Jul 4, 2010 - Uncategorized    39 Comments

Thank you for everything


Last year, my father fell severely ill. 
Abba has had a stroke and was not doing too well; he had lost his gag reflex and could not eat or drink anything. He spoke very few words because even the simple act of speaking was too painful for him. Although one is never mentally ready to lose a parent, I somehow knew my time with him was numbered and I wanted him to know how much he meant to me so I wrote a tribute to my dad on Father’s Day. He was too weak to read and asked me to read it out to him. When I finished reading it, both of us were crying and my father just took my hand in his hands and I knew he appreciated every word. He did not speak much after that and passed away two weeks later. 
It is his first death anniversary today.

Abba has had an eventful life. A few years after Pakistan came into being, he, a mere teenager, decided to move to a new country on his own when he realized that my grandfather would never leave India. He got admission in GC and supported himself by living with a family as a live in tutor and some other odd jobs. His early life taught me the importance of independent thinking and the value of hard work.

Fast forward a few years, Abba was working for State Bank and was posted in Dhaka when Pakistan army surrendered the Eastern half of the country. A day before Dhaka fell; Abba had to go to Rajshahi to attend some business and he left his young wife and little daughters – my mom and older sisters – in Dhaka. Mukti Bahini was on a revenge rampage and was killing any non Bengali person on sight. My dad’s colleague – a Bengali man – hid him in a barn in for a few days to keep him safe. When he came back to Dhaka, he saw his house taken over by a member of mukti bahini and his family was nowhere. He later found out that they were taken to India as prisoners of war. He crossed the border to India on foot, managed his way up to Nepal and was flown to Karachi with assistance from Red Cross. It was after many months that he found out that Ammi & my sisters – along with my maternal uncle and grand parents – were in Meerut as PoWs. My parents were reunited after 22 long months (thanks to Shimla Accord) in 1973.
I was born many years later, but I had always been fascinated with this story and made my parents repeat it again and again with all the details so that I can visualize about times and lives that were so different from my life of typical urban middle class monotony. Although both my parents had lived tough lives, lost everything they owned except for clothes on their backs, lost their way of life and had to move to a city they both never lived in before and spent so much time apart in anguish, not knowing whether the other person is alive or not, but they never said anything bad about Bangladeshis. My dad just remembered that one act of kindness and was forever grateful of his colleague who hid him in his barn and spoke fondly of his time and his neighbors in a place that is now called Bangladesh. Needless to say that it was my parents who taught me the value of optimism. Now that I am older and both of them are gone, I feel so blessed that I had such wonderful parents who always saw the best in everyone, who remained upbeat against all odds and lived a happy fulfilled life.

Generally, my luck is horrid, but I know I won the ultimate lottery in the parent department by having been blessed with Abba and Ammi who were both such good natured, loving, decent people. They taught us the value of human life, importance of patience and tolerance, the ability to laugh at oneself and that respect has to be earned and cherished when it is earned. I never had a chance to tell my mother how grateful I am for everything she had done for me because she passed away when I was just a teenager, but I am glad that I managed to tell Abba what he meant to me while there still was some time. My heart still aches terribly but I am also happy that they have had a good time here and left a legacy for us.

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39 Comments

  • Lovely. God bless.

  • this post is so beautiful that i had no words at the end of it. Yes, i’ve noticed that life does hand you tougher times than to most other ppl. But then, you are a tougher person than most other ppl. Remain that way 🙂

  • Ah. Truly touching.

  • Very beautifully written. Your deep love jumped from the page. Good job!

  • That’s an amazing post Tazeen. Lucky are those parents who have such children to acknowledge everything they did for them.

    Thanks for sharing it with us.

    May God rest his soul in peace!

  • Thanks for sharing this Tazeen.

    Best wishes.

  • “…the value of human life, importance of patience and tolerance, the ability to laugh at oneself and that respect has to be earned and cherished when it is earned.” Those valuable lessons are a legacy worth cherishing, Tazeen. God bless.

  • Tazeen, I’ve been one of your old-timers here at the blog… and your irreverent self-effacing wit, your wisdom and your compassion have always been shining through… I’m sure that your Abba is smiling down at you right now… all I can say is, thank you and God bless you 🙂

  • So touching, moved me to tears. I’m sure your parents can’t have been prouder. God Bless

  • Really sweet post, Tazeen. Thank you for sharing your parent’s story with us.

