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.”