Saturday, May 7, 2016

I am my mother's son


My name is Ahsan Khan. I am a son, a father, a husband, a brother and a father-in-law and I try to respect all the nice, kind hearted women around me...

I was raised in a feudal landlord family in Pakistan. We had numerous cotton and rice farms. Men were the center of attention in our family and women were there just to take care of the house, to bore children, to listen to anger or criticism. My earliest memories are of my father screaming at my mother and sisters and spoiling me every bit. I was my father"s most prized possession, his only son who was born after two daughters. One of my uncle once told me that my father would have remarried if my mother would have given birth to another girl. 

We lived in a Big Haveli along with my Uncle’s family and my grandparents. Men made all the decisions in the house, all the men went to college to study but the girls were not allowed to study after 10 grade. My grandfather bought me and my cousin new cars on our 18th birthdays. 

“Go have fun,” he said.

My father and uncle"s daily routines included talking to the farmers and "munshi jee", driving big cars around town, yelling at their employees and their wives. Aba jee as I called him, bought expensive gifts for me.He spent a lot of money on me but had very little time for me due to his so-called "very busy" lifestyle.  At a very young age I found out about many of his extramarital affairs. I did not like that, got very angry but did not say anything because I did not want my mother to find about it. 

My mother was a quiet, gentle woman. Her mission in life was to raise three strong, hard working, noble children.I had seen tears in her eyes on a number of times but she never complained in front of us, her children. She loved me and my sisters alike. She taught me that strong men treat the women around them with respect may she be his mother,sister,teacher or servant. She picked us up from school, helped us with homework. She was present at each and every school activity me or my sisters participated.  Every night she told me the story of Prophet Muhammed how he treated others and especially women with respect. She taught me to respect all maids in the house and not to scream at them.

“You don't scream at an older lady who is working day and night for you,” she said.

I still remember Mama saying "One person can transform the lives of many others". 

My older sister was the first woman in our family who went to college. It took my mother many months to convince my father to let her go to college. She was so happy that day, I think I have never seen her that happy. Mama taught me compassion, honesty and integrity. She was my guiding light! and my teacher and my reformer. 

After my grandparents died my uncle and his family moved to Dubai. I got admission in MBA. I wanted to expand our family business to many other foreign markets. Both my parents accompanied me to my graduation. Aba jee was proud of his son and Mama was proud of the gentleman she has raised. 

When I started working in our sugar mills, my mother reminded me "respect others, they will respect you too!"

After a year I got married my mother said the same thing “respect your wife, she will respect you!" 

Few days after our marriage my father asked my wife to make tea for him. When she brought tea for him he screamed " you call this tea, it's horrible, throw it away". She got nervous and I could see her hands trembling. I went to my father said " Aba Jee, Ayesha will make another cup of tea for you but you have to promise me that you will never talk to her in this tone". 

Aba jee looked at me “I am your father,” he said.
“Yes and I am your son who wants his father to respect his wife,” I said in an affirmative tone. 

Both my parents looked at me, my father angry and confused. My mother with sheer pride. She had raised a son who respect women. Her hard work has paid off and she was able to raise that one person who was very different...

Mama passed away few years after that incident. Both my sisters are happily married. I am a father myself of two children a son and a daughter. I love them both equally, I respect and love my wife dearly and I also respect the many employees who work for me. Aba jee lives with us, he is suffering from Alzheimer's, he often forgets my name and that I am his son but he asks about Mama very often, maybe he wants to apologize...

But she cannot come back...

Today on Mother’s Day I am so grateful to my mother for raising not just a son but a man who knows how to respect everyone around him...

Love you Mama...