Absent to Present – my family

One last week in Singapore. This time it has been a very different trip. I took time to re-connect with my family members and it feels so great to be in touch, to talk, to laugh, to learn. A part of my life where we were once absent has suddenly become present, at the whim of time and life all falling together simultaneously (for all of us!). This Eid has been one of the most touching moments of my life. Its family that gives my life so much value. And I will always stand for it. 

We had a cousins outing. There were about 20 of us and we played ice breaker games to learn something small about each other. Then there were many many nights at Hard Rock Cafe, jouncing at cover-songs of local band, Enigma and watching cross-dressed stand-up comedian Kumar taunt all the races for its quirks! Every other night we were home at 3am. Suddenly I felt a sense of carelessness. Life was so free. I just wanted to hold hands with my cousins, admire how the young ones have grown, and give everyone a great time. I kept looking over to see them smile…..

Strange it is that over the years friends and family disperse like seeds in the wind. And it takes one tremor to bring us all back together. Over Eid prayers everyone sobbed or stared wide eyed…we remembered my grandmother who passed away 5 years ago. Each one of us said something; something about family, something about being together as one, something about compassion and forgiveness, something about God. We all felt the absence of the ones who have died. But it was as strong as the presence of us who still live. Sitting together, Muslims and non-Muslims, Bruneians and Bahrainis, young and old. There was a deep knowing that we’ll always be together, no matter what.

I love my family for their sensitivity. My Chacha Noor, the head of the family, is a strong and firm person with a heart that crumbles at a gentle thought. He cries and makes us feel its okay to cry. We were floating in a river of sincerity. Over-pouring with love; unkept and raw.  

I love my family for their precious traditions. Eid mornings after the mosque, we sit together and make doas. We think of those who have passed away. We pray for the ones who are ill. Then we all share how we feel and that brings us all closer to one another.

Eid afternoon closes with a visit to my grandmother and grandfather’s grave…It is a strong realization of how life ends. And how it is only traditions like this that keep those memories alive like it was never gone in the first instance.





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