Open up your mind and your potential reaches infinity…

When we got married and I came to Pakistan, I would tell Fasih in all seriousness, “You are my Pakistan.” I had always wished in my heart, and almost knew because of how fit Fasih was and how laid back I am in looking after my health, weight etc that I will die before Fasih. This was the best scenario as I could not imagine being in Pakistan without my Pakistan aka Syed Fasihuddin. I had embraced Pakistan for him. And whenever people asked me, about how I adjusted well in the cross border marriage, I gave credit to the generous heart and accommodation of my husband. I wasn’t exaggerating. It couldn’t have been possible without a carimg husband. I have seen Indian Pakistani couples, even living in a third country, fighting all their lives and ruining their domestic peace. To a couple of such families, even Fasih and I acted as intermediaries, but nothing improved and ultimately one of the family fell apart. We did fight or argue on many matters, but never ever was it on India Pakistan. Credit goes to Fasih squarely in the early days.
Later I learned to be rational and objective rather than be emotional.

A lot of credit also goes to my pragmatic father and mentor too, who was a professor of political science, international relations, in Delhi University, who drilled this into me, that politics of countries are not to be brought into personal relationships and must be looked at objectively. His dear colleague Yogesh Puri uncle can well relate to that. Because we were raised in a household where both parents were political science teachers, we siblings were raised on political science lingo. haha.
As Papa told me one of the first few words i learned as a toddler was “PhD”. And whenever a Phd scholar of Papa came home, I would say, “Papa, PhD aaya hai.” 😃 His dear colleague Yogesh Puri uncle can well relate to that. 🙂

In the last long drive as Ismail was chatty and we were talking about ‘papa’ ,
I asked Ismail:
Me: What if I had died and Papa was alive?
Him: Papa would have moved on faster than you.
Me: Stoopid. This wasn’t the answer I wanted to hear.
Ismail: I know.
Me: So why did you say that?
Him: Ammi you know Pspa was less expressive than you.
Me: That doesn’t mean he wouldn’t have missed me.
Him: I never said he wouldn’t have missed you. But he would have missed all the jokes, tessing and arguments you guys had. But he would still be normal.
Me: Do you think I am not normal.
Him: Yes. You are too anxious and depressed.

To be fair to Ismail he is spot on. Fasih had far higher level of emotional intelligence than me. He wpuld never live in denial and to any setbacks he would say, “Face the reality.”
To my anticipatory worries, he would say “You worry will not stop it from happening if it has to happen. So don’t spoil your present for your future.”
His own parents had passed away and he faced their loss very gracefully. He always spoke about them in love snd positvity snd organized their death anniversaries for the entire extended family in his own home. His mother had endured a decade long illness before she died in her early sixties. I saw him cry first few days. He often talked about her patience and endurance as a home maker. He would mention often of how delicious his mothers food was especially her Murgh musallam and Fish Salan. He never compared my cooking with his mother’s like many husbands do.
After her passing he dedicated his positive energy in honoring her instead of sulking. The dream project he created in Pakistan Taj Consultants Clinics was named after her- Tajunnisa. His mother.

His father lived for almost 22 years after her. All his kids were happily married. He had remarried and Fasih stood by his father in his decision. And remained very close to his father and the new mother. He would often say, “Papa was the primary caregiver for Amma in her illness for 10 years. He gave her baths, changed her clothes, fed her himself and looked after her medications. He deserved to have his normal life again after her.”
Unfortunately Fasihs father passed away just 6 months before Taj was inaugurated in April 2015. He so wanted his Papa to inaugurate it. He cried in the public when he spoke st the inaugural speech remembering his patents.
Later to honor his father ( Dr. S M Sabihuddin), he named his own Pulmonology section as Dr. Sabih’s Chest Unit. So to be fair to Ismail once again, yes Fasih would have been a more emotionally intelligent partner that I am.
Anyways, we all have our pathways of grief.“Ofcourse I can’t be great as Papa, that’s why I am left behind to miss him.” I told Ismail.
Ismail: “Whatever….. ” and gave his signature smile.


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