A letter to my father

Dear Abbu Jan,

They say time heals all wounds, but I disagree. Today, the 27th of Rajab, 1435, marks one complete year since you left. The wounds never seem to have healed. I know the pain is temporary and we will meet very soon, but your absence has gone through me like a thread through a needle.

You were undergoing the most difficult treatments in medical sciences and yet you never complained. “This is nothing, you don’t need to worry”, Ammi Jan asked. “Yes it’s nothing, common cold I would say”, you replied. Not because you didn’t feel pain, but because you didn’t want to see us worried.

You were courageous and never wanted to burden us with your pain. Everyone I knew came to see you, just to bring you some comfort and strength, but instead you were a strength for all of us. You lived with faith in the Almighty for whole of your life and departed with this genuine faith, this is surely victory for you.

No matter how hard times you went through, you would never let us feel the burden. You made everything look so easy.

People see us as father and son, but you have always been a teacher to me as well. You taught me about life’s lessons through your own experiences. Those stories about Hameed Khan, the Volkswagen car, your stay in Bombay, I will never forget. My friends compliment me for my story telling skills, but I attribute them to you.

People around see your habits in me. Even Ammi Jan sometimes says, “Barabar chukh malis hue” (you’re exactly like your father), but I sincerely think no one can be like you.

Your funeral prayers gathered people from all corners of the state. Such was the crowd that I found hard to find a place for myself. No one was in any hurry for the burial, yet it all happened in no time. It seems your lord was in a hurry to meet you. That’s what we call, PEACE.

Your son is working hard for your dream, and I believe he’ll achieve that soon. Your daughter is also done with her course, so no worries for you now.

And my state of affairs is that I am doing nothing for now. But as I have grown, you have encouraged me in everything I do. You’ve always believed and shown trust in me and this is what excites me. Soon you will see me make my way. Not because I think I can do, but because I am the son of Tanveer Ahmad Ashai, who not only taught me life, but showed me how to live it.

Hope to see you soon.


Aasim Ashai