Embracing Wrinkles

After babies and children, I love taking photos of old people.

I remember asking Loreena, my inlaws’s amazing cleaning lady, if I could take a photo of her to which she replied, “Sure, I haven’t done anything to my wrinkles though.” I”m happy she hasn’t.

I love the way wrinkles show up on an elderly person. Each wrinkle is an unwritten story. She is 77 years old and can clean a house better than anyone I know.

I love my grandmother (father’s mother) Pyarijan’s wrinkles below. She has a vibrant, strong, unique personality and curls her hair to this day. I believe she is in her early 90’s!

This is my other grandmother’s relative Bano Apa. She and her sister’s family were very close family friends with my grandmother Nana’s parents. She’s not her actual relative, but since they’re so close, I just said relative. This was her smile upon seeing Z. I love her snow white hair, gorgeous wrinkles, and sincere smile.

My mother’s mother Nana is below. In Urdu, Nana means mother’s father. However, amidst my eldest brother’s first few words were Nana, to which she immediately claimed to be her. When I was 16, she was 61. I am now 26, so she must be 71 now. She loves nature and will stop to touch the bark on a tree, to smell a fragrant flower, or to simply gaze up at the sky. She collects rocks and paints gorgeous flowers on them. One such rock is on my window sill. Nana and I were taking a walk, and when I looked up, I couldn’t find her anymore. She had sat on this rock to admire the flowers and started chuckling when I didn’t immediately see her.

My mother’s father refused to stop to take a photo. He was too focused on his walk. I managed to get one in of him looking at the camera later (in the slideshow below.) He is a kind, witty, focused individual. Since Nana already took the name of Nana, we call him Nana Abu.

My husband’s grandmother just turned 88 years old. I asked her which age she liked best to which she said, “Bachpan” meaning “Childhood” in Urdu. I too loved my childhood. I loved being 9 years old. She is a warm, loving individual and chops vegetables and peels fruit better than anyone I know.

I hope that I live a healthy, long life in which I am able to take care of myself and age gracefully, and embrace the wrinkles, one year at a time.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

“And your Lord has decreed that you not worship except Him, and to parents, good treatment. Whether one or both of them reach old age [while] with you, say not to them [so much as], “uff,” and do not repel them but speak to them a noble word” (Quran 17:23).


  1. I love this. I think our society as a whole lacks respect and admiration for the elderly, and you’ve captured both beautifully here. They have come through far more than we have, and deserve the utmost in love and respect. Nicely done.

  2. Loved seeing Zarina aapa’s lovely pics.MashaAllah!May Allah keep your elders healthy,happy and cherished.Only those who don’t have any elders in their lives can truly understand their importance.

  3. This is very close to my heart. You’ve captured the spirit of life in each of your subjects. To often, we forget the beauty is written all over our faces and bodies-why try to erase it? Thanks for sharing the beautiful people around you.

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