Sometimes fact is stranger than fiction. This is true in the case of Ahamed Kunhamed Kutty and his wife Zaina Ahmed of Nadapuram in Kozhikode district of Kerala.
When Zaina Ahamed gave birth to six daughters, Ahamed and his wife didn't despair. Rather they were happy. Ahamed was a progressive thinker. He envisioned a life for his daughters in which they would serve society better and be role models for others.
His wish did not take long to turn into reality. All the six daughters of the couple did well in their studies and would go on to be doctors. Wait, we are getting ahead of ourselves.
Four daughters namely, Fathima Ahamed 39, Hajra Ahamed 33, Ayesha Ahamed 30, and Faiza Ahamed are already practicing doctors. Raihana Ahamed 23 is doing her final year MBBS in Chennai while the youngest Ameera Ahamed is in the first year of her MBBS course in Mangalore.
Interestingly, the spouses of Fathima, Hajra, Ayesha, and Faiza, namely, Dr Rishad Rasheed, Dr Ajnas Mohammed Ali, Dr Abdurahman Padiyath Manapat, and Dr Ajas Haroon respectively are also doctors.
Zaina was only 12 years old when she was married off to her cousin Ahamed. At the time, he was running a business in Chennai. After the birth of their first daughter, Ahamed went to Qatar with his wife and daughter where he was employed in a refinery.
Hajra, who did a BDS course while all the others opted for MBBS, recalls the evenings in Qatar when their parents used to infuse them with the importance of doing well in their studies and serving society.
Once they returned from school, there used to be a family gathering when their parents chatted with their daughters about several things, particularly their studies and future.
"My Uppa liked medicine. When he couldn't become a doctor he dreamt of making his brother a doctor. But his brother went on to become a teacher and he's known as Soofi teacher in our place," Hajra said.
So, naturally, Ahamed wished that one of his daughters would fulfill his dreams. Fathima opted for MBBS and she took to the course like a duck to water. The positive feedback from Fathima inspired her other sisters also to go in for medicine. Behind it, all was the advice of their parents. In fact, one of the sisters, Ayesha was interested in doing law. But her parents told her she can pursue it after completing her MBBS course.
Similarly, when it came to the marriage of their daughters, Ahamed and his wife were specific that their daughters should marry someone from the same profession so that it would help the young couple understand each other better. They were also against the practice of dowry. They didn't want to "sell off" their daughters but marry them off to a person who understood and loved them.
After working in Qatar for nearly 35 years, the couple with their daughters returned to Kerala. About two years later, Ahamed suffered chest pain and passed away. At the time, only two of the daughters were married off. Thereafter, Zaina encouraged and inspired her daughters to pursue their courses and married off two other daughters.
Fathima is presently working in a military hospital in Abu Dhabi. Hajra said she had returned from abroad and is planning to do her PG course.
Ayesha is serving in a hospital in Kodungallur while Faiza and her husband work in Kochi.
This story would read like a dream. But, as they say, Rome was not built in a day. The six women doctors and their mother would testify.
The sisters don't have a photograph taken together with their Uppa. They carry an image of him in their hearts.
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