Friday, October 16, 2009


I was the fifth son born to my father and being the youngest had some privilege of being close to him. He was a tough cop in the office and a similar pop at home. But sometimes, when in good mood, he would talk to me about his father and grand father. And like any inquisitive growing child, I also had inkling to know more about my roots and ancestors.

Generations: Top Left to Right: Father (Mohkam Din) - Son (Aziz ud Din Ahmad, KPM) - Grandson (Abdul Hameed Bhatti, PPM)
Centre Left to Right: Great Grandsons Gul Hameed Bhatti - Zaffar , Kamal, Jalal, Jamal Hameed Bhattis
Bottom Left to Right: Great Grandson (Jalal Hameed Bhatti) - Great-great grandsons (Waqaace and Wahaab Jalal Bhattis) 

The family tree is the tool normally used to trace down our ancestors and generations spread over centuries or even more. The longest family tree in the world today is that of the Chinese philosopher and educator Confucius (551-479 BC),and he is the descendant of King Tang (1675 BC-1646 BC).The tree spans more than 80 generations, and includes more than 2 million members. An international effort involving more than 450 branches around the world was started in 1998 to retrace and revise this family tree. The latest findings will be published in 2009 by the Confucius Genealogy Compilation Committee to coincide with the 2560th anniversary of the birth of the Chinese thinker. This latest edition is expected to include some 1.3 million living members who are scattered around the world today. (Courtesy Wikipedia).

I once asked my father to ask his relatives to trace down our family tree and luckily we had a person in our family who has traced our generations from God knows since when. I belong to Rajput family, which has three branches: one that worships the sun (so known as Suraj Worshi), the second worships the snake (Naag Worshi) and the third worships the moon (Chand Worshi) – and we belong to the third kind. Our ancestors have been traced down to one Raja Odham and then down we traveled until we reach Lakhan Pal somewhere in the 12th century when the India was ruled by the Lodhis. He embraced Islam at the hands of Jahanian Shah and thereafter all generations down below are Muslims.

My father’s grand father, was a Mukhtiarkar (now known as Tehsildar) by occupation. But in fact he was much more than that. He was a restless person and wanted to know more about who he was and what “God wanted of him”. So after retirement, he left his home and went in search of truth. He remained with Hindu Sadhus, Sikhs, Christians and every sect or religion he came across. But after years of search, he finally came back and realized that whatever he was, that’s what the Almighty wanted of him. His spiritual pursuits earned him a status of a holy man or a saint and attracted a large number of followers. When he died, his grave became a mazar and as I was told, became a place of gathering for his followers.

My grandfather became city magistrate of Amritsar and was awarded with the prestigious King’s Police Medal in 1920s. It was a great loss that his hard earned medal was lost upon partition when my father and all his brothers migrated to Pakistan – and along with that we lost the graves of my ancestors in Patti, a small village then somewhere near Amritsar. And that brought a divide between my father’s ancestors and us with our father being the linchpin.

My father, like his ancestors was tough too and sturdy – this profile suited him to be in Police. For most of the time was in the IB and then the Interpol (an organization he raised and headed for almost 12 years). For his services he was awarded with the President’s Police Medal. I never found a person who had unflinching faith in the Almighty as had. He had absolute integrity, loyalty - both to his work and family and perseverance. He lived by a set of principles all his life, no matter we or anyone else liked them or not. He was a self made man – a man who shaped his own destiny by working hard and did it with absolute honesty (people like him are rare to find in Police department). I drew great aspiration from him and am trying not only to live as he did but am also trying to inspire my children to be something like him.

Now that he is no more, when I look back, I realize that the following generations usually fare better than their elders (sometimes not in business) – for the chief reason that our ancestors have been road maps who provide us guidance to shape our own destinies better than theirs – without these road maps we would certainly be a at a great loss and may lose our way to progress and prosperity.

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Muhammad said...

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Jalal HB said...

Thanks for the welcome note