Earlier this month we introduced you to an Old People’s Home in Pakistan. We follow this up by meeting with a few of the residents who live at the Home. The Bint-e- Fatima Old Home is home to people from all walks of life; the affluent, the needy, the once loved, the forever abandoned. They harbour but one common bond between them…they all needed a home to live in, as they could not live with their families for one reason or another.
The teacher at school, an old aunt, the boy who was crowned prince, the movie star we all idolized once, the girl who lived next door, our parents, your parents, us…old age comes to everyone. This is the story of everyone. So join us as we listen to the stories of some of the residents of The Bint-e-Fatima Old Home. They might move you to tears, they might even make you smile, but we hope they make you pause as well, and reflect, on the choices we all must make one day!
Aisha, 40, Family Member for 6 months
“I didn’t pray before but ever since I have been here, I pray. When I came here I was so sick that I couldn’t even move. But these people really took care of me and I was able to get in good physical shape. Now, Masha Allah, I am completely mobile. I love watching TV. My favourite drama is Abroo. Asma is my favourite person here. She is the granddaughter of the lady who runs the place. She is so young but is always smiling, and talks to me as a friend. My favourite food is tikka. They make it here sometimes. Please bring Fawad Khan with you next time you come.”
Haleema, 75, Family Member for 3 years
“My memory is fading now. I used to love reading but my eyes don’t permit that anymore. Now I have to watch TV, which I am not very fond of. I would love to watch the drama Mor Mahal, but it has some romantic scenes and all the ladies say that it is dirty, and if I watch it then I am dirty. So now I have made a commitment that I will never watch it again. Once I make a commitment I always keep it. I don’t think that there is anything wrong with a man lovingly touching the face of a woman but I can’t argue with people. I have no one except the people here.
My father was English and my mother was Irish. They both died young after I was born in Calcutta. Once I found an army man who I loved. But the secret service took him away because they accused him of giving secrets to a foreigner. His mother quickly married him off. I am still young at heart. But now if I like anyone the age difference doesn’t let anything happen. I used to have beautiful blue Irish eyes. But I was young then. Now they are grey with age. Currently I am in love with the acting of Aly Khan. Nothing can happen between us because he is a married man. If I ever get to meet him I will congratulate him on his acting, and shake his hand. I would like to embrace him but I think his wife will shoot me.
I would like to recite a poem for you that I wrote. It is titled ‘Good Deeds’.
If you are happy and content with all the goodies life has sent
And there is nothing you require as you have all that you desire
Think of those who are in need and that will be a kindly deed
Life is just a passing phase and we should try to erase
The plight of those who haven’t got
The things that we have got a lot.”
Maimoona, 82, Family Member for 3 years
“I am in a lot of pain. I am sick, and I have herpes on my arm. But I don’t know how I got it. I was sleeping and when I woke up, I had it. The doctor has given me some pills to take. I love to watch Discovery Channel. I like animals. I used to have a pet parrot. His name was Mitthu Mian. He used to say “Mitthu ko khana day do.” and also used to make chicken noises because we had chickens in the house. I also love CID because it has a lot of suspense and mystery. It is different from real life. In real life, things don’t get resolved. In CID things always get resolved.”
Nuzhat, 84, Family Member for 8 years
“Abroo has finished yesterday. It was my favourite drama on TV. Another drama I really liked had a girl with cancer who died; I can’t remember the name. I love to eat Biryani and kheer. I am friends with everyone here but my closest friends are Asma, Zohra, and Aisha. We discuss dramas with each other because we like the same TV shows. I am the oldest resident here. There were three before me but all of them have died. I am left now.”
FUCHSIA Magazine would like to mention here that when we met the residents of the Bint-e-Fatima Old People’s Home, we were both surprised and saddened to discover that many of these women came from well-to-do, well -educated family backgrounds. They spoke of a life that was full and rich and complete. They were well-travelled, had experienced the bonds of family life as well as love, happiness and togetherness. In fact, they were just like ‘US’ , what ever ‘US’ is supposed to mean. That got us thinking, and we hope it got you thinking too,…about the choices we make in life, about how one can never take life circumstances for granted, about our collective responsibilities as individuals in society, about the day we all grow old.
If you want to know more about how the Old People’s Home was set up. Then read about Bint-e-Fatima Old People’s Home: How it all happened. Or find out from a grand daughter, what it’s like to place a loved one in an Old People’s Home in Pakistan. Bint-e-Fatima Old People’s Home: A Granddaughters’s Dilemma
If you have something to say about our story, please use the Comments section below to log in your thoughts. We’d love to hear what you have to say!
If you would like to make a contribution, please read details below:
Phone numbers: +92 313 382 6267 and +92 321 207 0463
A/C Title: Bint-e-Fatima Old Home (Trust)
A/C No: 0057-2002200204
Swift Code: SAUDPKKA
IBAN #: PK 62 SAUD 0000 0020 0220 0204
Bank Name: Silk Bank
Branch Bank : 26th Street DHA karachi.
Photography Credits: Locura-Faizaan Ahmad Photography