Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Binte Eidris

There's a garage in my head bursting its bricks with bent Popoids, Scalextric racetracks to anywhere, Polaroid cameras, Ellery Queen Mystery Magazines and books about The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
Talk-Back Tracy and a magnetic chess set are stacked on top of the Dinosaur! magazines I'd collect years later (every fortnight) along with the photographs of leapfrogging at Zoo Lake Sunday picnics.

Eighteen years later and this is all I feel I have of Daddy; these the only things palpable; toys and gadgets, and a father seen through the curtains drawn by a five-year-old.
I can still scribble a stick-people nuclear family gathered in the garden of a house with mattress-spring smoke pouring out of the crooked chimney.

I wish I knew more of my father, beyond the crayon renderings of a child. Six-and-a-half-years with him and Daddy was this fantastic bearer of amazing things; a doll that repeated everything you said when you pressed a glowing red heart on its palm and a little sewing machine that really stitched. Daddy was fun and hugs and there and all things magic until he started getting sick.

And when he got sick, I got scared. Daddy was strange, quiet and convulsing on the floor of the kitchen at the house in Azaadville.
This is all I knew. Happy, then not. Things are that simple to a child.
And when he passed away on that Boxing Day in 1989, the world suddenly got a whole lot more complex.

Now, I'm scant months away from becoming a wife. I need Daddy now more than ever. But it's a funny sort of longing, seeing as I never knew the man behind the Daddy-mien. Any suggestion of what our interactions would've been like can only be nebulous. Would we have got along as adults? Would I have grown to share his ideals? What were his ideals? I know he never missed salaah, even towards his end he'd offer prayer five times daily from his bed, his eyelids closing in submission for each sajdah his body could not perform. I know he was easy-going and had an ear for every stranger's problems. I know he read Robert Ludlum. I know he loved gadgets. I know little things, but I'll never know a lot of things.

Verily we belong to God and to God we return.

11 comments:

junaid said...

it's the little things sometimes that tell you lots more about a person than you'd expect.
know what you mean tho - i wish my dad was around when i got married...

Ta^KiLLa said...

Ive heard a speech in school by you on a similar topic..
One line to sum it all up..

Daddy would be proud of you..

The Organ Harvester said...

In some ways we never grow up and we feel stuck in that moment where we can say things changed. And no words would ever make things feel better or make those memories go down easier.

And I am sure daddy would be proud of you.

meemz said...

I know how u feel. I feel the same way. I'm getting married soon and I wish i had my father around. I lost him when I was 12.

No matter what anyone says, no one can ever comfort a girl who has lost her father to a sickness. its the type of pain u have to go through and witness to understand. i know because after his death, and now, almost 8 years later, nothing anyone can say can ever make me feel even a bit better.

Zahera said...

Saaleha, from what little i know of you from reading your blog- i think your dad would be nothing but proud of you.
I cant even begin to imagine what it must feel like and it would be patronising to suggest i understand. I dont. Im very very close to my dad and just the thought of losing him scares me death. I cant imagine a world without him.

May Allah (swt) reunite you with you father someday in Jannatul Firdaus.

Good luck with the wedding plans- hope things are as mad for you as they are for me :-P its consoling! loolll

Muhammad said...

I guess some cannot empathise with an experience one doesn't possess. But I can try... There's no doubt we need to push ourselves to become better people, and our role models are our parents and we have of them much more than we care to admit.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that sometimes in order to understand our parents better we need to better understand ourselves.

but oh, the pain of what could have been... I guess we say this for all the things we've missed... the only comfort is tat this was God's plan, and it is not manifest for lack of any good reason. All of these experiences are our signs for us to learn and grow from those before us, so that we may become better and more able to fulfill our purpose.

Peace,

Muhammad.

Anonymous said...

i too have lost a parent, fortunately tho, i had many more years to spend with my lost loved one.....its a feeling of treasured memories, that are always spoilt byt the hurt, and the pain u can neva seem to forget seeing ur parent go through. those agonising pangs of death will forever be a memory at the forefront of our minds, but like someone commented here, its the little things, the happy moments, the joys, the elation, all of those good things that we can choose to rememebr them by, and thereby, know, in our hearts, that no parent ever thinks bad of their children, and sure, we have our arguments, and squabbles, but in the end, dont we all get along with our parents. Mayb cos i miss my late mum so much, i prob am displaying some charecteristics of naievity, but then again, we can choose our memories, cant we. All my life, more than 75% of it, all i saw was a woman steeped in pain, yet now, all i remember is a woman who instilled the importance of my religion in me, a woman who left me with sound values.......a woman who made me the man i am today! all i can say is, not knowing u froma bar of blue soap, i can still say, with the utmost of certainty....ur father would have been ever so proud of u in ways that u cannot even begin to imagine.

and on that note, for once, the chosen one speaks some sense......who knew i had it in me......i guess my late mum prob did :-)

Peace Out ur'll.....The Chosen One.

::: SPEEDY ::: said...

May Allah grant all our parents and grandparents High stages in Jannat.
Sals , May Allah fill your dads kabr with Noor , peace and tranquility.All the best for your upcoming wedding.

shafs said...

daddys are the unsung heroes, who push to the limits for us, in person and/or in spirit.. and i often wonder if one could truly understand them, whether they're physically standing right beside you or not..they're our blueprint..
their presence can most certainly be felt.. right there inside of you.. daddy is the blood that beats in a steady, ever-strenghtening rhythm through your heart.. and in every guided step along your journey. and mothers are the cool fragrant breeze that envelopes you as you amble onward.. :)

may the next chapter of your life be the heaven as promised in your beloved's name :P

Fatima said...

I'm glad that you have some great memories of your father.
The happy and painful memories make us who we are today.

A close friend of mine is getting married and her mother has passed away. I do understand the whole need for your parent at this time. You want to share everything with them...the trials, the little victory dances of getting something right when things are going wrong with the preps, etc. This is something we share with the ones we love.

This world is just there for a certain period of time....our forever is waiting for us elsewhere...

InshAllah, may your father reach Jannatul Firdous. Ameen.

Dew said...

This was a good post to read. Thankyou for that Saaleha. Makes me feel painful, tender and sweet all at the same time. Easily the best post I've read this year:)

I wish you all the happiness in this world and the hereafter.

Profane. Profound. What's your poison?