Wednesday, July 22, 2015



Many times we hear about people who inspire others to be better...not by preaching the words, but by the virtue of their own actions. These are the people who are spoken of in awe, in wonder, as you would of a rare breed not often seen--almost an intangible, somewhat angelic entity. In our family we were lucky because we were blessed with Saghir Mamoo.

My first memories of Saghir Mamoo are of a giant of a man, impeccably dressed, cell phone in hand, striding from one end of the day to the other. At work he was an important man with an important job, but at home he was like the Sun to our family planet. His house was our home. We lived here, we died here. We were born here and we gave birth here. We were educated here and we got married here and nothing was ever asked of us in return. We owed, at times, our existence to this institution of a man and he acted as if we were doing him a favor. He would constantly talk about his family with stories revolving around how he benefited from his experiences but never about how he was the catalyst for so much good in our lives. That level of selflessness is beyond human capacity and borders on the celestial.

But there was more to him than a benevolent patriarch. He loved to sing and I loved hearing him hum while lost in thought. He found beauty and wonder in the most mundane of situations and was often unmoved by what fascinated the world. He found comfort in order and monotony preferring to have a set schedule and the same cup for his tea. He was a simple man who maneuvered a complicated world like a pilot of the F-18 Super Hornet.

He enjoyed watching a good movie! We shared a love for old English movies and I cherished those discussions. He could talk for hours of the comedic timing of Doris Day in “Pillow Talk” or how handsome Cary Grant was in “An Affair to Remember”, one of his favorite films. He appreciated DiCaprio in “Blood Diamond” and Russell Crowe in “A Beautiful Mind”.

And he could play cards! The man was a superb card counter. I wish I could have taken him with me to Vegas. He would have wiped up the town! We played Rummy for hours with him beating me mercilessly in every game. The best part was that I had a dry-erase board where he ceremoniously wrote our initials and would diligently keep score. One of my fondest memories of him is when he would get up after every game and gleefully update the scoreboard--which was usually along the lines of me losing by thousands of points!

We all have our memories of him--some more personal than others. To us his passing is greater than the loss of a person, a father, a husband, a brother, an uncle. We have lost a piece of our being and the world is sadder for this loss. For me personally, I lost a kindred spirit. If I have one complaint it is that in his leaving he has shattered my heart into a million pieces.

My loving Uncle, my beloved friend--it was indeed an affair to remember!