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Archive for July 23, 2020

Farewell to Dr. Syed Fasihuddin- 13

Fasih household is averse to all kinds of soap serials whether Indian, Pakistani or Turkish or whatever. Fake, unrealistic, imaginary stories are not our cup of tea.
Despite being born and raised in different environments and cultures, Fasih and I had few things very much in common. And one of them was aversion to TV Dramas.
We watched occasionally good movies in theatre only whether Bollywood or foreign. He did not have patience to sit through hours of meaningless movies. So did I.
Ofcourse at home it was as easy as switching channels with remote control. But we even walked out of the theater half way through if the film was not engaging.
Our taste for Hollywoid movies did not match. He loved fast paced Bond movies while I like more serious ones.

This time when he was here, from March till Msy 2020, theatres too had been locked down. The last movie we saw together at home was Irrfan Khans English Medium as a tribute to his life. But both of us did not find it as good as Hindi Medium we had seen together in theater in Mississauga few years ago.

His all time favourite Bollywood film was Zindagi Nahin Milegi Dobara. This totally reflected his utmost love to travel the globe by road and his philosophy of life to enjoy every moment.
He got time to listen to music only on long drives, which was his method of relaxation.
His favourite singer Abida Parveen played in his car all the time he went on long or short roads trips. Duma Dum Must Qalander…was his favourite of Abida. If there was anyone other than her, it was Jagjeet Singh. And Reshma too.
My car has my favourite music-Farid Ayaz and his Khusrau and Kabeer renditions. Fasih clearly sided with Bulleh Shah & Abida Parveen. We actually had made this an India Pakistan joke amongst us. 😀
But whenever he visited Delhi to see my folks, he would have on his itinerary a visit to Dilliwalas “Hazrat Nizamuddin & Amir Khusrau” tombs.

Being an ardent animal lover, pets were an constant and regular part of our household. Kids got parakeets, goldfish and turtles when they were small as gifts from Papa. Not only did Fasih loved animals, he actually interacted with them as individuals. Fasih inherited this love from his own father Dr. S M Sabhihuddin, who had deers, swans, ducks, turkeys, patridges, parakeets, peacocks( both white and colorful), macaws and a bunch of dogs at home in Karachi. The house was in itself a zoo for the kids of Dr. Sabih’s clan. As a result, Fatima and Ismail both have been raised as animal lovers and are pet owners on their own too.

Of all kinds to films or TV shows, wildlife documentaries are the favourites in Fasih home and ofcourse we found them therapeutic in the pandemic lockdown. Netflix was a blessing in lockdown and all three of us, Fasih, Ismail and I, completed the entire Animal Planet series together in last 3 months of his life.

This beautiful photo going viral brought back the memories which were recent, but had gone into some forgotten place as we mourn Fasih’s loss and imagine his gruelling last few days on a ventilator.
Loved to read these two different Panthers are courting each other for 4 years. I am sure if Fasih was around, he would crack.some joke and relate them to both of us. 

Details here:

PS: These are just my personal memories I am sharing. They may not be relevant or interesting for others. Forgive me if my posts are getting annoying and unnecessary.

A Letter to my Papa- by Fatima Fasih

Dear Papa,

It has been a few days since I’ve written about you or to you. Not a day has passed since your death when we have not remembered you, laughed about you or cried about you. I have started to understand now that you are in everything we do. I also know you are a martyr InshaAllah and you will live on with us in all the things we do. I hope now you can see Rahma’s free spirit nature comes from you as do her dimples. I hope you see how we’re no longer procrastinators since you were the do-er and now we do for you. I hope you can see how we enjoy the outdoors like you did, how we appreciate and take inspiration from all the things around us, like you did. I hope you can see how we’ve finally realised the value of prayer and faith. It’s still a long way ahead in this process of grief and remembrance, but we’re getting there from the strength we gain from you.

You were always larger than life and I know you are here even beyond your life. You are in the sunset, in the skies, in whisps of the champas, the smell of chaunsas, in the essence of everything good around us. I just hope you can also protect us and pray to Allah with us to make the tough road ahead easier for us, to send angels our way whenever we are lost or in crisis, and to protect us from all those with ill intentions or the evil eye. For as long as I live, I know you’ll be my guardian angel.

Your beti always,
(Link: )

Farewell to Dr. Syed Fasihuddin- 12

Fasih was a huge advocate of living a good life and taking challenges with a stride instead of drowning into stress.
He had unusually high emotional intelligence to manage stress with small pleasures along the way.
His one consistent lesson to me was, “Live your life too. Dont plan too much for the future.”

Despite being an ambitious alpha male, with apirations and high standards especially of quality work in Pakistan, he found pleasures in small things too. Things that most men would find sissy like keeping motia flowers for scent on his bedside, or wear a crisp starched kurta for Juma or driving upto the beach to watch sunrise and seabreeze early Sunday morning and then going for halwa poori nashta with old college friends, or spending Sunday evenings pruning his plants & playing with his pets on his terrace garden.

His last weeks with us in Canada tell a beautiful tale of his capability to enjoy every moment to its fullest. Following pics from his profile will give an idea of how he turned every challenging situation into an opportunity to live well and happy.

He arrived Mississauga on March 1 as usual for 3 weeks spring break, and was to return on March 21. Right on 19th March, much to my delight, the flights stopped. He was annoyed because he had “responsibilities and work at Taj.”
And then he would whine, “But what will i do stuck here? I cant sit idle.”
There was social.distancing and lockdown too. So there wasn’t any chance to socialize and visit friends or cousins.
Fasih began long drives and jogging. And would drag a lazy me along. And it turned out to be very personalized family time with him, Ismail and myself. He even turned this time into a busy routine- daily remote meetings with Taj staff, Webinar CMEs on COVID, table tennis with Ismail, long drives and walks will all 3 of us together.
After hundreds of calls to Pak Consulate and PIA he ultimately managed his return from Toronto to Lahore as there was no flight to Karachi in mid May. We did ask him to stay on, but he found our requests ridiculous. As Fatima and I often regret, wish I had lost or hidden his passport. I know he would have labelled me an unreasonable wife, but at least he would have been here and safe. 😦
He chose to drive from Lahore to Karachi and enjoyed every stop and scene along the way and kept sending us pics of sunsets, sunrise, check posts, local dhabas, with promises, “Next time you are here, we will drive upto Lahore.”.
Fatima and I kept calling him every couple of hours and he would respond to our calls with, “Ya ya, I am safe so far. Okay happy?”
He found our fears exaggerated.

Being a dog lover, his walks in the neighborhood made him friends with many neighborhood pet dogs, and even knew some of their names. I have lived in this house for 8 years, and I still did not know a single name. 🙂

In 11 weeks, he filled our solarium with plants. And reminded me, “Dont park your suitcases here again. Solarium is meant to keep plants.” 😀
The screenshots below give a snapshot of how he made the best of every ordinary moments in life.
As his sister while grieving still takes pride that, “What makes me contented is that my brother lived a happy life, and enjoyed every moment to its best. And God gave him whatever he asked for, be it name, respect, love, happiness, travel and success.”

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