I do not know from where to begin! How does one sum up the loss of a lifetime of unconditional and selfless love? They say that writing is like cutting open a vein! Today i am going to do exactly that! I am going to open up the most powerful and painful vein of my life. Many a times i have thought of writing about this particular void in my life, but somehow i could not muster up the courage. But today, on the 15th death anniversary of my beloved father, i am going to write about him.
I clearly remember that morning from 15 years ago, as if it happened yesterday. My mother and me had gone to market for my wedding shopping, when we got a call from my brother, asking us to come home immediately! I still remember the fear in his trembling voice. When we rushed back home, we came to know that my brother had received an over seas call, informing him that my father had met with a road accident while travelling from Iraq to Jordan. Though he had died on the spot, but at that time we were told that he was in a critical condition, just to soften the blow. I must have never prayed so earnestly in my life. We all prayed and begged to Almighty to save my father, but little did we know that he had already left this world.
When we got the real news, our world came crashing down. The fact that he had died thousands of miles away from home, made it all the more difficult to believe. My first reaction was utter denial and disbelief! He was only 49 years old, with not a single ailment or an ounce of fat in his body! How could he die! But then death never looks for reasons or justifications! One has to accept it as it is! As a 21 year old girl, who was about to get married in a month, this was a life shattering news for me. My father was my hero, my mentor, my teacher, my guide, my world! Being the only daughter and the eldest of three children, i was very much attached to him. But then which daughter is not attached to her father! I used to call him 'pappa', and if i would be in a very good mood, or if i wanted to persuade him for anything, i would call him 'appa'! Why i would omit the 'p' is a mystery to me as well! :)
We slowly coped with the loss, and life gained semblance of normalcy, though it never became same again. But we somehow learnt to live without him.My mother picked up the broken fragments of our lives. Family and friends were a great support to us. And the most powerful factor was of course the dua and blessing of our Maula(RA), as he prayed for my father near the Zarih mubarak of Maulana Ali (sa). This dua gave us the strength to survive.
He had a dynamic personality, and yet he made people feel very comfortable. Everyone connected to him on their own levels.How i wish i had inherited some of his humbleness! :) He would be the life of any picnic or party! He was a very good swimmer, and a very adventurous being. (This quality i have definitely inherited from him!!) He also had the artistic abilities and he could also stitch really well.
He was far ahead of his times. The younger generation connected to him very well, because he understood them. In spite of his busy schedule, he was always there for me and my brothers. He would supervise and help us in each aspect of our lives. We would have long discussions about different subjects, be it arabic, physics, biology or politics. How i wish his time with us was not so short, so we could have learnt more from him. We took it for granted that he would always be around to answer our queries, to help and guide us!
His vast knowledge on different subjects amazed me. We had cupboards full of books in different languages and on different subjects, in our house. He would read late into night. In spite of his position and status in society, he was a very simple man at heart. His dream was to someday retire and immerse himself in research work.
Even today after 15 years of his death, people still remember him with tears in their eyes! What can be a greater achievement! For others he was a boss, a colleague, a friend, a teacher, a brother. But for me he was my 'pappa', who was always there for me whenever i needed him. Who nurtured me with pure love, who pampered and tolerated my whims and fancies, who shaped my personality and who gave me the confidence to face the world. He was the one who listened patiently to my non stop chatter, with whom i sometimes fought and got my way, whom i sometimes coaxed and cajoled, and at other times i simply bowed to his wise and firm decisions.
Today (13th jumad al ukhra), on his 15th death anniversary, i dedicate this poem by Shelley to him. (One of my friends dedicated this poem to her mother, whom she had lost to cancer.)
Music, when soft voices die,
Vibrates in the memory
Odours, when sweet violets sicken,
Live within the sense they quicken.
Rose leaves, when the rose is dead,
Are heap'd for the beloved's bed;
And so thy thoughts when thou art gone,
Love itself shall slumber on.
Pappa, you are and will always be missed and remembered dearly!!
P.s. I invite the readers who knew him, to share their experiences about him.