Friday, April 29, 2011

The story of my mother - Last Part

After getting paralyzed, mother was compelled to spend all the time on bed without any activity, but she never missed her prayers and wazaif. In the meantime she gave me the permission to go to Karachi to carry on my education and to help my family. She is such a courageous woman that She did not showed any sign of worry, grief when I left instead She smilingly said me good bye with a lot of advices. That day I was more than happy to have an opportunity to transform the challenges into success and find the solution of the problems facing my family and my mother. Life passed amid disasters and problems, I found a better way of life in the beautiful city of Karachi. The only worry was my father, who was very ill when I met him after so long. I took him back with me when I visited my village. He was ill, tired, feeling guilt and looked like a defeated person when we reached home. I have no words to write about the feelings I had when my family met my father after so long. Here I must say that He was welcomed with complains and questions, unasked questions which he never managed to answer. The situation got better within days and our family was happy at least to have him back. My sister's marriage was arranged later which was held without much fuss. I came back Karachi and afterwards father also came back with the promise to fight and not to submit to the circumstances.

It was one of the hazy days in the Holy Ramazan , when I came back from my work and saw my father vomiting blood. I was shocked to see that because He had never told me about this (although I knew he was not well). Later I checked his briefcase and found some reports from doctor to find out that he was having a lungs cancer. Mother was not in a position to bear this tragic news therefore I had no courage to tell any of my family members. But unfortunately in a few days my father's disease had left him on bed, so I decided to send him back home where at least some treatment and care was possible. Mother found out about his disease the very first day but she did not get panicked. Every possible effort was made to save him, but unfortunately, he did not survived instead of a lot of recovery from illness. Most of my siblings were too young to bear this tragedy, it was my mother who stood up for us and gave us the much needed courage and strength to fight. I still remember that I had just arrived back to Karachi when I was informed, I telephoned my mother from Karachi, She said " Son, you are a brave boy, you can do whatever we expect from you, all of us are looking for you so don't come back, stay there as you beloved father has been buried. Stay there to make your family survive this difficult phase".

Life passed on after demise of my father mother stopped taking any medicines for joints pain, she attached herself wholeheartedly with Allah (the merciful). Anybody in her role would have given up but she never did that, she gave us light in the darkest days of our life. Allah helped her getting some control over her disease. He opened new paths for our family, blessed us with better life, a life with more joys than sorrows. Mother got operated for knee replacement and was able to walk again after a long break of 8 years. It was an important day in our lives when she resumed some activities of life. Doctors were astonished as they had the opinion that the disuse of feet for last 8 years might not let her walk, but she made it possible with her passion for life.

Everything was right back on track when a quake jolted the whole area and in a few seconds millionaires had become beggars. My mother was in her room when the earthquake of 2005 stuck, thanks God one of my brothers was at home who saved her from getting buried under the debris of the demolished house. It was raining heavily; people were staying in open fields under temporary shelters when I arrived the village after earthquake on 10th October at around 10 PM. Our house along with all households was totally demolished in the earthquake; mother also was in a tent house. That was the first time in life when I wanted to shout, to cry loudly, and to weep like children. Mother again gave us hope and helped us to regain what we had lost. She is such a great manager that in a small income with the help of construction aid given by government she inspired us to build our house back.

Worst days are over, earthquake has passed, mother is now able to walk. She has a new life with grand children, in-laws and new relatives. But her eyes still remain wet; I still find her crying with pain and grief whenever I wake up in night. At the end I must say that she is not only great because she fought the tragedies of life bravely but she is great because she has the highest degree of love, passion and enthusiasm for life and happiness. She considers life as the most beautiful and precious gift of God for human being. God bless her with life longer than ours as we may not be able to fight the tragedies of life without her.

