Back to Profile

STORIES

When you picture them in your mind, where are they? What are they doing?

At home with our family relaxing and chatting.

Adeel Qalbani

What's something they were super passionate about?

Her family. Throughout my married life I remember she was such a solace to me when my children were born. Stayed all 40 days after their births, giving them nutrition, oil massages and baths. Couldn’t have don’t without her.

Raana Sidiki

Share a lasting impact that they left on the world.

Taj left behind an army (multiple generations) of family who will always remember her.

Rehan Choudhry

What brought them joy?

It seemed that she was happy when she was around her family, especially her grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Rehan Choudhry

What memory of your loved one makes you laugh the most?

I remember how excited she got over the silliest things. One time, while visiting us in Virginia, she walked up to me in the kitchen and, standing inches directly in front of me, she stood on both of my feet. As she did it, she looked up at me and giggled like a child who was having the time of her life. I don't know why I remember that memory so clearly, but I very much do.

Rehan Choudhry

What memory of your loved one makes you laugh the most?

During my teens I fasted all through the 30 days of Ramzan so that I could eat her crispy parathas at Sehri, while the whole family slept.

Raana Sidiki

Share your favorite memory of your loved one.

I remember the sound of her laughter in the background of family reunions. She was quiet around us but would laugh distinctly.

Rehan Choudhry2

Share your favorite memory of your loved one.

Taj came to stay with us for around a year when Saba and I were young children in Sioux City, Iowa. I'm not entirely sure of the year, but it was roughly around 1984. She took care of us while mom was in Chicago doing her medical fellowship, and my dad was working full-time. I remember her making us our favorite afternoon snack, buttered toast, while we watched TV in the basement. Our cousins, Adnan, Adeel and Ameer, lived nearby and spent afternoons with us as well. We would later move to Great Falls where she would come to stay with us on several occasions, but the longest was during that first time.

Rehan Choudhry

Is there a particular conversation you had with her that you will remember fondly?

In the hospital in St. Louis, she watched Yasmin and I chatting and laughing, and she said "you two talk like you are best friends."

Saba Choudhry

What brought them joy?

Her Independence as she aged.

Adeel Qalbani

When you picture them in your mind, where are they? What are they doing?

Sitting on a chair on the outskirts of a gathering, quietly watching everyone interact, occasionally laughing at a comment or story.

Rehan Choudhry

When you picture them in your mind, where are they? What are they doing?

It makes me so happy that my grandson Mekyle gave her immense joy. I would smuggle the newborn from his mother to her and she greedily kissed his face and thank me profusely. She baby talked with him that instead of irritating us would have us in splits. When he was a toddler she used to say to him, “meethey baba, why are you so mean to me?” when she died Mekyle was sad for days saying she will call some other baby meethey baba in heaven.

Raana Sidiki

Share a lasting impact that they left on the world.

My mother indeed left a lasting impact on me and my children and my grandchildren. I remember her as a most gracious lady, not involving in petty talk and gossip, hospitable, kind and decent personality. She was a role model to Nadia for her eagerness to help, for her ability to attract people and make friends. She was fun to be with and had a very positive attitude towards goodness and humanity and life. My granddaughter Eman wants to have Taj’ birthdate tattooed on herself because “she was the coolest lady I know.”

Raana Sidiki

What brought them joy?

She truly loved her grandchildren.

Saba Choudhry

Is there a moment you shared that changed you?

Watching Grandma get naturalized was a very proud moment for me.

Adeel Qalbani

How would you desrcribe how your loved one viewed the world?

Saba Choudhry

Is there a particular conversation you had with her that you will remember fondly?

When I moved to USA she was there for me through thick and thin taking care of my difficult children, while I established my business. More than any particular conversation, I remember those years fondly.

Raana Sidiki

Is there a moment you shared that changed you?

The last seven years of her life she lived with me. I saw her slowly advancing in age, getting slower, forgetting things unable to read any more or follow soap operas. Her eyes constantly searched for me if I went out for some chore, during all those years she lived with me. As soon as she laid eyes on me I saw a calm settle on her.

Raana Sidiki

What brought them joy?

Saba Choudhry

How would you desrcribe how your loved one viewed the world?

When we were young my brother argued a lot to which she always said, “a life of silence is a victory over everybody.” That is precisely why she was popular among my fathers’ side of the family.

Raana Sidiki

What memory of your loved one makes you laugh the most?

When we were on vacation in a hotel and we (the kids) asked for burgers for dinner and Grandma called room service and asked for McDonald's.

Adeel Qalbani

What brought them joy?

Later in life, helping others brought her joy. A young friend she made in Iowa, said to me “it was due to Aunty Taj’ presence in my life that I got out of my depression after my divorce. My children also look up to her as their favorite person.”

Raana Sidiki

Share your favorite memory of your loved one.

Taj was a diabetic, but still used to hide bananas and slices of bread in her nightstand.

Saba Choudhry

When you picture them in your mind, where are they? What are they doing?

I remember two versions of Taj. The first is sitting in a chair or on a couch in almost total silence as the energy of her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren swarmed around her. She would often stare and smile, paying focused attention on whoever ran up and talked to her directly, but was seemingly always aware of the activity around her. The second was during family reunions when she would reconnect with her remaining siblings. In that environment, she would be engrossed in conversations that seemed to bring her joy. The only photo of this scene I have was from Sarah Shaikh, her sister, and was taken at my childhood home in Virginia during one such reunion.

Rehan Choudhry

Share your favorite memory of your loved one.

Saba Choudhry

When you picture them in your mind, where are they? What are they doing?

I remember Taj looking like this the most. This particular photo was taken at Adeel and Vedica's wedding. I remember her siting in a chair on the edge of the dance floor at the reception, watching all of the guests dance all night.

Rehan Choudhry

Share something about them that not everyone may know.

I love the story about the first week of her marriage. My dad had four brothers. My mother was too shy to look at my father’s face when they would be alone. So in the morning she would look at five men around the house that all looked alike. For days she wont know which one was her husband!

Raana Sidiki

Is there a particular conversation you had with her that you will remember fondly?

I remember briefly talking with her during a trip to Chicago. We were in the kitchen of Fahima Auntie's condo. It was the only chance I had to tell her about my then-fiancé whom I would marry at the end of 2017. She never got to attend he wedding (we lost Taj six months earlier) but I will always remember that she said Jess' name, out loud, multiple times and said she was happy for us both.

Rehan Choudhry

Share your favorite memory of your loved one.

My fondest memory of my mother in my childhood is long drive back home at night from attending party at my uncle’s house at Tandojam. I sat in her lap with my tired and sleepy head on her chest, in the darkness of the night. I felt her string of pearls against my temple, her silk sari caressing my cheek surrounded by her heady Chanel perfume. I remember distinctly the sound of her voice as she conversed with my dad and sisters, the sound of her voice vibrated in my ear through her chest. Height of bliss. Didn’t want the journey to end.

Raana Sidiki

What memory of your loved one makes you laugh the most?

One time she made Askar Uncle get her a bunch of bananas and a loaf of bread to hide in her nightstand.

Saba Choudhry