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Archive for August 26, 2020

Story of Keisha- An African American Girl

Hello world ! My name is Keisha. I was born in Chicago. Both my parents went to Ivy League Universities and they are attorneys. I wonder why why yesterday when we were going out for a drive a white cop stopped my Dad and asked him “Where did he get this brand new Mercedes from?”
My mom is always telling my big brother to not go out alone and is really nervous until he is back home.
I want to grow up and go to Harvard to study medicine. When I told this in my class, my friends asked, “You can go to Harvard? Are you sure?”
When I told them both my parents graduated from Yale, they couldn’t believe it.
Whats wrong with this world?

BlackLivesMatter #NoStereotyping #BlackKid

Aaj Jaane Ki Zidd Na Karo….

Call me insane or whatever…. Syed Fasihuddin

aaj jaane ki zid na karo
yoon hi pehloo mein baiThe raho
aaj jaane ki zid na karo
haay mar jaayenge,
hum to luT jaayenge
aisi baatein kiya na karo
aaj jaane ki zid na karo

tonight, don’t insist on leaving.
keep on sitting close to me like you are.
tonight, don’t insist on leaving.
oh I will die,
I will be lost,
don’t say such things.tonight,
don’t insist on leaving.

tum hi socho zara,
kyun na rokein tumhein
jaan jaati hai jab uTh ke jaate ho tum
tumko apni kasam jaan-e-jaan
baat itni meri maan lo
aaj jaane ki zid na karo

just think for a moment,
why should I not stop you.
my life seems to leave my body
when you get up and go,
I swear to you,
my beloved
just agree to this request of minetonight,
don’t insist on leaving.

waqt ki qaid mein zindagi hai magar
chand ghadiyaan yehi hain jo aazaad hain
inko kho kar mere jaan-e-jaan
umr bhar na taraste raho
aaj jaane ki zid na karo

life is trapped in the prison of time
but these are the few moments that are free
by losing them, my beloved
let’s not have a life of regret
tonight, don’t insist on leaving

haaye mar jaayenge,
hum to lut jaayenge
aisi baatein kiya na karo
aaj jaane ki zid na karo
kitna maasoom rangeen hai ye samaa
husn aur ishq ki aaj meraaj hai
kal ki kisko khabar jaan-e-jaan
rok lo aaj ki raat ko
aaj jaane ki zid na karo

what an innocent,
colorful weather it is.
it is the zenith of beauty and love today
who knows what will happen tomorrow,
let’s stop this night,
tonight, don’t insist on leaving.

