Thursday, January 10, 2008

A Good Father

A main reason I returned to Bangladesh in 2005 after three decades abroad was so I could spend time with my aging father.

Four days ago my father had a severe heart attack. When I found out that he had fallen ill in Sylhet, I took the next flight from Dhaka and brought him here on the same plane. From the airport I took him straight to Apollo Emergency. But it was too late. He passed away the next morning.

Thus, my return to Bangladesh was indeed a true blessing, because I was able to spend time with my father the last two and a half years. I just wish I had a little longer time with him.

For many NRBs this is the classic fear: getting that phone call from home during a medical crisis while so far away. But look what happened - I was so close and still I could not get there on time.

Which leads me to think that the price of living abroad is not so much that we are not there during times of crisis of family members. It is the time spent doing everyday things, year after year, away from parents (well, unless you are lucky enough to have your parents near you.)

After all, time is the most precious thing we have in life, and I am very grateful to God that I was able to spend these 2.5 years close to my father.

More on my father here .

He was a good man and the best father one could wish for.

ps, I am very unhappy with the restrictive visitor rules at Apollo.


Anonymous said...

Ihtisham bhai,

Very sorry to hear about your father! My thoughts and prayer are with you and your family!

- Iqbal Yusuff
[One of your regular readers]

Yasmin said...

Dear Ihtisham bhai,

My condolences to you and your family. You and your family are in my prayers.


Rehan said...

Ihtisham bhai,

I am truely sorry to hear the news. My condolences to you and the rest of your friends and family. I will keep him in my prayers.


Anonymous said...

My condolences. May his soul rest in peace.

Rezwan said...

I am very sorry for your father. Praying for his departed soul. May god give strength to your family to withstand this loss.

ulysses said...

Hi Iqbal, Yasmin, Rehan, Rumi, Rezwan,

Thank you all for your thoughts and
prayers. They will give us strength to get through the difficult days of grieving.


Anonymous said...

Inna lillahi wa inna ilahi raji'un.

- jamil

Udayan said...

My sincere condolences. I am a regular reader of your blog.

I am sure your return to Bangladesh brought a lot of mental peace and happiness to your father in recent years, even if you weren't with him every minute. That itself is a very precious gift you were able to give him.

ulysses said...

Hi Jamil and Udayan,

Thank you. Udayan, you are right, my being close to him the last couple of years indeed gave him peace of mind.

salauddin said...

Ihtisham bhai,
My thoughts and prayer are with you and your family.

zindagi-ki-diary said...

You should write more.

I am in USA but always interested in stories, particularly of ppl. who took changed course.

Plz. share more of your exp. of 'reverse culture shock' - it will help us.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear about your father. May Allah have mercy on his soul. I enjoy your blog and hope you will continue posting your experience once you pass through this difficult time. Wishing you all the best.

Anonymous said...

Dear Ihtisham Bhai,

So sorry to hear about the death of this bright son of Bangladesh. May Allah give him all the peace in his after life.

You are really fortunate to pass last years with him. Not all sons have these opportunities.


Anonymous said...

My condolences and prayers.

Saud said...

Hello old man!

Hope you are holding up to the extent you can!

You have done what many NRBs wish they could do-and so you can cherish these recent memories with him.

The good father left behind a good son!

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry to hear about your father.

I've always been a lurker, reading your blog without ever commmenting. However, hearing about your father I just had too. I would also want to add that I'm abroad and I read your blog all the time. I love it so much. It gives me the perfect insight to Bangladesh without ever living there. I hope you never stop blogging.