Sep 16th when I stepped out of that banquet hall, I was happy and so were number 1 and number 2. We were all smiles because we had had fun.

The next day was a rainy and soggy and unexpectedly warm one. We planned to go out to see the dentist for a routine visit and then number 2 asked me if she can have a hair cut.

We went to the store and there was some promotion going on and I myself and both of them got free hair styles.

Little did I knew, that exactly at that time, thousands of miles apart, my 68 year old father might be calling my name in pain. That he might have felt thirsty when that cruel person stabbed him right through his frail, old bones. That he might have felt cold as life left his body.

As we reached back home, I put number 3 to bed for a short nap and the older ones walked out to play and have fun with their friends. I started to prepare dinner and my phone rang. I saw my brother’s name blink and I thought “Oh now he finds time to talk to me” and I ignored the call until after I finish cooking. Then his wife called on Whatsapp. I reacted the same way. Then he wrote on my Facebook wall “Amber call me ASAP”

Telling myself in my heart what a big drama this man is, I called him back but his incoming call interrupted mine again. I asked what’s the rush and he just kept saying my name. I rudely told him to stop playing and come to the point and he kept asking if there was any one else in the house. Then I yelled and screamed at him and asked him again. I knew something was not right. And then he told me what my mind can still not process. He told me that someone stabbed my father and that he is no more.

And people say qayamat sirf aik baar aati hay…. (And people say Armageddon comes only once)

Rest are all details. When number 1 and number 2 stepped back in later that evening, the entire scene was changed. I think I was crying or perhaps screaming or something like that. They saw me and could not understand what happened. The house quickly filled with family and friends and neighbours and acquaintance.

I do not know how I travelled from Toronto to Karachi, when I stepped down in the most beautiful place in the world, how I reached the place I still call home, when I hugged my sister, when I held my wailing brothers.

I only remember that his body was ice cold when I tried to kiss him one last time, and I looked at him and I screamed who would want to kill this man.

I was always proud of the fact that for whatever time I have lived in Karachi, I never encountered any street crime, mobile snatching, theft, robbery. Never. And now this very place took away the man who gave me a surname. 

My father (May Allah grant him highest place in Jannah) was a hot tempered man, and my Daadi, his mother used to refer it to his name. And also to the spicy food, that he loved and would throw a tantrum if he would not get a green chilli with his food.

That same man, who my mother used to pamper like a child, made sure that when Ammi was gone, he would make it up to us for the both of them. He would call us multiple times a day, visit us randomly, even send texts on Whatsapp, brings presents on Eid and Skype with us every chance he could. 

I used to get upset when I’d find out he had been out visiting people who were not really well wishers of the family. He would reply “Its okay, let them do what they do, and let us keep doing what we do” 

There were old women at his funeral out of nowhere, who hugged my brother and told him how sorry they feel and that my father used to help them run errands. 

And at home, in the fridge lies that plate of his, in which green chillies been lying for a week now. He was fond of green chilis and onions and so am I. Ammi used to stop me and he would get me chicken corn soup and chaat from street vendors when she was not around. I love beef and he used to save his portion of meat in his plate for me. 

Two days back during the morning rush, number 1 turned to me and said “I remember Nano was so funny. He used to do puppet show for us with the Big Bird. I miss him already”

It is a complete torture and it won’t stop. Until there is a closure; until we find who did it. Which I doubt because I know how the system works. How the police operates. There is no evidence, no witness. Will there be a closure?

Because no matter what, no body deserves to die like this.

So many should haves and could haves pound the insides of my temples. So many perhaps circulate in front of my eyes. All these days, myself and my siblings just kept brain storming, speculating, questioning, answering, crying and just being insane.

I am not paranoid but this incident has made me one. One night, middle of the night, we, scanned the whole house, just thinking what if someone came and threw the weapon here.

My children will grow up without Naani and Nano and their crazy emotional love.

