A short speech I was asked to give at the occasion of Walima Dinner for my son Roofi (Ahmad Jamil Akhtar) and his wife Dara( Darakhshan) on 11 Jan 2011. I thought I should share it with my esteemed readers.
Ladies and gentlemen, dear friends, Assalamo alekum and good evening. I welcome you to this important gathering.
I will begin with saying something about dreams.
I have a dream, I have a dream, said Dr Martin Luther King. He died for saying this. His dreams though are now slowly but surely being realized in stages and in measures. For me I am not worried if my dreams do not come true, because my nightmares also do not come true. Even so, I cannot help dreaming. I had a dream I shall have children. I had a dream I shall have grown up children. I had a dream I shall have wonderful, educated, and happily married children. All of these most important dreams have now come true by the grace of Allah (SWT). I also dreamt that I shall have grand children. Allah gave me wonderful ones so that my back when they try to ride me playing horse proves to be too small. Now my next dream is that this my back shall soon experience further shrinkage. Because there will be insha Allah about half a dozen more.
I must say a few words about Roofi who is having, alhamdolillah, his most important and hilarious moments. The Father said to the child," Hold my hand so we can cross the river". "No", said the child, "YOU hold my hand". "What is the difference?" asked the Father. The child said, "If I hold, I may loose the grip when the current is strong. But if you hold my hand I am sure you will never let it go no matter how strong the currents". Here I have been holding Roofi's hand and we have reached to this point by the grace of Almighty Allah. But lately I have a feeling that Roofi is exchanging hands.
There are examples when a son may start getting grey hair while his father is still around. Such a son sent his first grey hair to his father with a note: Dad here is my first grey hair for you. The father replied: Son, thanks, but this is not the first grey hair you have given me. ....But my Roofi cannot be blamed for even one of my grey hair, he has been such a great son. I can never do justice if I start praising him. Suffice will be to say that I am proud to be known as Roofi's father, as indeed I am to be known by my other two children. Actually when these three are together, they form an example where the sum total of the parts gets greater than the whole.
Naturally, Roofi is like me in many ways. Like me he knows the pleasure one feels when one finds unexpectedly something long thought lost when one was looking for something else. This pleasure is unknown to those who are very tidy and organized. Like me he is fond of postponing things to the last minute, when further delay is impossible, before acting, and acting decisively. The relaxation you feel in this is foreign to those who do today what could be left for tomorrow. His sincerity and love is from his mother, dedication from his sisters, but devotion to the family is all from me. I must take this opportunity to register my sincere thanks to Yazdana for being such a great mother and for raising the children so beautifully.
I wish Roofi and Dara a very happy life.
I thank you for being patient and for bearing with me so far.