So Baba, my grandfather, decided he could not do without his beloved wife (Zahra Begum-1927-2014). Just ten weeks after Nanna, he passed away at home, in his sleep. He was 94, which irrationally does not stop me from wishing I’d had more time with him.


On one of our last few dinners together we had talked of Ghalib’s birthday on Twitter, and Sir Syed’s credentials as a patriot and visionary. Later I had (foolishly) suggested we buy new, nicer chairs for his house. “These are all the affectations of the rich”, he told me sternly. “You may be able to afford them, but do you really need them”


My grandparents spent their lives in simple homes full of values and much-mended chairs, hand made curtains and a perpetual flow of friends and family. Their rooms were full of too many books, they were luminous with poetry, with beauty and generosity. I know few people so rich.


My thanks to all the friends who wrote with condolences and shared memories. There are so many others I wish they had met, so many things I had yet to ask. But with grief at their passing is gratitude for having seen this remarkable generation, and for having had such remarkable, loving, adventurous grandparents. I will miss them everyday.

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