It’s 2018, and some days ago I found my grandfather’s book when I was cleaning my closet. The book was always with me after my parents died but I didn’t pay much attention to what was written in it, until yesterday.
The content had some technical notes but in the end, there were pages written in Urdu with some English titles. I realized that it’s something different as I read SPIRITUAL NOTES on the page.
I meditated over it for a while and I decided to decipher the content and get a better view on my roots — in fact, my connection with my ancestors. Little I knew that it’ll turn into a crusade that’ll open unknown doors full of surprises.
My grandfather — Late Chamanlal Kapoor — was born in Chiniot, Pakistan. He — with his wife and four children — migrated to the newly created India after the partition in 1947. Not much is known about him, as he died many years before I was born and we never discussed him. All I know is that my father used to say that I’ve got his virtues of compassion, kindness, forgiveness, and gratitude.
When father died, I wrote an article on him and posted it on social media. One Gul Khan from Chiniot contacted me to learn more. We got acquainted and he shared many memories from the past glory. He’s a pure-hearted and a man of loving-kind nature— we’re friends now, but that’s another story.
When I saw these pages written in Urdu, I immediately sent him the pictures on WhatsApp. I also sent the same pictures on some of my other groups who might understand Urdu.
To my surprise, no one responded except one friend — Aijaz Rashid.
He immediately invited me to his home to meet his mother who would translate those pages for me. On the other side, Gul called upon his spiritual master to translate those pages.
Gul and Aijaz’s mother translated didn’t translate some pages, but they gifted me with a treasure of wisdom. It turned out that my father was of a Sufi temperament and he had written some valuable messages for generations to come. The book was started in 1940.
For the first time, I came to know that he sued to write poems under the penname PREMI. But mostly, he wrote philosophy and reflections from his life. I am sharing some of the messages.
The knowledge is incomplete without the action, and the action without knowledge is dangerous.
Knowledge and wealth aren’t to be accumulated and imprisoned. It should be offered for the use of the public.
Your profession is also a religious ritual.
Love is the true religion. It’s the only one force that unites all.
Don’t fight in the name of religion. We’re all one, India is one.
If you friend becomes your enemy, it’s better to do friendship with him. Don’t fight him.
Everyone needs everyone.
While my friend’s mother was translating the meaning, I was getting goosebumps and tears in my eyes. I always wanted to know more about my family roots, our genesis but somehow I and my parents never shared such conversations. Now that grandfather is gone, the father is gone, it’s all coming to me.
Is it a divine design?
I think this crusade was more to understand than understand my grandfather. I have similar interests like him — writing, philanthropy, and creativity. I think that I have a part of him in me.
Is it a genetic memory?
I don’t have answers to my questions but I am getting to know myself better and I am sure that I can contribute to this world to make it a better place to live in.
My deepest gratitude to Aijaz, his mother, Gul, and his spiritual master for helping me out figure my genesis. This is an example of selfless compassion for fellow humans that is beyond boundaries and man-made borders.