My father was a medical doctor. He was a rational man in a deeply religious society. He was born in a poor illiterate family. But he went to a school against his family’s wishes. He moved from his village to a city with a dream to become a doctor. He struggled a lot to make his dream come true. He did not have money to buy medical books. He used to borrow books from his classmates when they were about to go to sleep at night. After studying he returned their books early in the morning. He was the best student in the medical college.
He never prayed, and he never believed in superstitions. He taught me to believe in science, not in religion. He did not let anyone to force me or convince me to wear burqa. He did not let anyone to force me into marriage when social norm was to force teenage daughters to drop out of school and to marry someone. All my father wanted for me was to be an educated and enlightened person.
My father was a professor at the medical college where I studied medicine. He was my teacher. Without my father, I know very well that it would have been impossible for me to be the person I am today. He taught me to live without fear and walk with head held high.
When my father fell ill, I begged, pleaded, and cried to be allowed to see him in his last days. The Government of Bangladesh refused to permit me entry. My father died.
I am shedding tears for him today. In gratitude, I bow my head today.
Happy Teachers Day, Papa.