Dina

Exactly 28 years before the birth of Pakistan, Dina was born on August 14, 1919 at midnight. Jinnah’s only child, she was his sole comfort after the death of his wife. Though away at school most of the time, she was home briefly for holidays. A dark eyed beauty, she was a charming young girl. She had her mother’s smile and was pampered by her doting father. After her mother’s death, Fatima took the responsibility of her care.

While living in London, Dina would cajole and pester her father to take her to a pantomime on High Road insisting that she was on holidays and must be entertained. The time was a blissful one spent in London. But they later grew apart, Dina never joined her father in Pakistan. She came to Karachi only for his funeral.

The relationship was marred by the fact that Dina wanted to marry a Parsi-born Christian, Neville Wadia. Jinnah tried to dissuade her, just like Sir Dinshaw had tried to influence his daughter many years ago, but to no avail. Justice Chagla recalls, ” Jinnah, in his usual imperious manner, told her that there were millions of Muslim boys in India, and she could have anyone she chose. Then the young lady replied: ‘Father, there were millions of Muslim girls in India. Why did you not marry one of them?’

The relationship became formal after she married. They did correspond, he addressed her formally as ‘Mrs. Wadia’.

Dina and Neville lived in Bombay and had two children, a boy and a girl. Shortly after that they separated.

Though isolated in many ways, Jinnah was always cared for by his sister Fatima who kept house for him and nursed him till his death. She was his sole companion, never faltering, always present for him in the time of need.

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