Friday, May 31, 2013

ADIEU MAMU SAEED


May you journey well with the angels and find peace in God’s bosom

BY MAHTAB BASHIR
mahtabbashir@gmail.com
ISLAMABAD

Life is ultimately cruel. As on 28th May, 2013 the air of the country was filled with the enchanted slogans of ‘Allah-u-Akbar' in celebration of ‘Yaom-e-Taqbeer’- a day on which Pakistan became nuclear power, the residents of House No.22, Chiragh Park, Shad Bagh, Lahore were profoundly reciting ‘Inna Lillahi Wa Inna Ilehi Rajioon’ on the sad demise of oldest member of the family Mian Muhammad Saeed who breathed his last after a brief illness.

Lean, feeble but strong by heart and mind, Mamu Saeed could not be able to walk for the last few months because of multiple growing diseases. He could be seen glued to his bed inside Drawing Room but his ‘presence’ matters a lot for everyone as he sacrificed and struggled throughout his life for upbringing his children and a dozen of grandkids. 

He was 80 and buried in Pir Ronqi graveyard on May 29.

“Though he was passive, and even could not be able to walk inside home, my hectic day’s makes me refresh as soon as I meet him every night coming back home. He always gives us courage. Death is the ultimate and he will be missed everywhere, every time. It’s the will of Almighty,” said his only son Mian Muhammad Zahid who is a professional goldsmith.

“He was Pepsi fanatic, loves to eat trifle, Ras Malai, cold drinks and everything that contains sugar that is why my grandfather was the sweetest grandfather on the face of this planet Erath. He always cared for us,” Kinza Zahid, the youngest granddaughter said while wiping her tears. 

Going deep into the memory lane, I always found Mamu Saeed as sweet as sugar. Down-to-earth, jolly and love to talk person, he lived his life as a trouble shooter. “Abida, Sumaira, Osama jao yar koi khaan peen da bandobast karo, Mahtab aya ay, Pepsi lay ke ao,” were his immediate directions to family members whenever I have chanced to meet Mamu.

Conversing on various issues ranging from socio-economic to politico to domestic with Mamu was always a fun. Every time I visited him I found a framed photograph of Mamu laying somewhere around him with the caption of a verse from Saghir Siddiqui “Zindagi Jabr-e-Musalsal ki Tarah Kati he, Jane kis jurm ki pai hy saza, yad nahi”.

With the tinge of naughty feeling inside me I always asked him, “Mamu Ge, you are looking attractive with this Jinnah Cap but tell me about this caption”. In reply he always smiled and after a brief pause said… “This verse from Saghir Siddiqi is dedicated to your Mami.” And after that we both had a cheerful laughter. But the fact is there was no other person gloomier than Mami Abida who has spent over 6 decades as Mamu’s life partner. Mami Abida termed this death as the greatest loss of her life.

Moreover, the long lasting love of this couple could be easily gauged when after the sad expiry of Mamu Saeed, his remnants found few of hand-written diaries by the deceased and one page of the month of October reflects the couple’s eternal love with the thoughts “Today I have successfully completed 55 years of my wedding. Here, it would be sheer injustice, had I not compliment my spouse Abida for her time (good or bad) shared with me”.

Mamu, however, did not spare a single moment to enjoy and relish. For him every small moment of pleasure was a pleasure of lifetime. Mami Abida was a regular visitor of Shad Maan where her relatives live. Mamu Saeed in his regular Diary for the sake of fun writes “Abida went to Shad Man”, and “Abida came back home from Shad Maan after spending weeks, etc” were the regular features inscribed in his writings.

Mamu was a keen lover of poetry as his Dairies contained a good volume of Urdu and Persian quality poetry.

Once during meeting with Mamu, he took a deep sigh and keeping my attention said “Yar Mahtab, Had I been a well-educated, I would have been retired as Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission”. We both laughed out loudly and later I shared this saying to many others who could not stop enjoying this saying.

Mamu Saeed rendered meritorious services for the welfare of his family. Having 8 daughters and a son, he along his spouse not only left no stone unturned in nurturing his family members but reached out to seek perfect matches for each of them. His efforts not only restricted to matchmaking of his sons and daughters but successfully managed to arrange matches for his grandsons and granddaughters.  

Whenever I talked something silly, he stopped me saying, “Chad Yar… Tu wi Habibullah e ain”. I never asked about the character of Habibullah but a little stress on my brain I was able to understand ‘Habibullah’ is a fictitious character, a symbol of docility and lunacy and Mamu named that person ‘Habibullah’.

Dejected looking Siddique Lali, son-in-law while arranging the final rites of Mamu Saeed remarked, “He played a fantastic knock in his life, hit unlimited boundaries and had never disappointed his number of fans, he will surely be missed at every affair of life”.

No one exactly knows what were the last words Mamu Saeed uttered before he was hospitalized and remained in ICU for couple of days. His illustrious daughter-in-law Sumaira Zahid was of her opinion that before Mamu’s condition aggravated and he was shifted to Hospital, I prepared tea and Rusk for him and that was the last thing he had eaten in his life. “He was not like a father to me but a caring grandfather for kids. Whenever I will come here (drawing room) in particular, I would not keep my tears hold in his memory. I pray to Almighty to grant Mamu superlative spot in Heaven. May his soul rest in eternal peace there,” Sumaira maintained.

Hassan Siddique, one of grandson of Mamu Saeed said before Nana Abbu’s health went further deterioration, he asked people around him to “call Zahid (son), Shababa (daughter) and all sons and daughters. “Because of the fact sons and daughters are considered the source of forgiveness for a father, perhaps that’s why his death-wish was to unite his offspring and wished to see them for the last time,” Hassan concluded.  

On 28th of May around 5:30pm I came to know the sad expiry of Mamu Saeed who was in coma in a local hospital for couple of days. Funeral is to be held at 9:00am. I was in office and tried to wrap up my work earlier and reached home around 9:00pm. I took bath, had my dinner and around 1200 left Islamabad for Lahore. I went to Karachi Company and was informed that last bus is missed now it will go at 7:00am; I went to Faizabad then and boarded in a bus at 2:00am. Journey started at 3:00am.

I have never slept during traveling and prefer to peep through the window as to me it’s the best example of life when with the every blink of an eye the whole scenario changes drastically one by one. However, I don’t know how and when I shut my eyes but when I opened it I was on Bridge of River Ravi and it was 8:00am. I took sigh of relief that I will manage to reach in an hour, and I did it.  

Upon reaching, outside home, everyone was sitting in somber while remnants were busy in Mamu’s final rites. I condoled many of them one by one outside home and inside the adjoined Park where Mamu’s dead body was to be shifted shortly for funeral prayer. I did not muster up courage to go inside home and step in drawing room where I had long sessions of conversations with the dear departed.

Before and after offering funeral prayer, I watched Mamu Saeed’s face many a times before last time. Holding the funeral bed, I focused my both eyes on Mamu’s face.

Looking at whitish cool, calm and angel liked face, for a moment I thought Mamu will speak up to me saying…. “A bhai Habibullah” but a vociferous voice of ‘Kalma-e-Shadat’ shattered my imaginations and his funeral bed was raised in the air!

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