It was Father’s Day on the 18th of June and the world was neck deep in hearts, flowers, quotes and Facebook statuses on this blessed day. Among the myriad of celebrations, some even consisted of letters expressing love and sheer gratitude to be raised by men of such caliber. Let’s read them, shall we?
Shuprova Tasneem wrote for her father Asaduzzaman Noor
My whole life people have asked me – what is it like to be Baker Bhai’s daughter? It always seemed a silly question to me. To me, my Baba has always been my Baba, not the celebrity on the silver screen.
You are definitely to blame for that. You were away a lot, yet never absent. On the days you didn’t have time to be a regular father, I spent my time being a rather irregular child – playing backstage at Mohila Shomity or prompting you at rehearsals when I should have been doing my homework. You never let me understand how much effort it cost you to make time for me. And I never said thanks.
All children are grateful to their parents, for the love, support and everything in between. I won’t bore you with that. But I want you to know, it’s the little things that you’ve probably forgotten that I am most grateful for – my favourite books, the Robert De Niro and Al Pacino reruns, the late night debates on Sachin and Sangakkara, the bedside poetry readings and the cups of tea and conversations on winter mornings in Nilphamari.
But most important of all, thank you for being such a rebel always, and despite brave attempts at being a ‘stern’ father, for letting that smile slip every time I broke the rules. You always said you’d rather have an opinionated child over a quiet one any day – something I’m sure you’ve come to regret now that I talk your ears off every chance I get.
All parents love their children, but not all of them understand them. Very few can stand by and let them make their own choices, even if they are bad ones. Thank you for letting me choose my own path, for being my constant companion on it, and for making me laugh uncontrollably while at it. Happy Father’s Day!
Sriya Sharbojoya penned a letter for Aly Zaker
As soon as I agreed to write this letter for Father’s Day, I knew I was in trouble. I knew this would be a difficult task for me since there is so much I feel but it seems so difficult to put my feelings down in words- that too within the word limit that has been assigned to me.
Baba, I am your 40th birthday gift that came five days too early. And from a very young age this over entitled daughter of yours knew she is your favorite. You have called me ‘Maa’ from as long as I can remember and you would always say- “Maa, you are my Maa who left me in 1964 and was gifted back to me in 1984.” Baba, thank you for being one of the strongest feminists in my life, and for instilling in me the belief that I could be anyone I wanted to be from a very young age – whether it be the leader of the nation or a leader on a global platform, you told me the world was mine to win, so it is not a surprise that it is you who named me Sharbojoya – “one who can win anything she sets her heart to”. Over time you have instilled values in me of honesty, integrity, hard work and patriotism and have shown me the courage to love, laugh and look life in the eye and to enjoy it to the fullest-and it is all this that has made me the individual that I am today. Thank you baba for inspiring your little girl to dream big while having her feet firmly grounded. You have been my banyan tree and my pillar of strength – who I knew would keep me safe and sound through all of life’s ups and downs. Your daughter has surely not won it all and through life’s various whirlwinds of disappointments, heart aches and heart breaks your love and often silent support have been my life buoys which have helped me to stay afloat.
Baba, now, as I hold your hand to help you walk, I always know and remember that it is still your invisible hand which carries me forward in life’s ever convoluted journey. I love you to the moon and back my Baba. Here’s to many more days of long drives and evenings of loud television, laughter and adda. May you live as long as I have to live on this earth; for without your guiding light, life would be truly dark. I love you Baba.
Prito Reza wrote for his Abbu, Rezaul Karim
As a child, I used to be very angry at you abbu; especially during school years when I was involved with scouting; you expected me to pay more attention in school instead. Another reason I’d be mad at you was because despite you being a bank manager, we’d have to be wary of our expenses.
During Eid, I used to wonder what everyone else received. Whether anyone got new clothes, a bicycle or shoes was something I’d often think about as a kid. And the avenue for comparison came in when I saw the boy next door receiving all the things I wished for. His father too was a bank manager, his results in school were far worse than mine and yet he lived a lavish life. I would often ask ammu as to why you wouldn’t take bribe in your line of work? She would calm me down saying all sorts of things that I barely understood. But even with your firm principles, you’ve always been a kind man who really couldn’t say ‘no’ to us. I remember asking ammu for two taka and she offered me one instead; you however insisted that I kept five taka when I had only asked for two.
Whenever I cross paths with people who’ve worked in the same bank as you, they’d recognise me as Rezaul Karim’s son; my heart would instantly swell up with pride. It reminds me of all the things about you that I resented back in the day. Now that I understand your reasons behind the choices you made, I’m glad you never accepted bribe in your profession. You’re a very down-to-earth person abbu, absolutely devoid of complex thoughts; ammu would often say that you’re an angel and would urge me to never hurt you. And indeed you are a fereshta abbu; even when people did you wrong, you‘d find a way to forgive them and turn to their plight.
It’s through your teachings that I’ve come a long way in life and in my career. Sometimes I see myself mirroring your keen sense of morality. And as a result, I now believe that in order to be a good photographer, one must have a strong grasp of morality.
Remember when you and ammu were on your way to my khalu’s house? I was a fresher in university at the time. Paula (now my wife) and I were on a rickshaw when suddenly I noticed you two. Never have I been this awkward in life; you kept calling me but I pretended not to listen. Upon reaching home, I was trying to find ways of avoiding you, but I needed my pocket money. I came to you to collect it; my head hung down and eyes trying their best to not make contact. I hadn’t even noticed that you had been holding out a hundred taka note; and you simply said “keep it, you’ll need it as you’re expenses will be increasing!”
If there’s anything that I’ve wanted in life, it’s for you and ammu to be happy. You’ve spent your entire life putting my needs before yours. I’ve never knowingly hurt you my good-hearted abbu; however, if my actions ever did, please forgive me. This is probably something that I won’t be able to tell you up front but abbu, I love you very, very much.