Victory in defeat, there is none higher. She didn't give up, Ben; she's still trying to lift that stone after it has crushed her. She's a father working while cancer eats away his insides, to bring home one more pay check. She's a twelve-year-old trying to mother her brothers and sisters because mama had to go to Heaven. She's a switchboard operator sticking to her post while smoke chokes her and fire cuts off her escape. She's all the unsung heroes who couldn't make it but never quit.” ― Robert A. Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land
Prologue: In life we are constantly reminded, who is the local, regional,national and international leaders,by who they were, what they did in the past, what they are doing now and what might be doing in the future. Definitely they give us inspirations, but most of us know without the help of millions of people who do things not for recognition but do what their heart says the world would have been a different place. The individuals and families mentioned here definitely helped me reshape my life and offer me constant inspirations every single day. This book dedicated to them. May God give them peace,joy and prosperity......
To us, our mother was the most wonderful person in the world. She was a short very fair skinned person. She was extremely intelligent and was at the top of her class. All of us had tremendous respect for her, including my father who was at times having great difficulties managing his anxieties about our futures. She was rock bottom, calm and collected under pressures. My surviving aunts and uncles comment about her being the best in their family while growing up. We were very very close to her. Most women in those days will not keep up with religions and worldly affairs, but she did.One day she asked me,do you know,"what is the most constant wrong human thought process?. I thought about it but had no clue. She answered, "even though everybody will die one day, everybody constantly thinks, he or she will live forever". I found her very knowledgeable when discussing those and other things until the day she died unexpectedly from an apparent heart attack while washing dishes . It was almost to the day, the second anniversary of my dad's passing. All of us were very devastated. She kept us together inside her chest like the mother goose will do to her young babies. It became more evident when our dad died suddenly from GI bleeding and improper treatments at an early age on April 17, 1973. Even though we had lost the only wage earner in the family, she gathered us together and said, "Do not worry,God is there to protect us".She kept the 5 of us glued together until April 13,1975. I remember the discussions we used to have while I was waiting for my Medical School Admission Test. I also remember the sudden thought of her being extraordinarily beautiful looking at her face a few days before her death. I also remember her asking me hold her wrist and to feel her pulse being irregular a few days before her death. I was not sure of her comment and I could not detect the pulse irregularity anyway. The country had one of the poorest Medical Response System in the World at that time and nothing probably could have been done. I still blame myself for missing her point and not helping her when she needed me, even though I was only 18 years world and had just finished the 12th Grade. I did not want to go to the privately owned pharmacy my dad left behind which my oldest brother was managing and was doing very well, the day of her death. I was having some discussion about current politics with her in the kitchen. My brother was going to the city from the rural area we lived in, to buy some medicines for our medicine shoppe and he asked me to watch for him until he came back. As I was waiting for his return a mere one hour from the time I have left her in our house, one of our neighbors ran to me and said my mother was seriously sick and I must follow him. As I was heading towards our house hastily about half a mile from the store, I heard him saying behind my back to somebody else, that my mother had passed away! I ran to our house,shocked and confused and there she was on the floor laying without life, with foam coming out her mouth and nose. I still cry in pain when I think about her death and wonder why God would take our Angel mother back to him so suddenly, at such an early age. She was forty years old at that time.Without her all of us felt emptiness everywhere,the whole world felt empty, there sky had disappeared and there was no place to take refuge,no place to hide. I remember, my oldest brother writing in his notebook "Where Are You Mom?". We do not know where she is now. We still miss her dearly, all of us and we visit her graveyard attached to the lot of our 50 year old house and we all pray for her. We hope from up in the heaven she is watching us constantly and praying for us to God and telling us everything will be alright..... Tears flowing from eyes right now as I am writing about the most wonderful women in my life my mother.We all miss you mom.....
Chapter#2. Shahid Nasiri: My Oldest Brother. He was not the finest kid in the block or even in the family, when my dad, a family physician was alive. He was doing fair in school,not a stand out in anything. But when my father died at an early age, at age twenty with severe untreated asthma, he dropped out of the college,assumed the fatherly figure, which became more evident after the passing of my mother two years later. The rest is history....
My Growing Up And The Country I was Born In: My dad was a very kind and loving man, who worked very hard all his life but was not able to settle down because of India was getting Independence from mighty British Empire and it divided into two countries Now India or Hindustan ( a name came from those living on the Banks of the river Indus) and Pakistan. The year was 1947. There was immediate civil unrest millions individuals and families migrated from their place of birth because of their affiliations with one religion or another. My father felt the pressure to move from The West Bengal now in India to East Pakistan. He moved from places to places and was always unsure about our future,always anxious about education. Finally he built a small house near public schools to make sure we get some education. East Pakistan was separated from West Pakistan by about 1000 miles, with India sitting in the middle. There was no land connection between the two. Few people who could afford would fly from the east to the west, my family could never afford that. East Pakistan was a relatively poor country and we were lower middle class in our society. We had a brick house,small rooms,no electricity or water supply,no fan nothing. We had to drink water from a well dug in a piece of land attached to our house.My dad was not only a village doctor,he was a great gardener,a local politician,who had to work very hard to make ends meet.