Monday, April 25, 2011

The story of my mother - Part II

  The 90's decade was a decade to forget for most of my family members. In 1991 we were very young when I visited Karachi in the winter vacations with my family, which was one of the most memorable visits. My father was doing business in the city so we were quite rich in those days, city was peaceful, life was good and we were very happy. Mother was passing through an age which is probably the most enjoyable part of life for most of the women. She had no financial worries, her children were getting young, her husband was supporting her and she was probably very happy despite of her aching and swollen joints. It was during that visit when she was first time informed that she might not be able to walk or live normal life in the coming days as the disease was spreading day by day. We were too young to know or understand such situation, but I found my mother a bit unhappy even in those happy days.
  The days passed, we returned back to our village. Soon the time changed, a dreadful operation was started in Karachi, and soon city of lights had turned into a city of fear. That operation had badly affected the business in the city, so our father's business was in serious loss amid the daily killings, unrest and violence. We were not much informed about the situation in Karachi as the only source of news was PTV, so we were dependent on the information from our people there or father's letters. Father's business was shut down but he never informed us, instead he cut off from family. We were worried about the safety and health of our beloved father; mother was in serious trouble as most of us were studying either in college or school. The life was getting tougher and tougher day by day. Mother never expressed her grief to us. Once in the night when I was awaken to listen to the commentary on a cricket match being played in West Indies I noticed her weeping and crying with pain. Then I realized how much pain was she passing through. I may never be able to forget that single event which completely changed my perception about life and its colors. Due to uninformed disappearance of father and bad financial conditions most of our relatives had left us. In the meanwhile father had returned to village with all the bad news of his business troubles and looting. During those days we had no means of earning other than mother's salary.
  I and my elder sisters had passed the SSC, so we had to go to college but there was no college within the limits of 20 KMs, which meant we had to get admission in colleges located far away in Rawlakot city. In a city like Karachi it may not be considered as a distance but in a village it was long enough to scare us. It was a risk sending young children specially daughters to a city far away with no proper means of transport amid the financial crisis we were passing through in those days. Our mother was courageous enough to send us to college even when most of the close family members were not in a favor of this decision. In the meanwhile Mother was having a treatment from PIMS Islamabad; therefore she had to visit the doctor at least once in a month. This was a near impossible work to do in those days with such miserable financial conditions, but she never lost the courage. Those were the days, when disease had almost defeated our mother, father had returned to Karachi to find some alternative means of earning. As a young boy I had a lot of dreams to help my family and do whatever my mother wished for her family. I was very frustrated with the prevailing situation. I was no more interested in my studies, so I decided to leave the college and earn money to help my mother and siblings. But I did not manage to run away from studies as it would have ended any chance of my sisters completing their education.
  My mother was in great stress and pain but she did not show any signs of frustration or depression instead she always encouraged us to do well at college. We used to leave for college very early in the morning and return very late sometimes in the evening. Despite of her ailing joint she was always there with freshly cooked food for us. She used to ask us about the day’s events and happenings, and always advised us to stay focused on education. Our financial crisis went to such extent that one by one all of the precious household items were sold to meet the daily needs. Father was passing through a horrible period of time; he again went missing as probably he was not able to face us because of his inability to help us. This time the disappearance was longer than the previous one. We were under a burden of huge debts; none of us was young enough to earn the money to return those loans.
  It is the irony that in good days every one helps and support you but in bad days even own shadow does not accompany you and you are left alone. Same was the case with us mother was almost paralyzed as she was not able to walk freely or do work on her own and most of the family members had turned strangers for us. Thanks God my grandmother and Khala were always there to help us through those days and always strengthened us. My mother got another blow from the fate when she was forced to take an early retirement from her teaching job because of disease. It was in 97 when she last time went to the school on her feet, afterwards she had completely lost to the disease and had never been able to stand on her own. It was the time when all of us were in the middle of our education career amid father in disappearance and family in worst ever financial turmoil. I often think what would have happened if mother had lost the courage in those testing times?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The story of my mother - Part I

It is a well known quote “Behind every successful man there is a woman”, I strongly believe in this fact as my ideal is a woman, my mother who is behind the success of hundreds of people. Today I was doing an interview of her for a community magazine coming soon. I would like to share a summary of her interview as I think it may be interesting for most of us.
  My mother, Miss Manzoor Fatima, belongs to a very educated and religious family of a remote village of District Rawalakot, Azad Kashmir (Pakistani administered Kashmir). My nana was a well known religious scholar who completed his education from India; my Nani was also a great spiritual personality. Both of them are like saints for the people in our town as they taught people how to live and die as a Muslim. I have very little memories of my Nana, only thing I still remember is that he had a large pocket sewn at the inner side of the sherwani where he used to keep sweets for children, whenever any children met him he would have asked “what is your father’s name?” and would ask him/her to recite the first kalama or bismillah. After that he would distribute some sweats or biscuits to the child and kiss him on forehead. The only thing he believed in was love, the love for humanity.
  My mother’s family was from Deobandi sect, but none of them was fundamentalist or rigid like most of the religious people these days are. My mother completed religious education at very early. She had a dream to get formal education. My nana allowed my Khalas and my mother to study at boy’s school till 5th grade as there was no girl’s school at that time. It means, she had to say good bye to the education after 5th grade. But she did not loose heart and continued to study privately with the help of family members and teachers of boy’s school most of who were from other areas and used to stay at my nana’s grand house until the week end. After early education she started teaching girls and boys at my Nana’s house as she always dreamt to. That was the start; soon with the help of my grandfather she was able to persuade the government that there was a dire need for a girl’s school. The school was established and a new era for the girls of our village was started. It was a great achievement for woman of an area where the only purpose of women was thought to be looking after animals and giving proper meal to men. Soon women started giving response and slowly and gradually they showed more interest in education, it was a start of a new era.
  Then she move to the adjacent village and gathered the girls and started teaching them instead of sticking to a government job at home village. People back home were very critical of her for going and teaching in other village (where people from other cast lived) but she did not paid heed because she had the full support of my grandfather. After a hard work of almost 8 years, she was able to establish a government funded school there with the help of the people who helped her very much. Later she moved back to native village where she started teaching as a government teacher. Two of the schools established due to her efforts are now high schools and one of them an intermediate college where hundred of girls are getting education.
 Most of her children in those days her were infants, so she had to take care of us too. She used to take us school with her, therefore at the same time she had to work as housewife, a mother and a teacher. People who know the village life may find it impossible as how she managed to go to another village daily and teaching the children without any compensation, while three of her infants were also with her but she made it possible. She had to perform her duty in heavy rains of July, thunderstorms of April and heavy snowfall of January and February. The only thing which kept her stuck to the mission was her passion and dream to educate the poor women of village.
  At home she had to look after her house as she had got a separate house after 5 years of marriage. She had to get us ready, prepare a meal for us, and take care of my beloved cow. She was so much passionate about her mission that she never took care of herself even in very critical days of her life; the result was the Rheumatoid Arthritis (a disease of joints which paralyze the patient). Infected with this disease in late 80’s she was down to knees in early 90’s.