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Footprints in Time Reminiscenes of a Sindhi Matriarch: Ghulam Fatima Shaikh

Footprints in Time Reminiscenes of a Sindhi Matriarch: Ghulam Fatima Shaikh

Footprints in Timeis the biography of Ghulam Fatima Shaikh who has rightfully been termed ‘the Sindhi Matriarch’. Translated from Sindhi by Rasheeda Husain, Ghulam Fatima’s chronicle spans over two centuries and two continents. As she experiences the turbulent events in subcontinental history the book is a gripping account of Ghulam Fatima’s audacious life.

Ghulam Fatima was a living testimony of the fact that formal education is not necessary to assure astuteness and knowledge, rather life itself is the greatest teacher. The vivid narration captures the protagonist: Ghulam Fatima’s valiant and exhilarating journey of life. The salient feature of the biography is the conversion to Islam which caused numerous hurdles throughout the course of her life.

Ghulam Fatima’s account of multi dimensional events hints towards the fact that she was a woman of substance.

“Her life was marked by uncertainty, both as a child and as an adult. Perhaps her resilience was fashioned by these conditions which helped her face the vicissitudes of life.”

She was a principled lady, who remained honest to her cultural norms and values. Her personal diary contains captivating memoirs which are pearls of wisdom, even though she laments the loss of human spirit in modern man. Ghulam Fatima’s diary encompasses an intriguing account of history’s most tumultuous events like Khilifat agitation, First World War and its immediate aftermath. Thus, the biography is not only a recount of the events pertaining to Ghulam Fatima’s life, rather the central character provides a fascinating and comprehensive insight into historical events that played an integral role in shaping the modern world. It tells us of the intricate ties between the Arabs and Turks and provides a stirring commentary on the political scenario in those days.

Ghulam Fatima is an institution in herself her: though semi literate she was a staunch advocate of women education, founded a refugee girls school  and managed it till her sad demise.  She was one of the few Sindhi Muslim woman, who journeyed to distant lands with her husband and stood beside him against all odds. She is a role model for women: an embodiment of compassion and motherhood and a realistic saga of a resolute lady who emerged triumphant in face of all impediments.

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