The east(East Pakistan) was not getting along with the west(West Pakistan). Other than the religion of Islam, their was hardly anything any common, the language was different, people were living so far away other than the national politicians themselves we were complete strangers. Then there was India with the Hindu majority never felt comfortable having enemies at both ends. They had major conflicts and wars between them. The first one was to get control of Kashmir which was divided into Azad(free)Kasmir and it joined West Pakistan and the remaining Kashmir which stayed with India. The second war was in 1965, we have just moved to the new house I was only eight years old. We witnessed military vehicles going in the direction of West Bengal and came back with no sights or sounds of the actual war. The war was limited to West Pakistan and India and after about 17 days of war a truce was signed and soldiers were retreated to their original positions.
The bigger problem was the relationship of the people of then West Pakistan with those living in the East. There were political uncertainties, the west was 6 times bigger in land mass but had a smaller population size than the east. The country was however ruled by the politicians who were born an brought up in the west.Election results were cancelled, military overthrowing the civilian government in 1958 and General Ayub Khan became the president. He later on became a civilian and became elected president and did a fairly decent job until the year 1968, when he was thrown out by civil unrest and military dictator General Yahia khan came to power. He ordered new strict rules to govern, but also promised for a free a fair election which took place in the month of December 1970. The same year approximately 500000 people died in East Pakistan by the attack of a cyclone, one of the highest number of casualties in a cyclone in world history. The death toll was that high not because the wind was very powerful, it was the poor infrastructure and housing conditions.By the way East Pakistan has 6 seasons Summer,Rainy,Autumn,Hemonto,Winter and Spring.
My Coming: It has been almost 31 years ago, in the year 1985, on a January morning I headed to Cleveland, Ohio after a sleepless night at JFK where I had my first encounter with the immigration department, the process was very smooth, picture taking, stamping of my Bangladeshi passport and no cooperation from British Airways (to have a hotel room,for overnight delay). It was very cold outside. Cleveland was even colder and the light snow shower was almost nonstop for the 19 days I stayed over there before moving to Arlington, Virginia, a Washington DC suburb. Before moving here I was working in Iran as a physician for about a year. My coming to America was not any different from most immigrants i.e. to have a better life than that existed in Bangladesh. By that time I have already passed my exam. to recognize that I was qualified to try for a Residency Training Position had I met few other minor requirements. I was married to an immigrant , which helped pave my way to my coming to this country legally with work eligibility. Initial Shock: As if extreme weather was not enough, I found myself without any job and basically with an empty wallet. My brother in law was very generous but it offered little comfort, because I had no job skill other than manual labors, which I was not accustomed to do and the path to have a position in a qualified training program was much further away, than I had thought before coming here. My X wife moved to join me and we rented an Efficiency and bought a piece old carpet and an old mattress to begin our new life. Subsequent three were very trying for both of us. Working as a crew member $3.65 an hour, mopping floor, cleaning bathrooms, serving foods at times seemed very overwhelming. I wanted to go back but my oldest brother who has raised us since we were orphaned in our teen age years, advised not to return defeated. Later on I worked as a security guard for a security company, first in the World Bank building and subsequently in the USA today corporate building. For a graduated physician doing those jobs were very painful at that time, in the long run those were the best things happened to me , which reshaped my life for ever i.e. never disrespect anybody or any profession and have humility, no matter where you are.
Life As A Doctor: After three years of immense hardships and uncertainities , I was accepted in a Pediatric Training program in Texas, where I excelled and subsequently moved to a small town in Georgia for about a year, got bored and decided to move to North Carolina in the first part of August 1992. First employed, but unhappy with the conditions, I decided to start my own practice from scratch, in Fayetteville, North Carolina.. I was clueless at first about the business aspect of the process. But I am a hands on person and the more mistakes I made more I learned from them and the process has conitnued for the last 20 years I have become members of thousands of families, we share our daily life experiences, talk about our fututures, talk about our pain and happiness, despair and hope all under the same roof of my clinic building. Life in the US: I am living an American Dream. I have raised a wonderful family with three children. The oldest child is a Family Practitioner, the second child wants to be an independent businessman and the youngest an attorney. Travel is my passion. I have been to all the 50 the 50 states and the Peurto Rico. I also have been to 34 countries and 5 continents. I closely monitor the local, us and world events and see greatness of so many people, most of them are common middle to low income people, who are also being hammered by the realities of life. The congress and the adminstration are at odds while nation's businesses have taken back seats because political parties extreme polarizations and individual members personal priorities
Christopher Sherman: He is my property manager, my handy man, a friend, a critic a cancer survivor. In theory we should have never met but God had his own plan. The real Estate Agency which was managing my property has terminated the contract because it was not profitable for them. I am a hands on person and tried to manage the property myself and Chris Sherman was leased one on my two bed room duplexes. He was working odd jobs and was having difficult times to pay bills. His mother was not on the lease but he always took care of her as I learned later on. His well to do brother does little or nothing to help any of them. I come from a country where mothers are well respected and taken care of by their children as they grow older. Even though his mother was not on the lease I was pleased to see a person's attachment to his mother.
The responsibilities to work as a busy physician, manage property and work as a parent of three chilldren, husband of a wonderful wife were too much for me. Incidentally I came to know a woman who worked for a reputable Real Estate Company and who was attending the same Temple as I did at that time. We agreed to sign a deal.