To Honor a contented man: A Daughter’s finished book

This past week, I submitted the final proofs of my sixth book, which is my tribute to my father’s unwavering faith in education, emancipation, and Kashmir. 

The sense of accomplishment and gratification that I have after the completion of this project is inimitable.

After my book “Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah’s Reflections on Kashmir” was published in January 2018, I promised my publisher that I would have my next book done by December 2019. 

But my father’s fragile health and the political tumult in Kashmir prevented me from remaining centered amid all of life’s chaos.

I couldn’t transcend the unpredictability of the situation in Kashmir and was unable to garner the courage to write a book during that period of mayhem.

But in March 2020, I promised the retreating wraith of my father that I would commemorate and honor him in everything I did. He would not drown in oblivion. And my life would continue to be enriched by his wise counsel and unconditional affection.

We put our best foot forward in times of difficulty and adversity. My father’s unconditional love taught me to see hard times as an opportunity to grow, not as a misfortune.

I want my father’s strength. He taught me to be grateful for God’s mercies and was a content man. I never saw my father grieve, because he looked for meaning in every situation, and didn’t forget to count his blessings. That’s exactly what I do every single day!

NOTE: Dr. Nyla Ali Khan is author of the forthcoming book, “Educational Strategies for Youth Empowerment in Conflict Zones: Transforming, not Transmitting, Trauma” (Palgrave MacMillan, May 2021). She is a regular contributor to The City Sentinel newspaper, and frequently appears on the CapitolBeatOK news website. Both are based in Oklahoma City.