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(51): It’s June 1, Again

Muhammad Muhsin Ibrahim

Astrologists would want me to believe that June 1 is my lucky day. I will however not take them serious, as I don’t believe in that pseudoscience. But no doubt, the day stands unique in my life. At least two life-shaping incidents happened to me. First, I assumed duty as a Graduate Assistant at the prestigious Bayero University, Kano in 2012. Second, exactly a year later, I got married to the lady I have always appreciated being with. For anything, the day cannot go by like other days. I think it deserves a particular remembrance and commemoration, though not in any ritualistic manner.

This year was unlike the previous one. I had then wanted to give a tantalizing treat to my wife, which was subsequently marred by some chilling and killing incidents in both Nigeria and India that do not bear repeating here. I had not planned to do anything special for this year, nor write a single word until about an hour or so ago. I had had, two days ago, a life-threatening fever, stomachache and diarrhea to the extent I almost gave up. Allah be praised; I am alive and kicking today.

I think I ought to register my gratitude to Allah (SWT) for everything, not just sparing my life. I and my wife have been living in peace and prosperity since our marriage. We are still childless, as you would like to know, but we are happy, very happy. Birth is a gift that only Allah gives. We wait for the time He would give us. And should He not, we would still remain grateful, for He has given us other invaluable presents. 

The secret of a happy family is nothing hidden. Quarreling is unavoidable. That makes a boring life an absorbing one. Don’t let it though escalate. Come together, discuss and sort it out by yourselves. Inviting a third party is something you should avoid as much as possible. We are often insipidly requested by the elders to be patient and let things go. The “things” don’t go anywhere just like that. They go only when you rinse out your heart and mind via dialogue. Don’t stomach a grudge. It accumulates and exacerbates.

This is my last wedding anniversary in India. I hope so, at least. Most of us – Nigerians and other foreign nationals – are here for a better education. We stand all the racism, the hatred and other downgrading gestures heap on us by some ill-bred Indians. Thank God not everyone behaves like that. We are more than human beings to others. We are special. We are like their wards (and they as guardians) entrusted to them by their government. We are in India legally; we bring fortune and contribute to their developmental growth. This second category knows that. Thus, they value and respect us.

I am filled with optimism now more than ever. Our recently sworn-in president, Muhammadu Buhari has enlivened confidence in the hearts of many Nigerians. We foresee a bright light at the end of the dark tunnel that used to be our single route. There will be a time, soon, in sha Allah, when Nigerians would have to contemplate leaving or staying in their country for higher education, or related purposes. We have seen the same in other nations, so we also can.

We miss home. We love our country and look forward to offer what we can towards taking it to the Promise Land. You should always be grateful with what Allah has provided you with. As it’s said, the happiest people do not have everything; they are rather happy with everything they have. This is the lesson I have learned, hence this ‘improvised’ piece.

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