Our children are more inclined towards digital entertainment rather than physical entertainment, but no, Adnan Siddiqui isn’t going to give up and neither are we.
Here’s a piece of his mind that he posted to his social media account yesterday, addressing his three children and while I not may be a parent, I too can relate to it:
Dear Maryam, Daniya and Zayd,
I was sixteen when your dadi jaan passed away. She was very ill, in acute pain, and I remember going to the hospital, standing by the door as they pumped her stomach, knowing she was slipping away. She turned her head to the left, where I stood, and smiled with her eyes. She then closed her eyes. For the last time.
Decades have passed. But that moment remains, to date, one of the most painful and most formative of my life. After Ammi died, your taayas and phuphos rallied around, like an army of soldiers, to look after Uzi phupho, Ayesha phupho and me–the youngest three. We grew up playing cricket in the streets–young, old, fat, thin, bespectacled, sporty, the whole lot.
I used to play imaginary cricket. The cricketer: Adnan Siddiqui. The commentator: Adnan Siddiqui. Fielder: Adnan Siddiqui. Bowler: Adnan Siddiqui.
“And it’s a six. What a beautiful shot! Hitting it out of the park!”
“Aaaand here comes Siddiqui. What a natural out-swinger. What a smooth run-up!”
“He’s caught it! And he’s out! The relief, the joy! Siddiqui never misses a catch!”
Those were good days because they were simple days. The grief of Ammi’s death was dulled, slowly sweated out as I bounced and ran on the streets of Karachi.
I was lucky to be surrounded by a big family.
This is just a little note to say that I know you love your ipads and ipods and play stations, but I want you to also love your parks, your books, your streets. They can be your friends too.
It’s a shame that our streets are not as safe as they once were. It’s a shame the three of you can’t hold hands and walk serenely out of the house. It’s a shame, indeed, that the Karachi of my childhood has disappeared as skyscrapers and multiplexes have come to dominate the skyline.
But you can still read books. Just as I used to play imaginary cricket in four different voices, I want you to live inside the pages of your books. The truth is, people who talk to themselves aren’t stupid: they’re the opposite–creative and wild and beautiful.
Just like the three of you. Love, Abba.