'Farewell from a Daughter'
(In memory of Eng. Muzaffar Husain Khan, who passed away March 26, 2010)
Aliya F Khan
A father is like the roof over a house, watching, protecting, remaining ever vigilant against the storms of life. No one can replace my father. He was a pious man who practiced his religion devoutly, loved us unconditionally and led a simple life. He had an immense fondness for learning and there was not a single topic that he could not tell you about. In fact it was one of the things I used to do, ask him questions about places or events I had read in the news. For those who did not know him well, they are probably not aware of his humorous nature, and how he loved to tease and joke or his love for everything related to construction.
He embraced his family, treated my husband like his own son, loved his children and adored his life with his wife and one day told me how he has never regretted a single day of marriage. He was a private person, but with his family he shared his warmth and wisdom. He was never overly expressive, but his gestures were enough for all of us to know how much he loved us. There are those of us who feel that words are enough to show we love someone, but sometimes our selflessness, our ability to forgive and our undivided loyalty during times of adversity is what defines how much we truly love someone. Abbu was like that; I never doubted his love; it was there in the hundreds of ways he supported me. My brother said that one of the earliest memories of our father is of him telling my brother that 'Life is a struggle but perseverance will bring about success.' That helped my brother to pursue his objectives relentlessly.
His outspoken and frank nature taught me to face life head on and stand for what I believe. He taught me humility and the importance of hard work. But most of all he taught me the importance of leading a life steeped with values and honesty. I know he is with Allah, whom he loved so much; his absence is hard to accept. I keep wanting to have one more chance to tell him I love him and thank him for his love and selflessness.
In our lives we have a tendency to admire only those whom society and others think highly of. Abbu was not like that. He was never taken in by outside appearance or superficial behavior. He always told me that what is inside a person is what makes him admire someone. So he led a simple life, never judging, never hurting, never letting pride stand in his way. He went the way he led his life, peacefully in his sleep. We didn't get to say bye Abbu, we didn't get to say we love you and not a day will go by that we will not think of you. We pray that you are watching over us and getting to see that besides all that you have left behind -- you left behind the legacy of love. Bye Abbu.
(R) thedailystar.net 2010