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16 October 2014

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Jamila Hussain: Footsteps & Fingerprints

Footsteps & Fingerprints

By Jamila Hussain
July 2005,
A digital story from Shoebox Stories

"Little things that matter are all around us and sometimes these will be the only thing that connects us to someone special. This belonged to my grandfather; it's half of a pair of sandals called Bugala. A wooden piece had this screwed into it. You would wear it between your big and second toe.

These photos were taken after the First World War when he worked on British ships with his elder brother. My grandfather came to Britain when he was around thirty years old, then booked a one way ticket back to Bangladesh. He died in 1983 and said to be around a hundred. I was ten years old then. I remember my dad crying when the news came of his death. We were meant to visit him that year. I was very keen. I was one when we first met but I have no memories of that.

I don't have much to hold on to. I guess I've never really known him but I know I'll remember him for the rest of my life."

Your comments

"That was really touching. I don't know my grandparents either." Anna, Newquay.

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