Daddy ji - #memories of a daughter

Sometime ago I asked my brothers and sister to share their memories of our father, so my sister sent me this. I don't think I can add anything more to it, its wonderful as it is... 

I am so happy to be writing about daddy jan. I just used to call him daddy. I don't think he liked being called anything else.

When l think of daddy jan it brings a smile to my face. I remember him as a very fun loving easy-going person. He genuinely liked people and respected them.

I remember he loved fishing. When in Rabwah he would go  with his friends . He would disappear for a few days then on his return he would hand me the sac  of fish. It would be my responsibility to clean them and then fry them under mum's supervision. He had made a special de-scaler with some nails on a piece of wood.  I still remember the crunchy fried fish. Better than KFC.

He loved  kids and loved playing cards. My earliest memories of him Playing card are from Saudi  Arabia where he combined the two loves. When I was very little he would sit me in his lap and continue playing cards. Ah! Good memories. 

I remember when I was a bit older that he used to take us to Dehran shopping centre on Thursdays which was a weekly  grocery shopping day. He would do the shopping while we stayed in the car. Afterwards he would get burgers for us and we would eat them in the car. This is before KFC and MacDonalds. I still can't match  that taste of the burgers anywhere.  

He was very generous. Whenever it was Eid or my birthday he would take me  shopping. He would say buy anything you want. I would always go for  colors and painting supplies. Once he bought me a giant Stabilo marker set . The markers were a standard size but there  were  a lot of them in all possible shades. They were expensive even then. 

Once he went to visit his friend and took me along.  I must have been about fifteen at that time. His friends daughters were so happy to see me. They had put curls in their hair they also put some in my hair it was quite a fashion those days. I mentioned this to daddy jan on the way home and he took me straight to a shop that sold hair dryers and rollers. I picked up a pack  of very ordinary rollers.  He kept showing me the latest things like hot curlers,  curling wands and accessories but I was adamant on buying those rollers. So he bought them for me but I could see he was very disappointed. May be over my simple-mindedness. Later on in the week he brought a beautiful hairdryer for me. It was a kind that had  like a shower cap and a long hose that was attached to the hairdryer. It had a long cord so i could plug it in put the cap on and go about my chores in the house. 

Which other sweet memories should I tell you about.  My daddy jan compiled a special recipe book for me.  ( Which is in the possession of this lovely brother of mine who won't part with it) When he worked in Dahran Hospital people from many different countries worked there. He requested them all to give him recipes from their country. He typed them all up and  made a very hefty book which he bound with a  spring coil so it was very easy to open the book and lay it flat when I wanted to use it. I remember many successes  from it. Bhai jan Tanveer and I used to make donuts from it. I liked flicking through the pages and reading the  extra tips at the bottom of some pages. These were all authentic recipes. I wonder how many hours he worked on them. Till date I only remember one disaster from it . And it was more my experimental nature than the recipe's fault.  I put blue  cheese instead of the cheddar cheese in a quiche  dish. Which I made from 10  eggs. I was so proud to have made the dish. I remember everyone sat down to eat. One bite and everyone was running to the sink or toilet to throw up.

I am sure Bhai jan Munawar will remember that. People say that blue cheese is an acquired taste and unfortunately we hadn't acquired it yet and I don't think we ever will. Who wants to eat mold. Daddy jan  had brought the cheese but he hadn't tasted it yet. So all of us were caught unawares.

I look at myself today and know that I am who I am because of all the things daddy jan thought me and how he supported me. He was so proud of me.

Did you know that daddy jan taught me to make the tuna sandwiches. It was his way that when he liked something he would learn it  and then bring all the ingredients and show how to make it and then expect me to make it .

He also did that in pakistan as well. He would go to the halwais and get recipes from them . He got the samosay and namak paray recipe  and rasgullay from them and many other sweets. He loved to eat the things I cooked for him. He never criticized and never asked me to make khana rather he would always ask for chatpati things.

He had a keen eye and took great pleasure in spending time with his children. He knew all our shortcomings.  Once I wanted to go to a friends wedding. She said come and stay for the mehndi night. I asked my mum and she said no. So I didn't go. Afterwards my  daddy jan took me to one side and said you give up too soon... You should have stood your ground and insisted on going.  I mean who in this age does that. But daddy jan did. That's what he was like. He was not old fashioned. I have never met a more openminded person than him. 

When I was in Lahore for my bachelor's my roommate invited me to her sisters wedding and her nikah. My daddy jan took me to Hafiz Abad and stayed there two days  and nights in all those strangers  just for me.

The memories are flooding in now I am getting emotional.  May Allah tallah bless his soul and elevate him to the highest  station. Ameen.

Where will I ever find anyone who loved me so much and so pure . May Allah tallah remove all our shortcomings and make us the embodiment of our daddy Jan's prayers.

Amtul Naseer Lubna


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