  • Very touching! I am sure, your parents felt blessed to have you as their child. Now, that I have my own kids, I know how selfless the love between parents and kids can be.

    I remember when your Abba passed away last year. I am happy that you could tell him how much you loved him. May God bless his soul. You inspired me to write a similar post to my dad, which I promptly sent to him last year.

    God bless, and always keep your head held high.

  • Such a touching tribute! Your parents taught you the true way to live – people spend a fortune on counselors and therapists to learn this. You are truly lucky

  • *hugs*

  • Beautiful post. I hope you are doing well and coping with your loss. May Allah bless your father with a special place in heaven.

    On a side note, you must have been able to hear many first hand stories about the atrocities committed by Pakistani soldiers while they were in Bangladesh. I hope the story about the barn wasn’t the only thing you heard.

  • Ohh..what a touchy post. Your parent story is just similar to my parents too. My father was in Bangladesh for some business trip when he was a bachelor from Pakistan, he went along with some friends but it was a time for Bangladesh – Pakistan separation and my father got a bullet stuck on his leg, his friends thought he is dead and couldn’t rescue him in the crowd. They told to my grandfather after returning back to Karachi, they were celebrating his death anniversary for ten years until he went back to Pakistan with his wife and children….that’s a long story 🙂

  • Such a beautiful post Tazeen. It’s amazing how our parents’ journeys teach us so much and also shape us as human beings. Your father (and mother) sounded like incredible people, and I hope you know that you have a community on this blog who truly cherish your words and you 🙂

  • thank you for sharing.

  • oh my GOD….

    Tazeen i am one of your silent reader from all the way upnorth in Finland, i read the last post you wrote about your Abba. I decide not to write anything then but now i couldn’t resist. Its brilliant i have tears in my eyes.

    Hats off…

    Sunny Greetings from Finland.

    -Ali

  • I feel for you.
    -Gurdev

  • Heartfelt.

  • that was a very nice post.

  • Tazeen, it takes a lot to move me and usually catastrophic events to bring tears to my eyes. Your post reminded me of my father, who I lost when I was 18, and my life hasn’t been the same since. I cant bring myself to write about him/his death yet so can imagine how difficult this must have been. Well done, a truly touching and sincere piece.

  • TJ…am away from home and this post has made me teary eyed and put me into home-sick state.

    P.S. Nana looks so handsome in picture 🙂 May Allah give him the best place up ther.

  • Tazeen…. what i can write after reading sch a beautiful post.

  • like the blog! visit mine and follow if you wish

    http://jenniferscavone.blogspot.com/

  • What can I say, this is so touching. Reminded me of my father Different lives, different places, but a similar emotion.

  • Thanks everyone.

    Kulsoom,

    Do you know it was your dad who saved my mom and took her in his Volkswagen to my mamoon’s place.

  • Read this a couple of days ago. But was too moved to comment. It’s a lovely, lovely post. Thanks for sharing. And you are blessed that you were able to express your deep love for your father to him. As was he.

  • God bless him, God bless you.

  • Touched! I can relate to that feeling: ‘Blessed in the parent department and luck in other departments – crap’.

  • extremely touching indeed…
    may your parents’ souls rest in peace.

    God bless you!

  • Allah unko Jannat mein daakhil kare. aur unki beti ko akal aur samajh ata farmaaye. aur islam ki roshni mein chal kar ek behtareen musalmaan banaye. jo shariah ko establish karne mein substantial contribution kare. Aaameen.

  • and one more thing. after a close observation i found u look similar to ur father. looks wise. u do kno tht. right?

  • It was such a delight to read about him .. May Allah bless him and blessed be his progeny 🙂

  • That was a really nice tribute. Thank you for sharing

  • You are so brave, Tazeen. Not too many people would have turned out as well-balanced as you are after all that your family had to live through. You are indeed blessed to have parents like those.

  • Thank you for this and all your other writings – heartfelt, honest and humourous. Loved the Bangladesh part of the story. On a personal note, I share your sense of loss, as my father too departed last May… It’s never the same after that but it’s so nice to have this legacy.

  • Your dads prolly showing this around in heaven crowing dekho meri beti hay 🙂

    Waisey bhi pyar karne waley kabhi marte nahi sirf amar hote hain.

  • May Allah bless him 🙂 great post !!

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