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Tag: Love

Dear Daughter Your Father’s Back is Broken

In November 2014, I came across, somehow, an article/blog post titled “Dear Daughter Your Father’s Back is Broken“.  After reading it I was extremely taken back by how a Father wrote about his love for his daughter.  It is a moving piece and after rereading it again over the weekend, I felt, I need to share and re-blog it.  See below:

Dear Daughter,

We Just attended our Third Family Therapy Session together. You aired your grievances against us. We are here to talk about issues that are causing problems in the family. Your mother responds to your comments, it’s like a battle scene between the two of you, emotions are running high. Your brother is not here. I sit there with my broken back, staring at the plush carpet. Dear Daughter, this carpet is so clean, so beige.   Therapist tells us you’ve made a remarkable improvement in four months.  Your responding well to therapy and your divorce.

I come home and search for recovery tips on Google. I close my eyes, and this is what I want to tell you Dear Daughter.

I accept I failed in many areas of life- and I failed as a father as well.

But Dear Daughter listen to this:-

I work as a cab driver, because it helps me to pay off our mortgage. I should have been home more often. I should not have been too controlling about our future. I should not have looked too far ahead into future, your universities, weddings and this big mortgage.

As you started to grow up, the size of my wardrobe shrunk. We had to update your and your brother’s wardrobe three- four times a year. You kids were growing up so fast. Looking at you in colorful outfits with matching accessories filled me with pride. I became arrogant, Yes I can provide the best for my Children.

When Festivals came, I sometimes would get tempted to buy a new shirt or new pants, but then I would recycle my old clothes and wear them at Eid and Weddings.

When you were 10, there was a skiing trip to Alps Mountains. You wanted to go. I was saving up for a trip back to Pakistan to visit my Abba ji, who had made a spontaneous decision to go and spend his retirement years in Pakistan with his widowed sister. I thought doesn’t matter, I’ll go next year, Pakistan can wait, but your trip can’t.

 When you were 13, you wanted a new bedroom with new furnishings, new wardrobe and new shelves. I was saving up that money to fix our broken home in Pakistan, but doesn’t matter. Your Grandfather said, give her the room of her dreams.

 When you were 14, you wanted more stuff, more money. Now I was struggling, so my Taxi Hours increased from 12 a day to 16 hours a day. Breakfast was just a cup of tea, lunch was a quick sandwich and dinner was usually at 1am in the morning. I would heat the left overs in microwave, ping the noise of microwave would bring me out of deep slumber of sleep, and I would tirelessly make my way through the meal. You would be upstairs tucked into your princess canopy bed . All nice, safe and warm.

When you were 16, you walked out with 7 A’s, we celebrated. It was a trip to New York for you and your Mother and Brother. I confess dear daughter, I was a selfish thrifty man, who realized that with his ticket money and hotel money, he can pay off another installment of mortgage and pay off your brother’s one month of university rent.

Family Trip to NY

You all Visit NY

ny2

NY3

I look at my finances. I haven’t been home in 10 years now. I think of my father. I no-longer enjoy playing snooker with my friends and I have not boxed in years.

I haven't been to small Vilage in 10 years Dear Daughter

I haven’t been to small Village in 10 years Dear Daughter. It calls me.

You said, No Muslim clothes, No covering of Head, No Hand stitched Village Clothes.  I said that’s fine.

So I said to you- No low necklines, No sleeveless and No showing of Legs.  You agreed with your old man. I stood tall, and proud.

Every Father’s Worst Nightmare

Dear Daughter, As a Taxi Driver, I would drive my Taxi around at wee hours of the morning, picking up semi conscious girls sitting on the side pavements with shortest of shortest skirts, waiting for some cab company to pick them up. Dear daughter, my blood recoiled, my fists clenched, as I would look at those bad-boys inappropriately touching those girls. I would ask God, Please never put me in this position.

There’s a grapevine, you’re seeing someone. I tell your mother and we ask you and you deny it. ‘Don’t tell me those illiterate Taxi Drivers are feeding you lies about me?’. You scream at us. Dear Daughter you can’t hide anything from Taxi Drivers. Tabloids come second, Taxi Drivers know all the in’s and out’s of the community before anyone else.