And then the guilt that while he was helplessly breathing his last, in that pool of his own blood, I was getting my hair done. The pain may go away. Time may heal this loss but the guilt I feel is going to last forever.

Somehow I did muster the energy to put my grief into words. Because this is my catharsis. It may not heal the suffering but sharing grief does make it lighter. Just looking for some air to breathe.

Say a little prayer for him….and for her who must be happy now that they are together!

12 comments on “OFFICIALLY AN ORPHAN”

  1. Amber, my dear friend, please know that I am here for you now and Always. Yours is a loss beyond any. I had tears rolling out while I read. Prayers for uncle. May Allaha grant him the highest place in Jannah and give you (who I have come to know as a strong women) and your family the strength to recover.

  2. With heavy heart I can only say that may Allah give him the highest place in Jannat & give you & your family sabr e jameel. My father passed away 33 years back during his isha prayers all of a sudden when he was only 57 years old but still I think about him multiple times a day

  3. First of all, please accept my sincerest condolence on the loss of your father. Believe me when I say, I know exactly how you feel. I say that because I have been on the receiving end of the news. I also made a similar journey from Toronto to Karachi when my dad was brutally shot on his way to work while I was peacefully sleeping. Because of the shots to his head, the body could not wait for me so I never got that closure or that one last hug.. I kept myself very strong to keep my family together – to make sure my mother did not suffer any more than she already was.. I did not grieve.. Not in the way society expects at least.. but the trauma of loosing a parent and that too in the way you and I have can leave you crippled. This was 3 years ago.. For almost 18 months after the death of my father, there was not a single night when I did not dream of him.. When I got to Karachi I knew very little as to how it all unfolded and dreamt about it that night.. In my dream I had a vivid image of me sitting beside of him.. I saw his face and expressions of horror as he must have reacted when he must have realised what was happening to him.. Every time someone came and asked my family what had happened and my mother or brother told them whatever they knew, it would add detail to my vision that night.. I think most of it was because subconsciously I feel guilty for not being there, for not saving him.. Numerous times I would just go blank in a gathering and re-live two scenes – one being the scene when I was told and how unsuspecting I was.. the second being the real incident and I always saw it like I witnessed it right next to it..

    3 years later, I still miss my dad – a lot.. but the paranoia has definitely gotten better.. It was supplemented by a lot of faith in Allah SWT and his Divine Wisdom.. The one thing that keeps me going is that Allah SWT gave my dad enough time to raise us to be the people we are today.. He went when his kids were old enough to be each others support and my mother did not have to worry about how we will manage life.. It puts me at comfort that my dad left us with good values and strong roots.. I don’t know if any of this will make you feel any better but I wanted to let you know, you are not alone.. I grieve with you.. I pray that may you find peace and your parents smile at you from Heaven InshahAllah..

  4. Hi,
    No word can describe what you have lost .
    May Allah bless both of them highest level in Jannatat and Allah is the one who can always will do insaaf Insha Allah .
    The system in our country we all know But the crime party or who ever did the worst thing like this they don’t know One an only Allah they can not hide themselves form Him.
    Thay will must get punished before they die .
    Insha Allah .
    Ameen .

  5. So much moved after reading ur article …. May Allah give ur father highest place in Jannatul firdaus and u and all the family members patience to bear this loss!!!

    • Sudden deaths are such pain which keep u in trauma so long.It is indeed a hard time for u and your family but may Allah gives you and your family sabr and grant your father a highest place in jannah

  6. I never see a girl, a daughter ,a mother,a wife,and foresure a sister like you.No words to describe your braveness and the way you cope this nightmare.Allah help you! And show you a tons of happiness in your entire life.

  7. ‎إِنَّا لِلّهِ وَإِنَّـا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعون… I dont have any words for your loss…. my father passed away last year ….and i travelled from Toronto to Khi and it was my worst flight …. i am going through the same guilt….. may Allah give you and your family sabr

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