Hakim Baloch: The Infrequent Talent of Balochistan
By Mir Sadaat Baloch
Demise of a father can be devastating for a person but departure of the father who is your friend, mentor, encourager, inspiration and motivation is a soul wrecking experience. Hakim Jan (an alias associate to his friends and family) is not only a hero to his daughters and sons but is an icon for anyone who followed literature, politics or civil services. In my life time I have come across people who have excelled in their particular fields but seldom have I known a person who has outshined in more than one field. Hakim Jan was one of those infrequent talent who would achieve mastery in any aptitude he learned. To his college and university fellows he was the catalyst for Baloch student politics, who created Baloch Student Organization (BSO). Then to his civil servant colleagues he was an ace officer, who would always uphold the flag of equity and justice while dispensing his duties to public. Finally, his intellectual prowess was the key to his magnanimity, through his writings he conquered the hearts and minds of many. He would always tell me that his true calling was being a vessel of knowledge and intellectualism for the people of Balochistan. His literature was not limited to one language or idea. He would write immaculately in English and Urdu but his true love was writing in Balochi. His writings in Urdu would mostly be political, where he would highlight the issues of common people and short comings of this country and particularly Balochistan. On the other hand, his writings in English and Balochi are more focused towards literature. I am sure many people have written and will keep on writing about his intellectual contribution, so I will not discuss it further.
I am here to tell everyone what Abdul Hakim Baloch was in his private life and what legacy he left for us. The confident person that I am today, was once a scared child who would always greet the guests with shaking hands and a trembling voice. Daddy noticed that I lacked confidence and without making me realize, he started building my confidence in his covert ways. He would tag me on any official visit he would make. I still remember my first visit with him was to Central Jail Mach. He was welcomed there by a band of Levies personnel and I got scared by the guns they were holding and I started crying. Daddy without feeling embarrassed picked me up, hugged and kissed me and during the whole visit he carried me around like a mother. He never discussed this incident with anyone, neither did he stop tagging me along to his visits. Then the time passed on and he admitted me in one of the most prestigious and flamboyant school of Pakistan; Aitchison College Lahore. It was beyond his means to pay for my fees but he still managed it. I couldn’t do justice to his expectations while studying at Aitchison but he would never complained about it. When my headmaster told him that I am very weak in English, he very calmly replied to him that he would improve my English during summer vacations. And here I am today having a PhD from United Kingdom, who has not only written scores of articles but also running the maiden think tank of Balochistan. Many people who look up to me these days reckon that I have done a lot of hard work to reach here, but let me tell them that it would have never been possible without the sacrifices, determination, encouragement and mentorship of my father. He was the glory of my life and this life cannot be as glorious now, as it used to be with him then.
Hakim Jan was known for his fairness and equity but he was not fair when it came to raising his children. He had a bias towards his daughters for good reasons. He knew that raising daughters in this society would need extra attention and encouragement from a father. He loved his daughters like any father would but along with that love he would also teach them the values of hard work, valour, self-respect and competition. He had the same affinity towards his daughter in laws and grandchildren. He taught all of us that if we want to excel in our lives, we must learn not to hate anyone because hate is feeling that could decay any talent. He taught us that best route towards success is through competition and any achievement without a sense of achievement is as bad as a failure. The sense of achievement can only be attained through competition. Daddy taught me that patronage can get you all the bounties in the world but not solace. Solace is a seed that only nurture through, hard work, honesty and determination. He taught me that it is more important to have a purposeful life than a successful life. Success may fulfil many desires of your life but its purpose that would motivate you each day. He believed that a satisfactory life can only be achieved when you help others to grow in their lives. For him the luckiest person in this world would be one who could eat whenever he desires and sleep whenever he wants. The greatest gift that we can give to a person is our forgiveness, before they even ask for it. Daddy was of the opinion that I should admire the person who earns 100 rupees a day rather than a person who spends thousands of rupees a day. To him the best man in the world is the one who respects a woman in his thoughts and the most beautiful lady is a smiling confident lady. This article would be incomplete without mentioning how he treated the lady of his life Razia Sultana.
It was through his attitude towards our mother that he taught us that most important trait in a man is respecting woman. In his whole life he would never raise his voice in front of her, he may disagree with her but he would never denounce her in front of us. He was never shy of the fact that his wife cannot speak proper Urdu or English. He would always proudly take her to official dinners and international visits, while she would wear her Balochi attire. Till the last day of his life before having his meal he would ask if our mother had her meal. Even on his last night when I snugged him in his bed he said to me, “I know your mother must be really tired and worried because of me, please turn off the light so that she sleeps well”. That were his last words before he died peacefully four hours later.
The true legacy of Hakim Baloch is that after his departure the whole province treated it as their personal loss. He was a teacher to the people of Balochistan and we will all miss him throughout our lives. We have big shoes to fill in coming days, he has passed us the baton and we can try our best to make him proud by living a purposeful life by helping everyone to grow. A timid, average structured child hailing from the fertile land of Panjgur became the giant of Balochistan is a tale of success that will inspire many in future, while Hakim Jan will be basking in the shadows of date palm trees beside his beloved son Mir Balach till eternity.