Dear Daughter me and other Cab Drivers would put our heads down and debate and argue whether we should  allow our daughters to date every Tom Dick and Harry, so she can find her Prince Charming. We all agreed unanimously that we would lose it, if our daughters brought home a bad-boy. We all know too well about the influence of a bad boy on girl.

Your 18. A-level results are out. Time for another celebration.

“I’m in Love” You tell us in a mater of fact tone.

‘Over my dead body she’s marrying him,’ I tell your mother. I’ve had him investigated, he’s 25 and she’s only 18.  He’s a school drop out, an ex drug addict, every father’s worst nightmare.

We try to reason with you, but we fail, your uncles fail, your aunts fail. I tell you  he spent 45 days in jail following an assault. You tell us your love has changed him. He loves you and appreciates you for who you are. You’re on hunger strike. after three days, we give in.  If I had known what was going on I would have put a stop to it, but I didn’t find out about your special friend until you were already at a marrying age.

Devastating Moment, You leave home never to come back.

Now your father walks around with lower gaze. I just can’t look other men in the eye. I’ve got a broken back. My friends look at me with pity. Some call me spineless, a man who could not control his daughter.

Your older brother doesn’t want to know you.  Your mother just cleans one bedroom after the other. She spring cleans, autumn cleans and summer cleans the house. Do you remember how well dressed your mother was? Do you remember the famous joke, we need an extension to accommodate your mother’s wardrobe? Dear Daughter, We no longer need an extension. She donated 3/4 of her wardrobe, her shoes, hand bags, jewelry to Islamic Relief.

One day we get a phone call from hospital. Your ill. Your not eating and your putting up a fight.

We go to hospital and we see a bag of bones, lifeless eyes and jutting collar bone.

Your brother is furious. ‘Let the love of her life take care of her. She’s not coming back home.’ He yells.   I tell your brother,  ‘she’s coming home with us.’, I chose you over him.

She needs to eat and then we’ll have therapy sessions, your doctor tells us.

I learn all there is about your Anorexia. I tell your treatment team, forget six months waiting list, We’ll treat her at home and we’ll go private.

I become a hated enemy, as I sit through one meal after other with you. You think I am trying to control you, punish you, but Dear Child, I’m merely supervising your meals. You need to eat to live. I can’t let you have your way with meals, it’s as simple as that. What am I going to tell Abba ji, that I failed to feed my daughter? Under my roof, I’m binded by an oath to protect you, and that means protecting you from the demon of Eating Disorder.

You coming home creates tension in our family circle. Your uncles are furious. Your mother cleans obsessively now. I think of my father in a small village in Pakistan. Family whispers grow louder. I walk with a hunch back now. ‘He’s spineless, he has no dignity. How can he bring her back home?’ Look Dear Daughter, How your Brother speaks to me? I used to be a man, strong, powerful and proud man. Today I am a man of very very few words.

‘Come to England, Abba ji.’ I tell him. ‘Why do you insist on staying in a country with no electricity, no running water and no technology.’ ‘I’m happy my Son, he tells me, you take care of your family’.

You gain weight, treatment team is happy. You’ve been with us for 8 months now. But then you want to go back to your husband. ‘He’s changed,’ you tell us.

You leave, and me and your mother, we simply stare into empty air.

 I want to go and visit my Abba ji. Me a man of 48 wants an escape.

I go home to my Abba ji. ‘Look my Son is here, light of my eye is here,’ my elderly aunt wails and hugs me tightly. A little sneaky tear rolls down my cheek, betraying my manliness. I am no longer ashamed of my tears.

My Father, My Abba Ji

My Proud Father

The house needs fixing. Abba ji’s sister , so old now cooks for me.  I work too hard she scolds me.

She Cooks for me- My Dear Aunt

My Aunt Cooks For Me

My House Needs Slight Fixing

Our House Needs Fixing

At night, so many people gather in Abba ji’s house. They are his cousins, his relatives. Some relatives have walked for miles to come and see me. I am treated like a king. Everyone drinks Fresh Milk with fresh Honey and Cardamoms.

