For the Reader:
So what took me so long to get this book started?
A good question!
Firstly, I am still struggling with myself, having lived in the “semi” limelight for most of my life. Partly as the daughter of a great poet; partly as the sister of a great painter; partly on management posts of the only TV public broadcaster in Pakistan; partly as the only woman to head the programming of a public broadcaster; partly as the mother of two talented and wonderful professionals in their own right. And so on and so forth.
It may be hard to believe that as time has moved on, my own desire to stand on centre stage and think, “Wow this feels great!” has diminished considerably. I prefer to manage from behind the scenes and let others in the family be in the spotlight and applaud their performances.
Secondly, this has been a private matter between myself and my father. The letters I mean. He wrote them to me and at the time none of us probably ever thought they would get published.
So, is this the right thing to be doing is a question which has plagued me and continues to do. Am I breaking a sacred trust here? Am I guilty of some sort of a betrayal to perhaps the only person I am indebted to for so much in this life? Do I want to share these private moments with the world at large?
Will anybody actually understand the bond I shared (and still share) with my father? This is one side of him that no one (other than my sister) ever knew. Do I want to give even away and make it public?
And hence the hesitation, the anxiety, the holding back, the delay, until it became a nagging thought.
And here I am, at the very beginning.
And it begins, a journey back through time.
A journey which will cause me (some) pain and heartache, as well as joy as I relive the past. A journey which will make me rethink relationships; a journey which will probably make me wish I had not taken it up but nonetheless a journey which may make me feel relieved to have taken it up; a journey in which I must ask for forgiveness and understanding (in advance) of all those who I may hurt, embarrass, scratch or irritate. That never was, or ever could be, my intention. But it is a journey of love and a tribute to the one human being, who I know loved me unconditionally, hugged me, held my hand, gave me a smile in those times when I felt lost, alone and abandoned.
A person, who I too (in my own very limited way), have loved back unconditionally despite that time and again I wanted to have a confrontation with him, yell at him, fight with him, tell him off or forsake him. And who now, in the twilight of my life, I miss more than when he was actually present here with me.
And so, dear reader, I present to you, Faiz Ahmad Faiz, the father.
Title: Conversations with my father
Author: Moneeza Hashmi
Subject: Memoirs, Biography
Number of Pages: 160
Excellent pack of memories
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