Memories are what keep us going

January 17, 2020 at 10:35 am 1 comment

It was a Sunday morning in Hong Kong – years ago. My father had gone to the airport to drop off some friends. The time was 6 a.m. The phone rang. It was Abbaji. I asked if the flight had been delayed. He said no – flight was on time. Friends had departed. “So are you on your way back?” I asked. He responded cheerfully “Yes … and I have some new friends with me whom I just met at the airport. Can you prepare a nice brunch? Halwa, puri, tarkari etc.” Who were these new friends? Well, the story was that a young Indian couple had landed at Kaitak airport and discovered that their hosts were not there to receive them. They looked a bit lost and worried so Abbaji being Abbaji went up to them, introduced himself and asked if everything was okay. Hearing their story he smiled and said “No problem. Come home with me, have breakfast and we will phone your hosts. I can then drop you off to wherever they live.  He must have looked trustworthy (which of course he was) so they agreed and came home with him to a lavish brunch that Ammi and I had prepared.

This was typical Abbaji. We grew up seeing similar things happening on a regular basis  – him reaching out to help anyone who needed assistance. No agenda. No expectation of any returns. It is what made him happy. He was always on the go. Always entertaining. Always engaged in some sort of community activity. Early start to each day – even Sunday. He could never comprehend lethargy. “Each moment should be valued”, he used to say. “Why waste it?”

It has been six years since he left us but the memories are ever fresh in our minds and in our hearts. He was not a rich man but he took care of our essential needs and gave us so much wealth in terms of teachings and values … it is these things that continue to serve us well. His diligence, his integrity, his giving nature, his genuineness, his ability to forgive, all made him the special person he was.  He had a large network consisting of friends of different nationalities, of varying ages some of whom I keep running into even now. It makes me happy that people remember him and value the interaction and relationship they had with him.

Ammi’s death hit him hard. When you spend over 50 years together, it is difficult to imagine a life without each other. He was never the same after her death. My siblings and I tried to fill the gap but I don’t think we ever succeeded.

Abbaji lived a full life and created a great deal of impact. He valued his relationships with people and never ever looked back. He was a man whom everyone respected and he was a  mentor to many. We miss him terribly and try to honour him by living an exemplary life guided by the principles and values that he taught us through example. Rest in peace Abbaji. We love you and miss you.

 

 

 

Entry filed under: Posts.

Happy birthday to a woman of substance The world is suddenly on its head

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Nadir Hussain  |  January 17, 2020 at 4:50 pm

    Quite emotional. Beautiful parents. May Allah Almighty show His blessings on them.

    Reply

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