Thursday, March 08, 2007

Women in My Life

I thought to celebrate International Women’s Day I should pay tribute to five women who have had a lasting effect in my life. Each in their own way and style have made me what I am today.

Geeteara Safiya Choudhury: What does one say about one’s mother? She is all that and more. And more importantly she is (or should I say was???) my boss. I could write a thesis on her and still not be able to describe her fully. I learned many things from her but the values of honesty and hard work that she taught me are the most valuable. (Well atleast I practice one of them!). From a very young age I knew that my mother was different from others. I could go to her with anything and get a patient hearing without being judged. And that I’ve seen is true even now at work. On her desk sits a small plaque that I had bought her that says “Mother is one who can take anyone’s place but whose place no one else can” . True!

Rokia Afzal Rahman: What does one say about one’s mother-in-law? Well she is nothing like the stereotype that is butt of “mom-in-law” jokes. I’ve known Roki Aunty since I was a kid. She being my mother’s friend, I heard great tales about this person since eons. But I really got to know her after I got married. To my utter delight I found a wonderful person. And since my father-in-law’s demise found a strong and level-headed one. I am still amazed by how friendly she can get. It is a matter of minutes before she starts a conversation with a complete stranger. And a few more minutes before they are friends. I am sure not many people can truly say that they are good friends with their mother-in-law. I can.

Faiza Rahman: This is the tricky one. And only because I just don’t know where to begin and where to end. She is my best friend and confidant. She is my anchor and my engine. She is my present and my future. She is my wife. I guess many can claim that their wives are the same. But I know she is different. I am mesmerised by her beauty and awe struck by her intelligence. I often wonder how she can take so good care of me. (Ok confession time: I do absolutely nothing to help out in the house). These days it is uncanny how we begin to finish each other’s sentences and thoughts. I just I wish I could sing, then I’d sing her the world.

Fahima Choudhury: I’ve known her all her life. And she has known me most of mine. We were born just 2 years, 2 months and 9 days apart (those 9 days mattered when you were young). We grew up together as friends. I don’t remember any sibling rivalry growing up. A lot of fights maybe! But mostly because I figured out what fun it was to see her get angry. Despite this Keya and I had the most fun growing up together. Our summer trips to Sylhet. Our cycle rides in my father’s office (Sherlock Snoopy Roger that!) Us figuring out who got a bigger share of Coke left over from last evening’s party. Kodai. And her borrowing money from me for not having “change” for a Taka 500 note [the bill being Tk 475!!] She is one of the most capable and intelligent persons I know. And I know many.

Yasmeen Murshed: the only non-family on the list. I guess that makes her special. But she is. These days it seems to be fashionable to blame her school and her for so many things. But I never do get it. She taught me most of what I know. Well not only academically speaking but also about one’s sense of responsibility, patriotism and belief in one’s abilities. Even as the principal of my school, she never used to impose her will on us. She used to encourage us to challenge her. She pretended that we were her intellectual peers and engaged us. Not as mere school boys but rather as men.

I know, I know. Many will think I’m sucking up big time. But here is the truth on why I wrote this. These days it is very common to hear conversation about “these two ladies” who have ruined our nation. And this thought is often taken forward and argued as a fault of their gender in general. But that this is so, so far from the truth. These five ladies prove beyond a doubt in my mind that it is not gender that should be a discriminator.


Samiha Esha said...

greet Farhan bhaia. My Heartiest wishes for your family and the role model girls of our country. Convey My International Women's Day wishes to all of them. and You really wrote a great post about thanking five great women in your life. Its really different. Very people nowadays thank women for their achievements...You are the one who present it so beautifully. I adore you...thanks for sharing your thought and its best of the best post of your blog...congrats :)

Samiha Esha :)

ZaFa said...

WOW! Farhan. This blows me away! Awesome dude. The women in your life did a great job on you. :)

Anonymous said...

Wow...It feels great to read about people you can relate to...!!!Its truly amazing how people around us can have such inspiring and profound effects. But unfortunately majority of the leaders/rulers we have bestowed upon our precious nation, have failed to inspire anything but hostility /corruption/intolerance. And to some extent we are all to blame for choosing to vote for them or being directly or indirectly indifferent towards their misdeeds. Would we have trusted these people with our own children, then why did we let our own country be abused and humiliated across the world for their shameful acts........!!! freesoul

Anonymous said...

Hi Bhaiya:

Thanks so much for the wonderful things you have said...finally made me try and figure out how to leave a comment for you!

Though I wish you had printed a slightly less fatty photo of me!


Anonymous said...

Hello Farhan,

I just came across your piece today and it's been long since March 8th , but still it brought a smile on my face. Even though I don't know you, I just know how it all began (wth you) the moment i read the names of your Mom and Mom-in-law; the 2 Bengali women ahead of their times.

I really appreciate your thoughts. Bengali men in general seem to lack the effort/consciousness/honesty to appreciate the women in their lives, that's wht I thought so far. You came across as an exceptionally refreshing experience.

Thanks for sharing your beautiful mind and keep up your inspiring works.

Anonymous said...

Dear Farhan Bhai,

Hope that you are doing fine. I was simply amazed by your blogs, particularly the one on the most influential women in your life. What a sincere, open-hearted and emotion-packed confession on the women that mattered most in your life!

Everyone, in Bangladesh is not lucky enough to get such mother, mother-in-law, sister and wife indeed. This is certainly a family made in heaven. A family of a constellation of stars, each one not less bright than the other!

When I think back about my days in Adcomm I really feel proud, privileged and honored to be able to work with such nice human beings like you as colleagues.

You were always so warm-hearted and cordial to me and to be truthful, I have never found bosses like you and madam ever, so polite, understanding, sympathetic, disciplined, punctual and even tempered in all kind of situations.

In my most formative years in Adcomm, you and Madam had a major influence in the way I propelled my life and career forward.

I am really grateful to you where I am standing right now, in the society and business community as a whole.

Though I am in different profession now, my heart still belongs to Advertising and the Adcomm Family and everyday I dream one day I would return to advertising again so that I can always keep in touch with such amazing, enlightened and friendly people like you.

I wish you and Adcomm every success. Please reach my compliments to Madam, Keya and Faiza.

Kind Regards,

Iftekhar Mahmud


SUSHANTA said...

I think the last comment from ur MOM has made many people sad.

But I think She did it as slip of tounge!