Dear extended family & friends,
It is time to thank you all for the heavy lifting you did to support Fatima, Ismail and myself. Some of you expressed your shock, some of you said nothing as tbh there was nothing that could be said to make a difference. I also am extremely humbled that many of you, far and wide waited to read my posts on Fasih and our arduous journey post the fateful Friday 10 weeks ago.
Each time i posted, I promised myself, this will be my last. Our tragedy was ours, why should others endure it? But the love and appreciation Fatima, Ismail and I recieved gave us the license to go on and on and on.
I hope we as Fasih’s wife and children have been able to do justice to celebrate the human he was- so full of life, energy, commitment to his profession, his family, his friends, his country, his faith and to general humanity.
There is a poem by Faiz:
Ku’ch Ishaq Ki’ya Ku’ch Kaam Ki’ya.
Who Log Bohat Khush Qismat Th’ay,
Jo Ishaq Ko Kam Samujhty Th’ay,
Ya Kam Say Aashqi Karty Th’ay,
Hum Jeety Jee Masroof Ra’hay,
Kuch Ishaq Kiya Kuch Kam Kiya,
Kam Ishaq Kay Aary Aata Ra’ha,
Or Ishaq Say Kam Uljh’ta Ra’ha,
Ph’ir Aakh’er Tang Aaker Hum Nay,
Dono Ko Adhoora Cho’d Diya’.
(Translation):Loved a little, Worked a little
Those were very fortunate people,
Who considered Love an obligation,
Or they just loved their task,
I remained busy all my life,
Loved a little, worked a little,
Sometimes love was a snag in the way of my work,
While sometimes duty didn’t allow me to love with passion,
Ultimately I got upset of the situation,
And left both my love and my work incomplete.
Fasih was NOT what Faiz narrates.
Though he had plans for next 25 years when his life was brutally & abruptly interrupted by the wretched COVID, he lived and worked hard enough to see his dream turn into a reality. As if, after that, his mission was over. And he had to leave.
Fasih was not much into poetry. His one and only favourite poetry/book was: The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran. In many of the cards, letter or messages he sent me in past 35 years, he would quote a couple of verses from Kahlil Gibran on marriage, children, work, life, death etc.
Like when discussing about some matters of our two children, he would quote:
“You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls…”
I would joke with him, “Deewan-e- Ghalib bhi parh lou”.
He would reply, “Woh tum parh rahi ho naa, kaafi hai.”
Though he never expressed it, but I think Kahlil Gibrans progressive poetry and high standards of idealism in it, impacted him a great deal since his student life.
This piece of poetry below beautifully fits the philosophy of his life which can be summarized as three words- commitment, commitment, commitment- be it to us as family, to Pulmonology, to Pakistan or to Allah.
Procrastination, unfulfilled promises, incomplete tasks, telling lies and lack of sincerity to ones cause were Fasih’s worst triggers.
Having shared life with him for 30 years in matrimony, I wish and pray that all three of us, Fatima, Ismail and I imbibe at least a fraction of this sense of commitment in our lives and work.
Here it goes:
Do not love half lovers
Do not entertain half friends
Do not indulge in works of the half talented
Do not live half a life
and do not die a half death
If you choose silence, then be silent
When you speak, do so until you are finished
Do not silence yourself to say something
And do not speak to be silent
If you accept, then express it bluntly
Do not mask it
If you refuse then be clear about it
for an ambiguous refusal is but a weak acceptance
Do not accept half a solution
Do not believe half truths
Do not dream half a dream
Do not fantasize about half hopes
Half a drink will not quench your thirst
Half a meal will not satiate your hunger
Half the way will get you no where
Half an idea will bear you no results
Your other half is not the one you love
It is you in another time yet in the same space
It is you when you are not
Half a life is a life you didn’t live,
A word you have not said
A smile you postponed
A love you have not had
A friendship you did not know
To reach and not arrive
Work and not work
Attend only to be absent
What makes you a stranger to them closest to you
and they strangers to you
The half is a mere moment of inability
but you are able for you are not half a being
You are a whole that exists to live a life
not half a life.”
Fasih has left big shoes for us to fill in. Please keep sending your good vibes to carry on forward, the responsibilities he left for us, without procrastination and fear.