A few days ago, I was sitting in my office. It started raining. My colleague, who is also a distant relative, came in and said "AZ (my father) would have loved this rain. He would have gone straight to Ratanpur (our ancestral village home)."
Indeed, it was very difficult to keep Baba in Dhaka during the monsoon season. He loved the rain, the green. He loved his village home. Strangely enough, while I have been to Ratanpur many times with Baba, I have never visited the place during the monsoon. I am planning to go this year but Baba will not be there.
Losing a loved one is hard, but every once in a while, you remember something that you forgot to do or share with that person. And you realise that you will never get the chance. That is perhaps the hardest.
Baba was not one to dwell on regrets too much. And from him, I try to draw the strength to deal with the more difficult passages of loss. Still our lives were such that it is difficult not to be reminded often of the person that was and is no more.
He lived next door. Every morning I would go over to say good morning, and every night I would go to say good night. On most afternoons, my nephew and daughter would play in his bedroom while he, or the both of us, napped.
Baba was a great napping partner. We had a decent understanding of when to talk and when to let the other person sleep. I try not to dwell on these memories with sadness. I try to relive them with joy and fondness. Every once in a while, however, I have the crushing sensation of realising that they will never come back.
Last week, I went to his office room at work for the first time since his passing. The staff has done an amazing job of upkeep. Even his favorite cream crackers are there in a jar. It felt like the room was waiting for him to come back. All that was missing was the camera on the coffee table, the laptop on the writing desk, and the person in the armchair.
I would raid the cookie jar whenever I went to visit him at work. I couldn't bring myself to touch the biscuits this time.
Father's day is on the third Sunday of June. As it happens, this year it will coincide with Baba and Maa's marriage anniversary. When this happened before, Maa would complain that it was one more way for Baba to take the spotlight. I don't think she will complain this year. It is strange the things that you miss.
Every year on occasions like Father's Day, there is a debate about whether we need a special day to celebrate loved ones. Some are of the opinion that there is no need for a special day for Fathers or Mothers. Every day is Father's Day, they say.
I have never given much thought to which side of the debate I am on. But this year it seems like any occasion to remember Baba is probably a good thing. Not to dwell on the sadness of his passing, but to relive, to celebrate the life that he lived, and the life that we shared.
Happy Father's day to all fathers. Those who are with us, and those who shine from above.
Iresh Zaker is an actor and entrepreneur