel lived of the experience.
Now when I stare at the stars, standing alone, amidst the busyness of Istanbul, I don’t find any bigger, smaller, brighter or less bright stars. I really try my best to find my maternal grandfather in them, but every time, however much I try, I just see white polka dots of equivalent size and brightness, sewed in on the sky’s black sheet. And left in a state of despair, I leave with a heavy heart.
I lost my maternal grandfather last year on February 17th, of 2015. For a fatherless, friendless and lonely child I was back in my childhood, he was everything for me: my father, my mentor and best friend. With him, I also lost a storyteller, my first childhood storyteller. Even though I am much mature now to realize that much of the stories my grandfather told me, were happily ever made; but these stories provided me a reason to live in this only single life I had. It provided hope to a fatherless child that no one has everything in their lives, me not having a father perhaps, but at least a loving mother and grandfather. It made me believe that the world is not always a horrible place to live in, and there are many people out there, which still continue to make this world a better place to live in. It made me believe that I can live through many people and places, unknown and seen through the stories I heard from my grandfather.
With him gone, the man who made the girl I am today, the hope I can be a good storyteller is almost very little. But then, why did I start writing blogs now? Because storytelling is an indiscernible part of me, as I am being the writer of these stories. And most importantly, the motivation comes from my first ever childhood storyteller, my grandfather who told me once when I was a young teenager, ‘Mariam, I want you to study and do what you always wanted to do in your life and make me proud.’
And I know, and will indeed try my best to make you proud, my hero and love of my life, my grandfather!
This is why, readers, I dedicate this blog to my maternal grandfather. Though I am not an experienced blogger or writer, the aim of my blog is to write about stories that need to be known but donot make to the headlines.
Stories of those people that need to be remembered but are far too soon crept back in our memories. Stories of you, me, us with extraordinary experiences. Stories that need to be lived: because we all live a single life.
On a welcome note, thank you all my curious blog readers for reading through my first ever blog! If you can relate, or live through the stories I post in my blog series, please give a thumbs up, subscribe and share to have more people share the mutual happiness of living through these stories.
My second blog would be about Aafia Siddiqui, the colloquial Al-Qaeda lady, a Guantanamo Bay prisoner or a MIT grad, whichever way you wish know of her. But for me, her experience speaks of a story far too soon forgotten and which needs to be remembered and lived through again!
Moreover, if you have feedback, please feel free to post it to firstname.lastname@example.org
I look forward to hearing from you all,
Until next time,
The Girl I am.