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Getting to death

We Taufiq boys always die young, which makes us feel immortal

By Kamila Shamsie   July 2004

Two generations ago there was a Taufiq male, Nadir, who lived to the age of thirty-four. In family stories he is referred to as “the Old Man” because, by our standards, he was. In all the records of Taufiq births, thirty-four is as old as it gets for our men. The stories tell us that “none lived long enough to see a single grandchild,” though we have always married young and procreated extravagantly. Outsiders are sometimes critical of this multiplication of our numbers; they see it as desperation or cruelty. Our weddings have the pall of funerals, and our funerals…

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