Today’s post is about giving space in a matrimonial relationship. And let the other person be who they are.
Honestly I learned this from an example from my father, as an advice from my oldest Mamujan and ofcourse practically from Fasih.
I don’t think I was a bearer of a ‘big heart’ in my chest, until I learned from Fasih through his.
My Papa and Ammi were contrasts when it came to faith. But Papa respected her being too religious, while Ammi always insisted Papa keep rozas, pray 5 times a day. And would fear for his hereafter. Papa did not like it and would resist. But as Ammi grew older, she probably gave up. And much to her surprise one day after 30 years of their marriage, Papa asked her, “Meraj Begum Hajj pe chalna hai?” Ammi was blown away.
When Mamujan came to Delhi for my shaadi, from Jaipur, he told me he wanted to have a private conversation with me. And so he did beginning with, “Beta, your husband may not be like what you like him to be. Ager woh tum se itni muhabbat kerta hai tou apne ghar waalon se bhi karega. Usko rokna mut. Dont be a mean wife. Give them their due space with your husband.”
Mamujan was the most brilliant farsighted man in our Nanihaal. And a very successful.barrister and a politician. He knew the art of putting across the message in the most effective and emotive manner. His went on, “Dekho apne bhai-behnon aur Ma Baap se muhabbat karna koi jurm nahin hota hai, aur ager woh kerta hai, tou woh tumhare kehne se chhorega bhi nahin. Lekin tum meanness dikhaogi like possessive spouse, tou woh tumhare beghair unse muhabbat karega aur unka khayal karega. Yeh mayn iss liye keh raha huun kyunke tum wahan akeli hogi aur uski poori family. If his family is nice to you, be nice to them too. Conflicts start when there is tug of war in relationships.”
He told me he gave the same advice to his kids too.
Fasih let me be me. He loved my parents without any reservations. He was extremely friendly with my brothers. In fact these boys when together ganged up against me. He even respected my cousins and friends from India. Some of them have beautiful.memories of him hosting them in Taj.
For both of us, his friends became my friends, and my friends became his, with no fuss.
I saw my husband as a very committed son and a very close sibling especially to his sister especially.
When in KSA for 20 years, he got a good 45 days vacations every year. He split them into 2. He would take 2 vacations. One alone for 15 days just to spend time with his father. And another a month, when all of us as a family travelled to Karachi and then to India and some other destination at times.
He would come back from his single vacation and tell me, “This time I took Papa to Gawader and we had bbq fish on a local stall by the sea side.” Or “I saw these cases with Papa.”
His father would take pride to tell his patients, “Mera beta bahut acha chest physician hai. Ayega tou tumhara case discuss karoonga.” Fasih would narrate all these lovey stories on his return. Fasih terribly regretted how his father could not be there when he inaugurated Taj.
I loved and respected his close relationship with his sister too. They were best friends since their college days as she was a year senior to him in Medical college. It is perhaps this reason that now her two kids Alina and Ahmed, and my two children Fatima and Ismail call each other siblings and not cousins. Both of her kids live here in Toronto and how much has Alina been a support to Ismail is beyond words. Fatima often calls me and tells me she is so mindful of how phupo has also had a huge loss in her Papa’s departure.
He was a caring brother to his other siblings and even his cousins, uncles and aunts, and even to the living senior friends of his deceased parents.
Fasih was a popular doctor among his colleagues too. But he had been so generous to me, that I never felt insecure with any of his family, friends or colleagues.
I taught exactly the same thing to my daughter Fatima too.
It is so heartening to see now my brothers having connected more with my husbands sister and respect her and see her as an extension of their “Bobby bhai”.
Fasih was a binder in his family. Even in his going, one sees, all of us left behind learning from him and binding together.
As I was talking to Fasih’s sister a few days ago, we talked of how Fasih’s goodness with everyone he touched and his kindness is what people are remembering him for. And not which brand of car or what model of iPhone or how many branded watches he left behind.
So the bottomline lesson for all of us is…to just value relationships of ones family and close friends. Rest is immaterial.