Next Day, we take a stroll across our village. It’s so quiet and so peaceful.  Everyone is so happy. They are so poor, but so happy. No latest phones, no laptops, no Apple brands here, no Anorexia, no Children Yelling at their parents.

We walk around our Village

How we walk away from such peace is beyond me, but man has desires that need to be satisfied.

We go and pray at the mosque and Abba ji prays for you Dear Daughter.

We pray at Village Mosque

We visit Amma ji’s grave. Abba ji prays for her soul. We visit other ancestors graves.

 You’ve changed my elderly relatives tell me. Now  you are drinking water from our local Well. We don’t have to buy you a bottled water anymore. They smile at me.

‘Come back home’, your mother sends me a message. Our daughter is back.

I’m home, I think to myself. I’ve only been here for 15 days. I think of 14 hours of taxi. I think of bills, mortgage, mocking glances from family members and I slowly rise to my feet. I straighten my bent back and I say good bye to my Abba ji, to all his animals, to his sister. I kiss her hands and thank her for taking care of my father.

My FAther's AnimalsMy father's animals

My Village33

I come back. ‘Dear Wife, Dear Daughter, I will work long hours in Taxi. I will support my family. I will pay off the bills. But When I die, don’t bury me here in cold grey climate. Take me back to my small rural, backward village in Pakistan.  Bury me among my ancestors. I know someday, people in that village, children in that village will come and visit my grave and will pray for my soul.’

I look at time: 12:30pm. I bring my divorced daughter out of her bedroom.We eat Lunch. It’s Moroccan Today.

Her Favorite

Her Favorite

‘It’s going to be OK,’ I tell her! She looks at me with haunted look in her eyes. I walk around to her side, and I put my hand on her head and kiss her forehead. ‘Your safe here, your father is here. I’ll protect you here.’ I look into her eyes, ‘remember this will be all water under the bridge in few years, these people will get bored and they’ll find something else to gossip about.’  ‘Humanity is fallible, we all make mistakes. We will fight this together and you’re going to come out of this stronger.’ She squeezes my hand, I know she believes me.

[original article]

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Me, Her and Him – The Enemy From Within

I felt somewhat mortified and disgruntled after receiving those texts from RHK*, not to mention livid and extremely revengeful (catch up with the previous chronicles here).  How dare he, out of all the people, get involved in my affairs and tell me to back off. His actions didn’t surprise me, although at the time a little shocked, but what worried me more than his actions was his knowledge of Simren and me.

Those messages exchanged between RHK and I took me back to a memory lane which I was reluctant and averse to visit, but had to as they shape up the relationship between RHK and me.

RHK and I are blood related.  We are first cousins, where my father and his father are biological brothers. My father has five brothers, where my father is the youngest.  Four of his brothers live in the UK, One in South Asia and One in America.  We are a big clan. My father is the youngest sibling in his family and I’m the youngest in mine.

Our clan, by that I mean first cousins, is around 35 in total – I’ve not actually counted, it’s an estimate.

RHK is 14 months older than me.  Before I appeared in this world, my mum and dad with the rest of my 5 siblings use to live with his brother (RHK father) in a large house in Leeds and RHK was the youngest member of the family.  Few months before I was born, my family moved into their own family house, one which my father was slowly renovating in Leeds.

RHK and I have been extremely competitive from day one.  As toddlers, we would fight with each other over anything.  Before long, my siblings noticed the constant hostilities and war between us as toddlers and recall on few occasions how the elders had a go at each other because of us.  I was a big baby when I was born, but by the age of 2 I was well on my way in catching up with RHK in growth.

Our personalities clashed and these became more apparent and noticeable to others around us.  I can’t pinpoint why we clash, why the tension between us all the time – it’s just that we are simply two different people with different characters.

