Dr. Shahid Amin Trali
Life is like a tale, and the people we meet and associate with are like characters. Some characters are big and some are small. Some are indisputable and sincere while others are unkind and mean. We meet people who turn their back to us in times of need. Some harm and break us in ways we have never imagined. But, there are people who help create memories worth holding onto for a lifetime. Some good characters lift us up, boost our morale and make us stronger. Regardless of those different characters and their roles in our life, together they each carry a purpose- they give us vital lessons in life.
And, then there are characters, who love us unconditionally and beyond limits; trust us and stay with us. They are more close to our heart and souls. And, those strong characters belong to our families. With everything constantly changing around, there is one thing that always stay safe and unchanged and, that is, the family. Our family is made up of people who bring out the best in us. They are the people who are always cheering for us and truly want the best for us. Our parents face the struggles and sacrifices to give us comfort. We should always admire their hard work they put into building us as good humans. Without any doubts, parents are the most important and influential people we will ever encounter on this earth. They are always ready to hold us when we fall. They constantly remind us of the love. The greatest gift they give to us is life and love.
Amongst the parents there is one strong character who has a huge role and, that is, the father. There is so much more to the important role of being a father in a child’s life. The father is central to the emotional well-being of his children. Research reveals that if any child’s father is affectionate, supportive, and involved, he can contribute greatly to his child’s cognitive, language, and social development, as well as academic achievement, a strong inner core resource, sense of well-being, good self-esteem, and authenticity. In this sense, I am not an exception and have fortunately received all the good values that I possess from my beloved father.
But, alas, my father is no more. I am devoting the rest of the essay in memory of my father.
It’s been a month now since you left us Daddy. And, we miss you terribly. There are times when we forget you have left us, and there are times we can’t believe it. The last thing you said to me before leaving to Gwalior was, “Go Allah will be your care taker and you don’t know we will meet next time or not”. Ah! If I’d known you wouldn’t be there in my next visit to home, I’d never have left. Daddy, you pushed me to do the best and also loved me unconditionally with every possible ounce of your heart that you could. In your life, you gave me so much and, at the end of yours, I couldn’t gather myself together to do the same. I’m sorry for the things in my life that I’ve kept hidden. Believe me, I always have a pure heart and efforts towards making your life enriched and prosperous but Allah had other intentions. I’m sorry for the awful things I ever said to you when they were far from the truth of your character. I wonder if we ever thanked you , my beloved father! For all the sacrifices and troubles you faced, to let us have the best of the comforts? I regret and deeply regret that I never told you “I love you” enough. I’m sorry I never set my pride aside in time to express it. You did the best that you could but I’ve never been more grateful for the life you laid out for me. True, we have forgotten to show our love and thankfulness for all the things you did. Words fall short to express our gratitude. I am fervently hoping you knew it all along, how much you meant to all of us.
Daddy , you were a model of truthfulness and sincerity. You were very pious, religious and a kind hearted soul. I remember how you challenged illness but never forgot to recite Quran and offer five times prayers a day. You were kind to everyone including birds and animals. I salute you for offering shelter to strangers in our home. I remember how you taught us to feed birds and animals before we started our own meals. You were an exceptional son and no one can match your selfless love for your mother. I remember how you washed your mother’s feet one day and treated the same water as a medicine to cure all your diseases. This faith and belief only angels can show to such extent. I remember your great love and affection for your relatives and friends. You were a symbol of religious harmony where you have great friends in Hindus and Sikhs. They looked at you better than their own brothers. You were an exception who took greatest care of a handicapped nephew for thirty odd years. When your last Gusul (last Bath) was performed, Azaan (Prayer Call) was also called. Your last wish was to offer prayer in a mosque and you reached there at the same time. I could see ‘Noor’ (pious light) on your face while leaving this world. Surely, you will be offered a good place in heaven (Aameen).
You know that I miss you so much my beloved father. I want you to be back but have to accept the bitter truth. It is a fact of life that nothing but death is certain in life. I want that strong, emotional and kind and caring father to come back and wrap me up again in his embrace. Without you, my beloved father, my life would be less colorful. You have always taught me that sacrifice and hard work is something that must be done for those we love. You will always be the most amazing person and a hero for me. I will forever look up to your teachings. Daddy, I promise to make you and our family proud till my very last breath.
— The author is an Assistant Professor at ITM University, Gwalior. He can be reached at: [email protected]