Life’s Work: Chapter 3 – Kazim accounts for his life.
After some soul searching, Kazim decided to use his skills as a website developer, to create a genealogy or family tree website.
He also wanted to get to know his family better. He realized when his brother passed on, he was not in enough contact with him and other family members and friends. In his quest to educate his mind, he had sacrificed a lot. And he felt he should use the modern internet technology, as a means of getting and staying connected, regardless of how near or far they were geographically. So he traveled to his home country, Trinidad, in 2003, to start this website project. And it was while researching and documenting his size-able family, with photos, relationship information, his close beloved friend died in Phoenix, Arizona, USA. She succumbed to cancer the 3rd time around.
Kazim felt a great deal of emotions surrounding the events in his life now. He had sacrificed his past in search of his future, in seeking to educate his mind. And now he felt he had sacrificed his present by trying to reconnect with his past.
He also became aware that he considered more than one place on this earth as ‘home’. If he was away from any one of these ‘homes’ he felt a deep yearning to revisit, and be with his dear ‘family’.
Life was throwing curve balls at him now. He recognized these are the situations he faced because of his life choices. And although not pleasant ones, however, they were learning ones. How has he benefited because of these experiences? The one great lesson he has learned from any adverse experience, is this – “Now that I know how such an experience feels, I can relate with others who are going through the same, and I can also share with others, so that they become aware of these life choices’ consequences”
Everyone of us are faced with life’s challenges. And sometimes, in seeking to accomplish our dreams, desires, or goals, we take risks – calculated or not. We abandon the safe confines of our creature comforts to pursue, train, develop, to gain new and better conditions for our lives. In the pursuit of our dreams, we may not always succeed, and this may only be a temporary thing if we label it as such. We have to get back up, dust ourselves off, and return to the quest. In the process we may be bruised and bloodied.
The important thing is for us to know if we can surmount another challenge, or give up , if it is in our best interest to do so. It is not always about being successful in a particular endeavor, but having the wisdom to know if events can be turned around with other approaches.
“Wisdom is rightly applied knowledge.” Kazim Abasali
Kazim grew to appreciate the preciousness of life even more – its sacredness or sanctity, and our own humanness as earthly mortals – That life was a transitory thing.
Life has no guarantees for we do not know what day will be our last on this earth. What breath would be our last ! So the idea is to make each day count. And to try our very best to do all in our power to fulfill our life’s purpose NOW !!! And to prepare for the unexpected !
There was an urgency in Kazim’s purpose in life now. He immediately resolved to use the skills he developed as a computer specialist, multimedia artist, and website developer, to continue his work. He was determined to give back to his communities. He continued the genealogy family website.
To facilitate an online forum for his alma mater Holy Cross College, Arima, in Trinidad, he created the website www.hccaalumni.com, which he dedicated to the present students with the Nelson Mandela quote: “Sometimes it falls upon a generation to be great. You can be that great generation.”
To document and chronicle the family tree, as well as Holy Cross College’s history, he scanned and edited literally thousand of photos, to create albums and archives. Kazim also attended family reunions and functions, taking and posting photos to make the family website dynamic with new features and updates. He also covered college reunions, functions, sporting events, and fundraisers, incorporating the photos he took to include in the college website.
All this involved lots of interaction with others, who supported the projects with details and more. And with their cooperation, it is a credit to them that things materialized. Also, it took a lot of time – months and years, and research, to finally produce something significant, so the websites could be meaningful and valued.
Kazim with friend Charles Bhawanie (next to Kazim who is on the extreme right of this Arima, Trinidad photo), and Charles’ son Walt (centre) who provided Kazim with Holy Cross College booklet that assisted him in the website. Herman Pereira is on the extreme left of photo.
Back in New York, Kazim was organizing a 50th Anniversary Reunion for the Holy Cross College Arima past students in the area. And he networked with “The Boys” to spread the word, and inform those living in the area to get together for this reunion.
At extreme left is Dave Lalla, next to Kazim in this Brooklyn, New York photo. Dave – a force to reckon with – for he has a big heart. He is a wonderful friend. He and the others here formed part of the group that help organized this New York group reunion.
Sheldon Gomes (2nd from right in this Long Island, New York photo, and next to Dave Lalla on extreme right). It was Sheldon who Kazim turned to initially for support in organizing the 50th Anniversary Holy Cross College New York reunion. Sheldon recommended Dave to Kazim, and things materialized from here. It is interesting to note that Sheldon is a family friend to Kazim. His parents and Kazim parents were also close friends. Sheldon is like an ‘elder brother’ to Kazim, much loved, respected, and cherished.
In Brooklyn, New York, Kazim met Noel ‘Corky’ Baboolal (right), past student of Holy Cross College, and Noel’s elder brother – Fitzgerald ‘Lutch’ Baboolal (center). ‘Lutch’ was one of the longest serving teachers of the college, and receives medical attention. Kazim invitation to them at the New York 50th Anniversary reunion, was to honor ‘Lutch’ at the function.
So between 2003 and 2007, Kazim continued this trend of attending family functions and college events to persist in his purposeful intention. He also involved his video skills in creating video tributes for family and friends birthdays and other functions. And there was travelling between New York and Trinidad & Tobago on occasions to accomplish these tasks. It was a time of focusing on details, as anyone involve in photo and video editing knows quite well.
And in 2007, Kazim prepared for Holy Cross College’s 50th Anniversary in Trinidad. He created an short docu-video for the occasion. And he started online worship videos, to inspire others, and to thank and praise God for all his blessings.
Next Chapter: 2007 Projects – Life’s Work: Chapter 4