A person of many shades

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My hands are shaking and my heart is pounding as I write you a tribute. What am I going to write about you, how much can I write? How much will my grief allow me to write? The haze of memories weighs heavily on my heart as I write this. Everything I write will not do justice to your illustrious personality.

I am proud to be the daughter of a person whose absence is not only felt by her family but also by the people of the nation. Such was his endearing nature. Even as a child, I could see how he let go of his scholarly self and become one with children, and respectful of elders. No one who has met him will complain about being treated disrespectfully; he would recognize everyone. He would treat his daughter-in-law like his own daughters and his sons-in-law like his own sons. To me he was a friend, a loved one, a father, a mentor and a guide all at the same time.

People talk about my father’s love for poetry, art and literature and they will continue to talk about his pioneering work in the field of poetry, art and literature, especially for the promotion and preservation of the Kashmiri language. He was tireless and indefatigable in his quest for literature and art, always consumed by the desire to fulfill the mission he had given himself. Countless times he would get up in the middle of a meal after a long, tiring day to attend to a chore or someone related to conservation work. His food, sleep and rest were the language, art and literature of Kashmir.

I overheard my father while he spoke at various literary and cultural functions and noticed how he left audiences spellbound with his oratory. He could speak at length at any impromptu forum keeping the audience engaged all the time. However, he never coated his words or hesitated to take a stand. Nothing could stop him from expressing himself, and yet he never turned rude. Even with his fiercest critics, he was polite and respectful, agreeing to disagree and resolutely avoiding forcing his opinions on them.

While serving as secretary of the Academy of Arts, Culture and Languages ​​of Jammu and Kashmir from June 2015 to March 2019, the academy was buzzing with activities and events. A record number of cultural and literary events and seminars were held during his tenure in Jammu as well as Kashmir. The Tagore Hall in Srinagar and the Abhinav Theater in Jammu were chock-full of art and literature lovers. I’ve heard people say it was the golden age of the cultural history academy. This was only possible thanks to his willingness to do more for the cultural heritage of Jammu and Kashmir.

In March 2020, when the Covid-19 pandemic broke out, my father, unaccustomed to sitting at home for long hours, was gravely disturbed at being homebound. This impacted her work and her health much worse than any other. He has been busy writing, attending webinars, online meetings, and spending quality time with his grandchildren. However, the disaster happened soon. One evening in July 2020, he was sitting in the lawns of our house with my mom sipping tea, when she noticed that his eyes were rather pale, and that he wasn’t quite looking at himself. . At her insistence, he reluctantly underwent a medical examination and diagnostic tests were performed. News of the dreaded disease that had afflicted him came like a thunderclap. We were devastated and everything changed. But again, he rose to the challenge. Not only did he calmly accept it, but he also advised us from day one to be reconciled and accept the impending reality. For him, it was Allah’s will and it was his duty to submit and accept what had been ordered – anything else would be blasphemous and unacceptable to him. As a result, he never betrayed any sign of pain or distress, but he patiently advised us and any visitors who came to inquire about his health to be patient. When disease invaded his body and reality drew closer, he withdrew from the world and set his sights on the afterlife. Yet when a delegation from Adbee Markaz Kamraz – one of the valley’s leading literary organizations, came to visit to inquire about their boss’s health, he made sure to extract their promise that they would spare no effort to continue his legacy and mission.

Despite the illness, he gathered the energy to appear in public for the last time in our hometown Hajin on “Mohi ud Din Hajini Day”. He spoke as if he was perfectly healthy, without a jarring note, his voice full of passion and love for the place. He said and I quote “Whenever I visit Hajin, I feel like a girl visiting her parents’ house.” Such was his love and affection for the place and the people of Hajin. He was strongly linked to his roots.

Despite my grief after his passing, I couldn’t help but feel the pride and joy that my father was known to so many people and loved by people from all walks of life. So many supporters comforted us during these difficult times and no one needed any assurance to notice that their grief was sincere and sincere.

The bond I shared with my father was unlike any other bond. Dad, I love you for endless reasons. I feel so blessed to have you as a father and I am grateful for the wonderful education you have given me. You were a wonderful man, a loyal and loving husband, a devoted father and a true friend. Know that my gratitude is endless and continues to grow with each passing day. Thank you for being an overprotective father from my childhood until today. Thank you for teaching me the importance of humility.

Thank you for showing me what it means to be a good man, a great teacher, an amazing husband and an amazing father for the last years of my life.

I seek the magfirate of Allah for you and may you find the highest place in the jannah.


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