The family (my father and uncles) have gradually made it a ritual, a custom, to send most of their children to boarding school.  For the boys at the age of 13, and for the girls at the age of either 12 or 13 depending on which boarding school it was.  This meant, as a kid there was no getting away with extra home tuition that too at an extremely early age.  When RHK hit 13 he was given admission to the same boarding school where the rest of the unfortunate elder cousins had been sent and where I would go 2 years later.  This boarding school resides in Berkshire, and it was then while RHK began his new life there I began to forget him and the rivalry between us.

In the two years that RHK wasn’t around, other than summer holidays and family vacations where our families would connect and re-engage, the rivalry between us eroded away somewhat.  We both matured and the constant bickering between us lessened.

Finally, at the age of 13 and some months – I landed in the same boarding school as RHK. I remember the induction day, where I knew I had no other choice but to commit, no excuses not to go to school anymore I was practically living in the school.  Previously, I had been there a couple of times before mainly for the various entry assessments I had to go through, surprisingly somehow I passed them, and this induction day was the start of my new life, one which I hadn’t experience the anxiety and mixed feelings – it was simply one big confusing picture and a big blur.  From here onwards, my life would no longer be the same.

My family and RHK family were confident that both of us at the same boarding school would be a good thing.  The very least, being a newcomer RHK would show me the ropes, look after me and get me up to speed with living there.  In other words, I’d be more comfortable with RHK living there too.  They and I couldn’t have been more wrong.

I think our families realised the troubles between us when towards December of my first year, my father received an unwelcomed, unexpected letter from the housemaster, in which he (the bastard) explained in graphic terms how a friendly cricket game between the houses turned into a type-of-riot.  He painted a picture so dreadful that it made my father drive all the way from Leeds to Berkshire to have words with me, in front of the housemaster (the bastard), few academic staff (equal bastards) and RHK.  What really happened was RHK and I ended up in a fight, what I do remember is we were on opposite teams during a regular cricket game between (two) houses.  I remember coming into bat when RHK and few others begun taunting me, name calling and so on.  I did something (which is a little blurred right now) and the situation exploded and descended into an all out tussle where punches and kicks flew in all directions, it also forced other teams members and friends to get involved until we were pulled apart by our house mates and academic staff.

Our relationship at this point was cemented – we would never get on.  It meant our families had confirmation of our relationship and the enmity between us – so ensured we were never alone together when with families.

By the time RHK’s education finished at the boarding school, his father (my uncle) had moved to America – with the intention of living there permanently.  The main focus for my uncle was to participate in expanding my other uncles businesses in America.  This meant RHK moving to America and getting admission into a University there.  Over the years, my uncle did extremely well in America, where he established a number of businesses, including a real estate and two restaurants.

Two years later from when RHK finished his education from Berkshire, I too finished and prepared to enter a true student life at University.  I was glad to never face RHK again. Over the years RHK become a distant memory.  Of course, we knew what was happening in each other’s families, on at an extremely high level.  So it wasn’t that bothering anymore.

Until

About 15 months ago RHK and most of his siblings (including his mum) returned to the UK to seek new opportunities.  ‘Seeking new opportunities’ in the Asian dictionary means ‘Seeking marriage proposals’.  I remember when RHK and his family got settled back into Leeds, they were traditionally invited over for dinner at my mum and dad’s house.  I was continually getting phone calls from my mum, my brothers, sister-in-laws and my sisters to confirm that I was coming and making sure I turned up.  I think they feared that had I not turned up, not shown my face it would look bad on our relationship, it would raise eyebrows and make people/family – RHK’s family speculate.  So despite my reservations about RHK, I did turn up and strangely enough, RHK and I could actually have a civilised discussion.  The strangest thing about seeing him again in flesh after so many years was how similar both of us looked I mean, anyone could guess we were first cousins.

Somehow and somewhere RHK has started gaining interest in my life, what I do, who I am associated with, what I’m involved in and who I surround myself with.  These interests has reignited his competitiveness with me and fed his feral side.  I must admit, RHK up until he text me, didn’t bother me anymore.  I know he is successful considering the portfolio of businesses he and his family have both in UK and America, but I’m no longer the same 13 year old kid – I too have expanded my reign and occupy territory and have multiple businesses and a career in healthcare.

