Thursday Feb 15, 2018
I write this with a very heavy heart and I know writing it down won’t make things easier or lessen the pain, but I am writing still because it’s been a year since you left us Baba.
Things are better, now that it’s been a year. Everyone at home is good. Abeera and I are doing good and Dua’s the same old hyper kid running around the house looking for excuses to mess with everyone. Taha’s growing and becoming more like you day by day; the way he talks, gets angry when things don’t go his way, the way he draws all the attention to himself. We see you in him every day. He misses you. He thinks you’re at work and sometimes says that you’ve become a star in the sky.
Dado’s broken and I don’t expect her to get better anytime soon. You were her only son. She talks about you all the time and she’s put up a big picture of you in her room. It makes her feel like you’re still there.
Mama’s devastated but she can’t show it. She has us to think about and emotionally support Dado as well. I know she cries a lot at night. She’s good at hiding it though. She’s the one keeping all of us together just like you used to. She’s turned into this new person; broken but strong. Everyone misses you and why wouldn’t they. You had such an active role in everyone’s life.
It’s still unbelievable. You can’t expect me to believe it. I hope you don’t. I’m happy for you. I really am. You achieved what you worked hard for. If there was anything else you loved apart from us, it was your work. You stayed true to the oath you took when you joined the Military Academy. You served the country to the fullest and you earned the respect you deserved in your department and amongst your colleagues. Most of all, you earned the title of a “Shaheed” and that’s something which very few people achieve.
I know you didn’t want to leave us. How could you? But I know it’s true when people say that the Almighty calls his loved ones back sooner than others.
Being a martyr wasn’t something that you just got. People say that it was your destiny. I disagree because becoming a martyr was something that you chose for yourself. The love you had for this country and the determination with which you worked for its betterment, is what got you your reward.
You kept on choosing the right path. Always. I saw you struggle. I saw you go out of the way for so many people. That is why they praise you and that is why your good deeds will always be remembered.
It was very hard for me as a child to see you leave for work. I remember watching you wear your uniform and carry that hideous stick of yours and bid everyone goodbye.
I don’t know why but I was always scared; scared that you might not come back. I don’t know why I always used to think that something bad might happen to you. But it didn’t. For a very long time, it didn’t.
This wasn’t the first time you were on duty which wasn’t even yours to perform. There were so many wardens around that place who could’ve negotiated with the people protesting and convinced them to clear the roads. You chose to be there. You chose to be different. You chose to do whatever you could do to make everyone’s life easier.
I still remember the Manawan Attack. I remember praying for you to safely come back home. You did. I was so happy to see you. On several occasions when I thought you might not show up, you managed to come back. So it seemed impossible to me when I found out that you were never coming back home.
It is sad that I lost my father. It’s sad that I won’t have you around to see me succeed. It’s sad that I won’t ever see you again but you saved so many other lives the day you embraced Shahadat. It broke me when I realised you’re no more. But knowing that you saved so many other children from becoming orphans; saving them from the difficult time I had to go through, gave me strength.
It’s what keeps me going I promise, the fact that so many children have their fathers because you were brave enough to sacrifice your life in order to save theirs.
You were a good man and the best father. I’m sad Baba and I miss you a lot. All of us do. But we’re different. Our pain is different. Like you, our love for the country grows every day. I’m proud to be your daughter. I’m proud to be a part of you.
They tell me I’m strong but I’m not. I’m broken. I’m anything but strong. How can I be strong? How can anyone be strong when they know the only person who cared about them, the only person who loved them without expecting the same love in return is no more. They say I’m good at hiding but I’m not. Yes I’m normal and yes I always have a smile on and Yes I don’t cry anymore but that’s not because I’m strong. That’s because things are better now. I’m happy. I have good friends here and back home. There are so many people who are there to emotionally support me and they’re the only reason why I settled back in so quick. But that still doesn’t lessen my pain.
I always have you at the back of my mind. Sometimes, I wait for your call even though I know that you can’t call me. I yearn to hear your voice. I pray to see you in my dreams every night. I regret not coming back home the weekend before you passed away even though you tried convincing me till the end. I’m sorry I didn’t come. I’m sorry for not listening to you. I’m sorry for the innumerable times I hurt you or caused trouble. I used to complain about you being overprotective and now I’d give anything for you to watch over me; to protect me. I took you for granted. I’m not very proud of many things that I’ve done. I’m sorry for letting you down. I hope you can forgive me. I miss you more than you can ever imagine.
Literally, each one of your friends that I met after your Shahadat, told me, “Your father called me and told me you got into AKU. He was so happy”.
I’m glad I could make you this happy before you left. I would give anything to bring you back but I can’t. Everyone has to go one day. You did too. Yes, you left us very early. Yes, it breaks my heart to know that you’re never going to come back. But the honour with which you departed, it makes me walk around with my head held high. I wish I could hug you and tell you that I love you. I wish I could just see you again.
I know you’re always going to be watching over me and you’ll always protect me from up there like you used to. I feel better when I say that it’s okay.
Whatever happened is okay. I know Allah would never burden us with something we can’t handle. He’s testing us and He only tests those who He loves the most. Above all, you didn’t die. You sacrificed your life in the line of duty. You’re a martyr. You’re the nation’s pride. One day when this country is a better place to live in, I’ll be glad to know that you had a part to play in it.
“Do not stand at my grave and weep;
I am not there. I do not sleep,
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sunlight on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain,
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there. I did not die.”
- From 'Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep' by Mary Elizabeth Frye
- Dr Hiba is the daughter of Shahdeed DIG Ahmed Mobin who embraced martyrdom when a suicide bomber struck at a protest in Lahore.