I wrote an article remembering my parents, which got published in a UAE newspaper, Khaleej Times, on 22nd June 2003. The heading I chose for this article was ‘Gaining emotional strength’ but it was published with the heading ‘Still hopelessly devoted after all these years’. I showed the newpaper to Daddyjan too. He was very happy to read it. I want to share it again with all of you, my family and friends.
Gaining emotional strength
loving behaviour of my parents with each other, especially my Dad’s to my Mom, gives me great strength to go through my own life. Psychologists say children are very sensitive. They observe the actions of their parents very meticulously and practically copy them, rather than their words. In addition to a good formal education, it is the duty of a father to give his children, a sense of healthy, enjoyable, and emotionally strong marital life. Husbands can achieve this, by simply treating the mother of their children respectfully and lovingly.
For a male child also it matters a lot, because only then he knows, How to lead a strong, healthy and enjoyable relationship with his wife? For a female child, its importance is unmatched. It gives her a strong sense of security and high self esteem through out her life. According to psychologists a female child greatly associates herself to her mother, no matter how educated she becomes; she always looks up to her mother as a role model for herself. So I am very grateful to my dear Dad, Muhammad Latif Tambra sahib, that by being nice to our mother, he showed us, daughters, the real place a woman should have in this tricky world.
There are many small incidences that I can recollect from my childhood, up till now. Dad is a highly educated person and a retired Air Vice Marshal from Pakistan Air Force. Even now, when they are not younger any more, Dad always brings surprise gifts for Mom on her birthdays and on their marriage anniversaries and never forgets to appreciate whenever Mom wears a new dress or a new piece of jewellery. This is his way of making Mom feel special.
Mom’s name is Kishwer Sultana, but Dad always calls her “K-dear”, a name given to her by him through love and affection. He is the only one, in the whole world, who calls her by this name. Even the grand children know that it is Nana Jan’s word for Nano.
Even in parties and gatherings, Dad used to have such an interesting and overwhelming behaviour towards Mom, that all the guests used to enjoy and could feel the respect and love; in the manner he treats Mom. Once in a party Mom was serving tea. She forgot to put sugar in Dad’s tea, so she asked him to return the cup. Smilingly he returned the cup, saying, “Just stir your finger in it, K-dear, and it will be sweetened.” And all the faces smiled.
Dad loves to read books, and keeps a lighter air around the house by cracking witty jokes and telling small anecdotes here and there. Whenever he reads any interesting piece of work, he instantly shares it with Mom and their laughter fills the house.
Dad has a taste for good music too. Whenever he listens to a piece of good music, for the first time, may it be in the car while going to or coming back from office. First thing he does is, to listen it again, exclusively in Mom’s company. Then both enjoy each and every tune and each and every verse of it together.
Dad’s one habit that I enjoy very much to recall from my childhood, which he still practices, is, that Dad always enjoys and appreciates food while eating. And after each meal he thanks Allah, saying, “O Allah, thank you very much for providing food to us, hungry.” And then in the same breath he says, “K-dear, thank you very much for cooking such a delicious food.”
Dad is a great inspiration not only to us all, but to his grand children too. An average adult male needs a lot of courage, from with in, to behave so openly lovingly to his wife as Dad does. But then it should also be remembered that it takes a lot of courage to be happy too. It is quite easy to distort one’s face and cry over small little things, but it takes a lot of courage to smile through life. Life is not so beautiful and colourful, until made beautiful and colourful through smiles, courage and effort.
Still hopelessly devoted after all these years
THE adoring attitude of my parents towards each other, especially my father’s towards my mother, gives me great strength to go through my own life. Psychologists say children are very sensitive in this regard: they observe the actions of their parents very meticulously and imitate them in their own adult lives. In addition to a good formal education, it is the duty of a father to give his children a head start in the pursuit of a healthy, enjoyable and emotionally sound marital life. A husband can fulfill this duty in part by treating the mother of his own children deferentially and affectionately.
For a male child this matters a lot, because from his father he unconsciously learns how to forge a strong, healthy and enjoyable relationship with his future spouse. For a female child, the importance of parents’ demonstration of mutual respect and adoration is even greater. It gives her a strong sense of security and self-esteem throughout her adult life. According to psychologists, a female child greatly associates herself with her mother. No matter how successful she becomes in her life, she always looks up to her mother as a role model. So I am very grateful to my own father who, by virtue of being a doting husband, showed us, his daughters, what to expect from society in general and our husbands in particular.
There are many memorable incidents that I can recollect from my childhood even today. Dad is a retired Air Vice Marshal of Pakistan Air Force. Even now, though they are hardly young anymore, Dad always brings surprise gifts for Mom on her birthdays and on their wedding anniversaries, and never forgets to compliment her whenever she wears a new dress or a new item of jewelry. This is his way of making Mom feel special, year after year.
Mom’s name is Kishwer, but Dad always calls her "K-dear" – his own term of endearment. He is the only one in the whole world who calls her by this name. Even the grandchildren know that it is Nana Jan’s pet name for Nano.
At parties and gatherings, Dad used to be so caring towards Mom that even the guests could immediately feel the spark in their time-tested relationship. I remember one particular occasion when Mom was serving tea. She forgot to put sugar in Dad’s cup of tea, so she asked him to return it. With a grin he handed the cup back to her, saying, "Just stir your finger in it, K-dear." The faces in the assembled crowd spontaneously broke into big smiles.
Dad loves to read books and keeps everybody at home in a cheerful mood by cracking jokes and recounting anecdotes. But whenever he reads any interesting piece of work, he instantly shares it with Mom and their laughter invariably fills the whole house.
Dad has a taste for good music too. Every time he hears something new, even if it be while commuting between home and office, the first thing he does is to listen to it again, exclusively, in Mom’s company. They would then both relish the tune, and meanings of the verses together.
Yet another habit of Dad that I have admired tremendously since I was a child, and which he still practices, is his appreciation of food while taking his meals. After each meal he thanks Allah Almighty, saying, "O, Allah, thank you very much for providing food to us, the hungry." And, in the same breath, he says, "K-dear, thank you very much for cooking such delicious food."
Dad is a great inspiration not only for his children but for his grandchildren too. The average male in most societies needs a lot of courage to shower affection on his wife as openly as Dad does. Likewise, it takes a lot of discipline and self-restraint to cope with the vicissitudes of life with a smile on one’s face. Life becomes extremely enjoyable when you, as well as those around you, are happy and cheerful. By that measure, Dad has always been profoundly inspiring to all who met him.