The real problem with RHK is, and has always been, his desire to have what I have.  It is as simple as that – a despot in the making.  Of course, RHK keeping a close eye on me meant it was matter of time until he would click on about my interest in Simren, and unfortunately, somehow amongst my generation people started speculating about me and Simren – which naturally would and eventually did reach RHK.

Without wasting time, he did what he does best, interfere in my life.  That to with something I expressed so much interest in – Simren.  Yes I am shocked, Yes I am angry and Yes I feel revengeful – especially since RHK and I haven’t even spoken properly, haven’t been in the same room no longer than an hour or so – yet within matter of months he has the nerve to text me such message and stake his interest above mine and being so truculent.  I know, right now, while I put this post together he is doing nothing more than to connive, deride and turning Simren against me, exploiting what happened between me and her.

I have two clear options: One – I can avoid the clash with him and indeed move on, or Two – I can do what I have learnt to do – fight for what I feel is right and this is exactly what I intend to do.

I hope, after reading this, you understand the type of person I am dealing with.  I feel, had I not written this post about RHK, you wouldn’t have understood why I feel so threatened, upset and angry.

Despite what RHK throws at me – I will never give up.  Because I am an open book on this blog – I can write exactly how things have been in the past, are right now and continue to be going into the future, and I must admit that I am scared, scared of losing someone that I want so badly – who I feel is the key for me to change my ways and a companion for life.

…and so, it all begins – yet again.

* Name hidden to protect identity.

And so…

…It doesn’t get any easier or better.

It isn’t pain no more but complete numbness. Only if I had ignored the heart, remained arrogant and narcissistic, maybe – just maybe – I’d remain sane.

Nothing further to say…

Rock On

Okay, so maybe I was in two minds up until now, especially after my last post ‘the chronicles between Simren and I’.  Soon after publishing the last post, I had decided with warranted reasons I must add, that I wouldn’t write or blog about it anymore.  All, what I had written so far about Simren and I, was done with great pain and sting.  What I had written, the candor expressed, although anonymously and arcane, still did make me nervous and for many reasons.  My decision was made.

Until

Now, somehow and in someway, my personal experience and in general the ‘happenings’ between Simren and I, has attracted attention.  Thanks to my followers and readers and to their perusal, who contacted me either via my blog or email, encouraged me to continue, admittedly taken back by the response.  Continue in sharing the episodes between us, and I am somewhat persuaded in making every effort, more than ever and with more determination to keep you guys in touch with it all, and where I find myself unable to repudiate.

This type of attention and determination brings me back to my days at boarding school somewhere in Berkshire.  It was there, at the tender age of 13, a nervous and truculent British Asian boy with a wanton attitude entered an intimidating environment, which later shaped his character to what he is today.  I guess a dedicated blog post about this is on the horizon.  It was there, in that very boarding school that salient preference was given to writing, and handwriting in particular – irrelevant of who you were, which family you belonged to, which internal house you were in, and what great things you may be aligned to do where the history of this boarding school was hard to ignore.  We were encouraged to write, not type, despite every student been given a laptop, and write anything and about everything.  It was a way of expressing, letting out the demons, capturing what needed to be said on a fresh piece of paper, neatly bound together to form a navy blue hardback writing book – where each new page screamed out for my imagination, feelings and thoughts, helped by the creepy, suspicious harry potter type of dark and cold environment.

From the many years I spent in that environment, as my age ticket by so did the habit of writing.  Writing, before long, became normal but a method to free yourself of all the anger, hate, reservations, confusion and reasons why you just didn’t want to be there, away from family and away from your real world.

Since then, till now, the only visible change is the replacement of that navy blue hardback writing book to this blog.  Then, whatever was written wasn’t for the public domain, but today it is. although written anonymously.

If you have had the pleasure of reading about me, you will notice a strong dedication of learning, of educating beyond aberration or expectations of many.  That’s right, I continue to educate myself in many forms.  This can only be achieved by writing and reading.  Both writing and reading compliment each other and go hand in hand.  In my case, writing helps me make sense of things, a kind of birds eye view of things, which otherwise is simply impossible.  As far as my situation with Simren is concerned – meticulous writing about it – as and how it is – helps me understand the entire situation, a sort of roadmap with a birds eye view – on what the terrain looks like, and, what I am taking on no matter how lurid or modicum it is.

