Maman, my mother in law, has always shared such fond memories of her Nanna, her grandmother, so when I asked her to share a wisdom from an elder, I wasn’t surprised that it was from her Nanna.
As a teenager growing up in Dhaka, Maman shared a room with her Nanna; they had a beautiful relationship of friendship and care. Maman was always studious, but it was Nanna who would encourage her even more. “Parro, parro” (study, study), she would tell Maman, “education is the only thing that you can keep in life, no one can take that away from you.”
Maman would ask Nanna to wake her up at 4am so she could study before an exam. Then she’d sit at the edge of Nanna’s takhat, and study by the bathroom light.
“For a woman of her time to have the foresight that education is what you need in life, that was incredible,” Maman told me yesterday, as we celebrated Mother’s Day, talking about the mothers who came before us.
“After Maghrib prayers, Nanna would say 1000 prayer beads (tazbi), and she would come to each of us and blow on us; we knew that nothing could touch us,” Maman said. “We were in an aura of blessings.”
“We used to give her a timetable of our exams, and she would sit and pray during that time,” Maman remembered. “We thought that even if we hadn’t studied, with Nanna praying, we’d get through with flying colors!”
Day 8 Wisdom 8: Parro, Parro (Study, study)