Farewell to Dr. Syed Fasihuddin – 33

My friend Huma who had been cheering me up, laughing, joking when Fasih was unwell and when she was barely 3 weeks into her husband’s death cried her heart when I talked to her last time. There are friends who call her, “Huma it’s now 3 months. I hope you must be recovering now. That is why Allah made Iddat for 4 months and not longer.”Huma: “Ilmana how do I explain to them that how can I ‘recover’ a relationship of 30 years in 3 months. I had no words for her and as usual cried as I do after putting the phone down. All I know and feel is that it aint any better for me either. Just that some days are very bad and some days are not too bad. And sometimes Fatima, Ismail and I laugh at a Papa joke, sometime we cry. And sometimes I fake smiles because ismail is constantly keeping a close watch on my facial expressions. Ismail has at least begun to express a bit now: “Ammi we already had a small family, and it became even tinier. If we didnt have Rahma’s monkey videos, how would we move on?” Why complain of others, in my own 55 years of life, I thought I had a good understanding of death, and its impact on its loved ones. But honestly I just had a clue, not the entire picture. For me the most tragic was the loss of children, small or big, for their parents. I still think this is the most traumatizing experience any human can ever go through. People do not understanding but losing a child in pregancy even if early is as traumatizing as losing a living child. Once you have created a bond and images of your unborn child, your parental instincts are awaken. Second most tragic loss I thought was of the mother of a small child. What hurt me most was the love and the care that the child misses out from the absent parent. Ofcourse sensitive parents do try to be both parents after the spouse passes away, but it is still not the same. Mother is a mother is a mother. Hence for this reason, when my kids were babies, I had prayed aloud, and made sure Fasih was also aware of it. I used to pray, “Ya Allah keep me alive till my kids are 18+ or adults.”And once they were old enough, I actually took a sigh of relief and told Fasih, “Rest of my life is now a bonus. Now if I die, feel free to get a step mother for my adult kids.” 😃Fasih never talked about death. But I often talked about it. I wanted him to know that now children are adults, if I ever die suddenly what would he do with my possessions. Even this time when Fasih was here, in May 2020 I gave him a slip of my bank accounts and locker and that that he was willed to take them if I go. Whenever I had palpatations, although they are benign, first and only person I messaged was him. So that if I ever go away, he would know what happened to me the last hours of my life. In a joke, last time, I even told him who I thought was fit to marry him if I was gone. Ofcourse that will remain a secret now buried with me, though I shared with Fatima who that beautiful person is. And Fasih just laughed and remarked, “Tum drama zaroor kerna. Merna werna nahin hai tumko.” Then he got serious, “You must try to take care of your health. You dont even go for annual physical tests.” In all likelihoods, the way we were carrying ourselves, I always thought I would be the lucky person to go first. In all these years, one thing that I did not have any clue was how hurtful it is to lose a loving spouse, How lonely does one become. How suddenly as if you are released from the beautiful bond where the other person kept a tab on your minute to minute wellbeing. No matter how loving or caring children, or siblings are, they cannot replace a spouse. Not one day did Fasih not remind me, “Apni thyroid meds le rahi ho?” and how I nagged him, “Vit D levels check kerwaao.”I feel very guilty now that when Papa passed away in 1998 I was too shaken and in grief of my own loss, that I did not really feel it was a bigger loss for Ammi. I feel terrible, Probaby she consoled me like a mother, more than I consoled her on the loss of her spouse. I am sorry Ammi. I wish I was more sensitive to you. So learning it that hard way, I now believe, loss of a spouse is no less devastating. All relationships can move on with normal lives, but its the parents who have lost a child, and the spouse who is left alone, is the hardest to move on. Every day is a new lesson learned for me. And am sure is the same for each one of us here. To those who count grief in days or months, all I can say is: Do aur do ka jorh hamesha chaar kahan hota hai, Soch samajh waalon ko thori nadaani dey Maula.

Below is a beautiful picture of my beautiful mother, who was more supportive to me after loss of our father, than we were to her on the loss of her spouse. Ofcourse I exclude my brother Subhi from this guilt as I know how he has shadowed Ammi ever since, and looked after her as if she was his baby

Tribute from Hospitals in Makkah Al Mukarrama

This is such a comforting message that a FB friend of Fatima Fasih sent to her from the hospital where Fasih worked for 25 years as a Pulmonologist. It is sent by someone who had no clue about who Dr. Fasih was. You make us so proud Syed Fasihuddin even after you are not there. It hurts. We miss you, my man. 🙁

