My Childhood Memories: An Excerpt From My Unpublished Memoirs

Birth and Family Life

I was born in a middle-class family on a cold winter night. My birth, however, was not a historic event, and it did not cause any stir in the world. No breaking news had splashed across T.V. screens. Nor had it made any headlines in the print media. It was a routine occurrence, as I was one of the countless babies that adds up to the world’s population every day. But my birth surely had been a momentous event for my parents. I was the second son born to them. The first one could not survive his infancy. Thus, I had a special significance for them. I came to the world through a normal delivery process, without making my mother go through the pangs of a C-section. 

I was born in a small village near the famous town of Qila Didar Singh of District Gujranwala. My family was among the few educated families in the village. My father had a postgraduate degree in Chemical Engineering, but my mother could not go beyond the primary level, because female education was not a norm during her teen days. It was a rarity. Girl’s schools were quite a few in numbers. Although education affordability was not a problem then, a good majority of parents didn’t deem it fit to get their daughters educated. 

My family was highly respected in the village. This was due to our parents and grandparents. They had impeccable character. Co-villagers held them in high esteem. They were not only venerated but also loved. This was because my family had no dispute with anyone in the village. It was the most harmless family in the eyes of the people. They caused nobody any harm and wished no one any ill will. In retrospect, I think they were strictly following the golden principle of “live and let live”. 

Ours was a joint family. My uncle’s family also lived with us in the same house. It was a very spacious house with a vast courtyard. The houses in the village, on the whole, were rather vast and spacious. This vastness of the houses was also reflected in the hearts of their dwellers who had large, forgiving hearts free of any grudge or malice brimming with contentment.

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Our house had a majestic acacia (keekar) and a young neem tree. The acacia tree was very old and all the family members had a close association with it. It was like a veteran guard keeping watch over the house. It had been standing there for centuries, bearing the vagaries of weather with calm and composure. Neither had it complained of anything nor had it overreacted to anything. It was such an agreeable friend. 

However, Khala Johri, a woman in our neighborhood had an irrepressible grudge against the poor pal (acacia tree). And her grudge was not that unwarranted. She disliked the tree because she believed that it had been accommodating a djinn (genie) on its trunks. She had repeatedly claimed to have seen a djinn sitting on the tree. Thus she wanted to get the tree hewed down. And she came to us with repeated requests for cutting the unfaithful tree down. She believed that once the tree was felled, there would be no genie; because then, it would have to relocate somewhere else. Na rahay ga baans no bajay gee baansri. So in her eyes, the tree was the real culprit and she wanted to have it down. But her recurrent requests could not be met because we had never spotted any djinn or Bhoot(ghost) on the tree. Neither did our parents nor their parents. There was no djinn or ghost there. It was just a figment of her imagination. Since village people are more superstitious than their counterparts living in the cities and towns; they tend to easily believe in such things.

7 thoughts on “My Childhood Memories: An Excerpt From My Unpublished Memoirs

  1. This is turning out to be a very good series and every episode of your childhood memories is worth reading. The description of your birth and family, your village, the village people, different characters, their superstitious beliefs, etc, everything is very interesting. I would love to read many more episodes of your memoirs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, M Ahmad, for reading and appreciating all the episodes of my memoirs. I’m glad to learn that you liked this series, and want to read more episodes. I’ll try to keep contributing to this series. Thanks again for your nice comments.

      Liked by 1 person

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