To my uncle, my best friend
My dear Ihtisham,
Though it has almost been 20 years since you are gone, I can now call you by your name and not 'mama ji', since we are now age mates. You left me too soon. You left without saying a goodbye and I couldn't even see you the last time. The last time we were together was on a tonga ride to a cricket match where you scored a 50. And while riding, your friends who were in a car, laughed and ridiculed us, but you were not intimidated, because you took pride in the 'Shahi Sawaari'. I didn't know it was the last time I would hold your hand. For years after you left, I lived in a dillusion that you would appear out of the blue someday and surprise us all. But now I realize that you aren't coming back to us in this lifetime. You left! And you left too soon. I didn't even have the chance to see the man you really were and you didn't have a chance to see your nephew grow. You didn't see me play all the cricket shots you taught me while I played for my college. Man I was good, because I learned from the best. You couldn't even see me participate in poetry competitions in school. I aced all of them. And how would I not after playing baet bazi with you and Mazhar mamo all my childhood.
I wonder if you knew that I looked up to you? I wonder if you noticed my hair. I used to copy your hairstyle. And the way you rolled up your sleeves.
Remember that one day when you asked me about halloween and I told you about it? You were so happy. You called me an 'encyclopedia'. And that one day when I broke a light bulb while playing cricket and you told bibi ji that it was you?
You had so many ambitions and many more dreams. You couldn't fully bloom but while you were here you showed us how life should be lived. I have grown-up now. We will fullfill your dreams together. We will play cricket and watch movies. We will hangout like best buddies. I will take care of you. Comeback home now and surprise us all. Like you would all the time. You would tell us that u pulled a prank on us. Or call us April fools. I wait but you never do come. And you probably never will. But I hope to see you again. In a better world. In a better place.