Dina Jinnah Wadia passed away on Thursday a few months following her 98th birthday. Like her illustrious father, she may have inherited and matched her father’s self- control, deep reserve and constant struggle for secrecy concerning her private life in its entirety, leaving us gasping for some information. It is yet possible to put together some pieces of the jigsaw puzzle. So, let me begin.While in England as a student, Jinnah may have played Romeo in a theatre, but history will always regard him as cold and aloof for good reasons. There was never a whisper of gossip about his private life. As a lawyer, he was extremely pre-occupied with his briefs, and nothing – not even the elegant poetry of Sarojini Naidu could distract him. Regardless of how tumultuous was his romance and subsequent marriage with Ruttenbai Petit, the absolute privacy in his life was so marked that almost no trace of it is visible. Even a recent book Mr and Mrs. Jinnah published recently in India contains several errors and discrepancies (albeit minor) despite being well researched. We have literally to grope and search for the only traces of evidence from the writings of Kanji Dwarkadas, G. Allana, Hector Bolitho, Stanley Wolpert, M C Chagla, M A H Ispahani and more recently Shagufta Yasmeen and Khwaja Razi Haider for merely getting a glimpse of the entirety. While we are grateful to these authors for letting us know everything they know about M A Jinnah’s private life, yet we may be doing some injustice by basing all our inferences and conclusions merely on these glimpses. Just to cite an example, Dwarkadas’s slim monograph which contains a score of letters and personal anecdotes from Ruttie Jinnah to him does not so much as mention Dina.Anyhow, going back to the story, Jinnah who has been absolutely aloof until the age of forty suddenly falls in love with Ruttie, waits for her to become an adult in 1918, when the news appears all over India of her embracing Islam and marrying the Hon’ble M A Jinnah that morning. So far so good! The newlyweds are transported into the sort of marital bliss they had never imagined. This was at a time when a lot was happening in Jinnah’s political life as well. By the second year of his marriage, he had resigned from the Imperial Legislative Council, the Home Rule League of Annie Besant and the Indian National Congress of Mahatma Gandhi. The timing of his resignation from Parliament was absolutely correct as it just preceded the infamous Jalianwala Bagh massacre that made Indian independence absolutely inevitable at some point in time.Jinnah and Ruttie went to England in May 1919 and stayed there for a few months. One night they went to the theatre and sat there well past midnight but had to hurry back home. That night Dina was born. It was the night between the 14th and 15th of August 1919, exactly 28 years before Jinnah’s second offspring Pakistan would be born. Meanwhile, Ruttie Jinnah had singlehandedly offended the Viceroy Lord Chelmsford and his arrogant wife, and along with her husband deeply offended the Governor of Bombay Lord Willingdon through a sequence of events, which is not necessary to mention here, but could partly explain the departure of Jinnah from India when Willingdon returned as Viceroy. The animosity between the two persons had been cemented.Even when her mother was alive, in good health and not separated from her husband, Dina seems to have been entrusted to a nanny, which in turn may explain eschewing all mention of her in the few biographies or narratives on Ruttie. Subsequently, she lived with her father and aunt Fatima. While in England, she was sent to boarding school and saw her Dad only during vacations. Yet she was the only one who could tease him, cajole him and love him forcing him to put his briefs aside and pay her attention or take her to a pantomime. She called him Grey Wolf repeatedly based on a biography of Ataturk by that name which he liked and passed on to her. The father was himself in desperate need of affection and obliged her. Yet the time she was given was much less than that required for bonding and she was forced to spend time with her maternal grandmother Lady Dinshaw Petit. It may be mentioned that the first time Sir Petit called Jinnah after his marriage was in 1929 to inform him of Ruttie’s ‘serious illness’. Jinnah rushed to be by her side only to realize that she had already passed away when he received the call. Likewise, Lady Petit had never forgiven Jinnah either. Anyway, on returning to India, ‘Dina Baba’ as she was called by the 26 servants in the household, seems to have been very popular with the staff. The senior driver Mr. Hai has mentioned how she used to give money to the drivers without telling her aunt Fatima, and would go on long drives with him. And despite the clear orders of her Dad, she was not only allowed to drive along the wide roads on the outskirts of Bombay but do speeding as well! She was only 15 years of age at that time.As rumor has it, Lady Petit approved her marriage to Neville Wadia, a Parsi converted to Christianity, and suddenly history had come full circle for