A tribute to Frontline Health Workers in Pakistan

Farewell to Dr. Syed Fasihuddin – 32

Taking today a deeper look into our relationship as a husband and a wife beyond just being a “good looking couple”.. So many people have told me that I must cherish the supportive husband that Fasih was. Many people don’t get that even for few months or days, I was blessed to have it for 30 years. I wish we had 50 more years to go on. There is no doubt about how we shared our lives and became a partnership that was egalitarian. But we did have our fair-share of disagreements, arguments and fights too. Most of those were based on our different personalities. Which couple doesn’t have that? Fasih had tremendous patience. But in the last 5 years when he was living in Karachi, dealing with all kinds of crooks and challenges at Taj and other offices, and how even the most educated people do double-speak, he had become quite irritable. Fatima often told him, “Papa, this ain’t like you.” And he would respond, “You have no idea how much of a mess it is working in Pakistan, with little or no professional ethics or honesty.” Unfortunate that was. After 25 years working abroad, when Fasih landed in Pakistan 5 years ago, what triggered him most was the impunity with which people told lies and how they considered a polite person as being weak and naive. Over these 5 years, a man who was loved by his staff from the boss upto the office cleaners and who sat with them all to eat food on duty had turned into a person who would get angry on those who lied or were manipulative. He was a devil for the imposters in his staff and others, and a saint for those who were professional and honest. So now, unlike before in our family, I was the good cop and he was the bad cop at Taj. And it was understandable. I used to tease him, “Dont become a whining old man.”Pat would be his reply, “Tum hogi old. I am not.”It was the reason that I had started being in Karachi more often in past 2 years and forced him to travel to Canada more frequently. He found frequent travelling breaks, as a respite. So we began travelling at least 3 times a year. But even then he never had any regret of having labored for 15 years to establish Taj and was all ready to strive for a quality, honest and efficient Healthcare provider at Taj, and bring the change he desired in Pakistan. Telling a lie was a trigger for Fasih since forever, whether at home or outside. He detested people who lied without guilt. Going back to days before moving to Pakistan, we lived in Makkah for 25 years. Both our kids were born there and went to school there. Life was at its best, with coveted jobs, kids going to best schools, and lots of time and spare resources to travel the world. However things that made our relationsip special were not just these comforts. The biggest reason for our happiness was the sense of security that we both felt in our relationship. Fasih being an extremely handsome young doctor, in an Arab country where polygamy was the norm, it was trust in each other that was our anchor. Ironically many Pakistanis learn ‘doosri shaadi’ from working in middle east. Fasih was very cordial & friendly with his female colleagues, nurses, but maintained a very decent relationship. He was not a flirt. However, just his personality and knowing how many women had secret crushes on him, I could have been insecure, if it was not my own strong resolve to not be a “shakki wife” I had seen very close growing up in Delhi, some extended family members being very insecure of their spouse, and how much of a hell they had made their own lives, and also of their spouses. Even before I had met Fasih, I had decided I am not going to be so, no matter even if my husband to be would be a ‘cheapster’. Instead of being insecure, I will either live with him or walk out. Never be insecure and continue to live with him. And then I married Fasih. I must say I was lucky he was a decent man. But my being confident, an equal partner who was not insecure of female colleagues or friends, earned his love and respect more. He reciprocated the same way with my friends.I later taught the same lesson to my daughter. My father had also given me an advice, which came out very handy. He told me to be an equal partner, like your mother, and it needs to be worked on with commitment and to not become a liability to your husband in an alien land. Marriage is about partnership, and sharing responsibilities, not burden one person with all the physical or moral responsibilities. He advised me, that since I was going to be a professional myself, also to be financially independent. According to him, the biggest source of abuse/exploitation comes when one partner is financially in control and the other is dependent. One more very important rule, which actually was implemented and enoforced by Fasih was, to never air our arguments and disagreements in public. And take all our family decisions close doors without any interference from either families. The decision to move to Canada for kids higher education, while Fasih worked for establishing Taj was a joint decision. Many in the family did not like the idea of a split family but Fasih stood by, “We have to make sacrifices for children’s future too.” Another very important reason for our harmonious relationship was that we both realized that we were two headstrong people in a marriage and both had strong dreams. His dream was mainly what later come out to be Taj, but being a mother, my dreams shifted from personal/proffessional goals to best possible options of life and education to my children. Fasih had absolutely no ego. He told me a gazillion times, my success or growth did not make his jealous or insecure and that he wanted to see me grown to the best of my capability. He actually told that he had idolized a strong professor in his college time Madam Aftab and wished his wife to be strong and dynamic like her. He offered me to be the CEO of Taj in April 2015, but my stance was “No, you have put in your years of dreams, sweat and labor into it. You will be it’s CEO.” Him: “But you are the backbone of this project.” Me: “But you are the dreamer and the soul of Taj.” What an irony, now in 2020 I will be it’s CEO, while Fasih, ofcourse will remain the soul of this beautiful dream of his. 🙁 One important rule we had in our house was to not make India Pakistan an ego issue and fight on it. It merits a separate blog. Let me again reiterate here, we were far from an ideal couple that never faught and was always hunky dory. Nope. We had our share of arguments, and disagreements, but for major decisions in our life, we stood by each other. And kept acknowledging each others support. Though I wish I had convinced him to not go to Karachi in May 2020, but I am so proud that he exercise his free will and chose to go back to serve his people. Fasih has left big shoes to fill in. I hope I am able to to do justice to it.We hardly have any photos of our wedding in Delhi as the photographer had spoiled all the rolls with a flawed camera. We do have a beautiful video preseved though. Below is one poor quality pic from 29 January 1990 our wedding day

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