Open up your mind and your potential reaches infinity…

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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