Jinnah. Despite his opposition, Dina married Neville Wadia. While Jinnah had not found a single Muslim girl in India to marry without converting her first, his daughter couldn’t find a single Muslim boy. Love had triumphed once again. But things were politically different for Jinnah now. He had been in self-exile to England since 1931 coinciding with Lord Willingdon’s appointment as Viceroy and returned in 1934 ostensibly on the insistence of Allama Iqbal, Liaquat and Ra’ana and some others the previous year. From then onwards, his political career was purely that of a Muslim political leader as opposed to much of his previous career. I have repeated the word political twice in the previous sentence. That is because once his supporters meaning to honor him called him Maulana Muhammad Ali Jinnah. He stopped the procession there and then and literally told his followers to behave and never call him that again as he was their political leader and not their religious leader. He ended his reprimand by the words, “Do you understand?” This distinction was deliberately removed by the people who came to rule Pakistan after Jinnah or even during his lifetime with disastrous consequences. Anyway, suffice it to pass that the marriage of Dina to Neville Wadia must have come as a major setback to him personally and politically. Furthermore, he had lost the last bliss and affection in his life.There is talk of his disowning her and never seeing her again, which is not borne out by the limited records available. However, this point needs a little elaboration. After Ruttie’s death every vestige of her existence was locked up in some old trunks and never seen by anybody. Nor did Jinnah ever mention her directly or indirectly. The same fate was reserved for Dina’s stuff and memories. Another driver of his and later film actor Azad told Sadat Hasan Manto how during the dead of night Jinnah Sahib would order a trunk to be opened which contained some items relating to his deceased wife and daughter. He would stare at the items for a long time until his eyes would moisten, and then he would order the apparel and other things to be placed back in the trunk.Dina did find honorable mention in a will written by Jinnah in 1939 in which he left Rs. 200,000 to her and a monthly income of 1,000 at the rate of 6% of that principal amount till the remainder of her life. This must be a very handsome amount when new recruits to the Indian Civil Service would get only Rs. 300 per month and other civil servants much less. It is, however, not clear why he wrote the will so early in his life.“What should I do Habib?” Jinnah asked his friend Habib Ibrahim Rahimtoola concerning his daughter Dina when Pakistan had become quite imminent. Mr. Rahimtoola suggested inviting her to tea with her family, which he did. This was told to my late father by Mr. Rahimtoola himself. Despite accounts of Wolpert and others to the contrary, here is how Dina described it herself:“My father was not a demonstrative man, but he was an affectionate father. My last meeting with him took place in Bombay in 1946. He had come from New Delhi, in the midst of most heavy preoccupations with crucial negotiations. He telephoned inviting me and my children to tea. He was very happy to see us. Dina (Dina’s daughter) was 5 and Nusli, two. We mostly talked about the children and politics. He told me that Pakistan was coming. Despite his pressing engagements in New Delhi he had found some time to buy presents for us. As we said goodbye, he bent down to hug Nusli. The grey cap which he wore so often that it now bears his name, caught Nusli’s fancy, and in a moment, he had put it on his grandson’s head saying, ‘Keep it my boy”. Nusli prizes the cap to this day. I remember the gesture because it was characteristic of his sensitivity and consideration for me and my children.”Once when told that two successive Viceroys Wavell and Mountbatten had described Jinnah as difficult or rude, she defended him by saying that he was arrogant but never rude, adding that in every instance of his alleged rudeness, the posture of the others was rude to begin with.She later wrote him two letters addressing him as Darling Papa and congratulating him on the acceptance and later creation of Pakistan. When informed of the death of her father on 9/11 1948, Dina rushed to Karachi and took part in his funeral before returning back. After that Pakistan seems to have forgotten her.On the birth centenary of her father on December 25, 1976, while Mr. Bhutto was addressing the last session of his ill-fated Parliament, he invited her to Pakistan’s mission in New York where she was the guest of honor alongside the UN Secretary General Dr. Kurt Waldheim. In 2004, she and some of her children visited Pakistan on the invitation of the government, and had an emotional and tearful journey of the country created by her father. She consistently noted the need and hope for Pakistan to fulfil her father’s ideals and dreams. In doing so, she forged a bond with all those who would want the same to happen. May her soul rest in eternal peace.Published in Daily Times, November 4th 2017.