Considering the above, I will now make every effort to post regularly about our story – exactly as it happens and unfolds, even if it is morose.  I envisage to post once every two weeks the very least and without word limit restrictions.  This is in addition to writing about everything else surrounding British Asians.

Yes, I may piss some of you off, I may also annoy some of you by the methods I adopt to achieve the desired result – I may even encourage some of you in your fight for that right person, a sort of panacea if you like.  I may give courage to others that it is worth every effort.  I may even provide you with some entertainment and repartee – albeit at my own expense..

So, on that note, Que le jeu commence…

Words are not enough…

Once upon a time in Mumbai Leeds

 

…no words today….

 

Simren, Simren, Simren….

SimrenSimrenSimren

Simren…Simren…Simren…

Please don’t do this to me…Please:

Ishq ne humien rula diya,
Jis par par marte they usne he humien bhula diya..
hum toh unki yaadon mai he jee leyte mgar,
unho ne toh yaadon mai he zeher mila diya..

 

Where am I…

..a good question – where am I?  I’ve not been blogging for a while; this is because I have a fever.  This fever has a new name and is called ‘Simren-fever’ and for the first time in years I’m actually enjoying the symptoms of this Simren-fever.

I won’t be away for much longer, as we have had plenty of drama and allot has happened between me and her, and I need to tell you.

So, let me enjoy my Simren-fever symptoms for now and I’ll be back shortly.

For now – enjoy the song below – it says it all…

Cheerio-Amigos..

2011: Year In Review ‘I Fight On’

For the last few days, I have been drafting 2011 Year in Review post in my head.  It’s the first time I’m writing such a post, since my blog is less than 7 months old.  If I am to really explain year 2011 it will indeed be a very long post – but I’m going to attempt to explain it, in as little information as possible and how I feel about it.

All praise is to the lord above us, who, has blessed me with the biggest and most valuable gift one could ever imagine, I made a wish late 2010 and early 2011 that the Lord above granted true for me, and for this I am for ever indebted to the Lord above.

2011 compared to my previous years, has probably been the best year for me, as each year brings its blessings.  I can only pray and hope for more blessings going into the next.

Yes, at times, there have been downs, disappointments, periods when I wanted to be left alone, where I cried and looked to the heavens above for help, guidance and reassurance.

And Yes, there have been ups, delight, periods when I enjoyed the blessings bestowed upon me, when I laughed, smiled and looked to the heavens above to say ‘Thank You’, for guidance and reassurance.

Going through ups and downs in a period of 12 months (or longer) is part of human nature.  We, hope to do our best, be the best we can, help ourselves to help others, and to remember the bad moments in the hope to reflect, learn and become better individuals.

The world in 2011 has changed dramatically, it’s our responsibility to remember what we have, and appreciate everything we have in our lives.  If we count the blessings we have in our lives the moment we wake up till the moment we go back to sleep, we would no doubt lose count.

We seen mother nature show us her force in many parts of the world, earthquakes, tsunamis, tornadoes and so on.  We seen human beings at the lowest, when we fought each other for our own desires, greed, and for ill intentions.  2011 was no exception, and we witnessed enough losses that we never seen before.  We as humans, need to reflect on our purpose, reflect on our actions – not towards the end of the year but throughout the year – in the hope that we can lead better lives and live in harmony with each other and with our surroundings.

I’d like to share the following quote from one of my favourite personalities that once ever walked on this earth Jalal al-Din Muhammad Rumi:

God turns you from one feeling to another and teaches by means of opposites, so that you will have two wings to fly, not one.

That said, I pray for everyone that we embrace 2012 as a year of success, good will and positive energy.  Where we put aside our differences and work together for a better and brighter future.  Yes, we do have many obstacles ahead of us, Yes we need more courage to deal with these obstacles, Yes we may experience ups and downs – but remember the quote above so we may indeed have two wings to fly, not one.

Good Bye 2011 and Welcome 2012

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