The One Line My Dad Always Used To Say

The One Line My Dad Always Used To Say

Super blurry picture but that’s my dad and me. And yes that super edgy haircut I’m sporting is thanks to my parents.

Anyone who’s super close to me knows that I’m obsessed with my dad (and now you know that too). He’s not physically here anymore but lives with me in spirit like a boss. It’s been 8 years and just that fact amazes me every time. I was crazy about him (still am) and love that he somehow manages to sneak into at least one thing I’m doing or thinking or seeing every single day and reminds me of him. Nicely played, dad.

I was talking to two of my best friends a few days ago and suddenly remembered something that Abbu (abbu is one of the Urdu words for father) always used to say that’s stayed with me all this time. I was telling them about that one line and it suddenly hit me, after all these years, how much of an impact those words had had on me and I think it’s one of the things (among the so many others he used to do) that helped me develop my independent spirit that I’m so happy with today (even though at that time I’d be like, ‘Okay, okay. I know Abbu!’).
Every single day at school dropoff, Abbu would wait for me to get out of the car (and he did this for all siblings, I think, but I’m self-centered so I only remember my part, YEAH. Plus we all went to different schools, so). Just before I could shut the car door, Abbu would sing out his signature line. 
“Take care, be good. Don’t do what I won’t. And if you do it, just do it!”

Every single day. With a giant ass smile, every single time (I’d never be able to be cheerful for my potential kids at 7 am, that too every morning, just giving birth would be enough). The days I’d repeat the line with him, he’d be over the moon.

I’m stunned now at the simplicity of this and yet the power it holds. He always pushed me to be a good person, was the most contented human being I’ve ever known (never heard him obsess over material milestones) and always, always drove me to do what I wanted. When I wanted to move to Karachi for work at 21 and live entirely on my own, he’s the one who NEVER tried to convince me to figure out another solution. He just told my mom that’s what I needed to do. 
He used to frequently email me when I was in Karachi and even though he used different words, the core remained the same. He’d warn me of all the things I could get into, having all the freedom in the world while living on my own, yet he always ended the note with telling me to go after my heart and do what I wanted to do.
I wish I’d realised the power of his words then, I would have thanked him for doing this simple little thing everyday and truly making my life.
I realised this and immediately told my best friend, who’s a mother to the most spunky little boy ever, and told her to find that one line that fits their dynamic and say it to him every day. Because that’s one of the best gifts you can give to your child – mould their mind so you don’t need to do anything else for them when you’re not around.


  1. Oh my GOD. This hit me right in the heart. I like you am very very close to my Dad. He basically raised me and my siblings to be independent. I was never terrified of being alone while abroad but more worried about who will Abbu talk to now? His taste in literature movies and culture influenced my taste. It is so nice to read about what an awesome parent he was and who made you the amazing person you are today. Thank you.

  2. Author

    Maham: As would yours be! (K)
    Atiya: I love dads! Yours sounds like a super cool person too 😀

  3. And this is so so inspirational..i think i am just going to copy this extra uber awesome line of your dad for my kids. Like totally. Can i?

  4. This made me tear up. Sending a big hug your way and hoping to implement this with my child(ren)

    – Maheen A

  5. lost my life mentor 19 years ago when i was 10, seems like yesterday last time he choked me hugging. these dads will always remain our forever heroes, no matter what! loved and appreciate how you shared your precious memory! hugs!

  6. Beautiful. Parents are a complete blessing. Stick to them like glue till they are there. I miss random things mama baba used to say and now I know the value of their words and what greatness they carried.

  7. This was absolutely beautiful and made me so very grateful for my Abbu 🙂 People dont realise what a huge influence fathers have on the self-confidence and personality of their daughters. Knowing that someone has your back and has full faith in you makes and has made the biggest difference in mine and my sister's lives. Having a good father I think sets a benchmark for any future men in your life and how they treat you and your family 🙂 I'm sure your Abbu is super duper proud of you, big hug !

  8. Your dad is such an amazing and kindred spirit. You are so blessed to have someone mould your heart and mind with such impeccable values !

Leave a Reply