May 28, 2020 – the longest, darkest, scariest night of my life! My beloved father M Ishaque Bhuiyan, lost his life in an excruciating final battle against the cruel COVID-19 virus. Abba was like a steadfast tree to the family, while the rest of us were his branches, all under the wings of his care. The saddest part of this story is that I was unable to tend to his final days, being stuck in the U.K. for my PhD.
I couldn't visit! Yes! I couldn't even…
All the comfort I can give myself at the moment is that it was the ultimate will of a Higher Power (Allah SWT) and no matter what we tried; this was destined for our family.
So, I have calmed my mind, assuming he is definitely in a better place, one where there are no vices and no pandemics to fight against.
Abba, a freedom fighter and a key commander in the Mujib Bahini, was also a 1973 BCS graduate, dedicating the majority of his life to government services. With various work stints like being the District Commissioner of Natore (1996-99), to holding a key role in the Election Commission Committee (Sylhet), to tirelessly volunteering for 15 years in Special Olympics of Bangladesh (SOBD) and holding a special position in the committee, to being the director of Bangladesh Development Bank Ltd (BDBL), he was a truly dedicated patriot, completing his work life gloriously as a reputable Joint Secretary of the Bangladesh Government.
Yes, all of us who have been associated to him are proud. We are proud that he taught us to ceaselessly love our country and no matter what, to always dedicate our lives for the betterment of the nation.
Here's the saddest part. When I joined Dhaka University as a faculty back in 2009, he was the proudest and often asked me to publish write-ups in the leading newspapers of the nation. Having time constraints, I always found an excuse to avoid publishing. My best excuse till date was not being a good writer. Still, abba kept on pursuing me.
Today, after so many years, when abba has already left us, I have taken up the pen to scribble a few words to him.
Alas, abba – such is life! – I am really sorry.
This write-up is a token of love and appreciation from a doting daughter to a father.
Wherever you are today, you are missed by many, including friends, family, and hundreds from your birth place Talshahar, Brahmanbaria. You left us all in deep mourning. We salute you for being a steadfast supporter of our beloved Bangladesh.
We love you back for being the warm human being that you were. Your blessings are showering down upon us from heaven. I hope you will still help me walk the path you had etched for me. You have always been my inspiration and you will continue to be for years to come. I have always loved you, my hero, and always will.
Your beloved daughter,
Nusrat Jahan (Rojoni)
Associate professor, Department of Tourism and Hospitality Management
University of Dhaka
Photo courtesy: Nusrat Jahan (Rojoni)