Highly Valued Civil Society Member!
We have many reasons to remember Bakshi Qayoom (1939-2011)
4TH AUGUST: 1st DEATH ANNIVERSARY
DR. JAVID IQBAL
Bakshi Qayoom remains hard to forget. His friends loved him—the intensity hasn’t waned, though a year has elapsed. Enemies he had none, as amity remained his prime concern, as long as he lived. His presence ignited sparks of love and understanding, hatred and acrimony evaporated like thin air. The circles of friends, acquaintances have loads of reasons to remember him, the qualities of head and heart being an abiding feature. Even the ones he met casually cannot help but remember him. His largesse was not confined to monetary help; he had a habit of remaining at beck and call of almost all he came across. The compelling habit to help had no bindings of caste, creed or colour. He was there for all, without expecting anything in return. Except for a prayer, the prayers with which he departed to eternal abode, prayers that he continues to get.
It could be constructed as a tragedy of Shakespearian proportions that he fell to deadly cancer, the dreadful disease he had taken to combat by being an active member of cancer society…a concern helping patients afflicted with the disease. Nature could thus be called a great leveler. Quite often during his affliction, the multiple shades of nature would bring smile on his lips. The lips that might have shown physical evidence of fading as pallor had displaced the red glow, yet the smile had the warmth of sunny days. The autumn of his life, the fading away was evident in his physical features; the spirit though retained the sparkle.
On Thursday, the 4th of August, 2011 on a Ramadan day Bakshi Qayoom finally bid adieu having battled the dreaded cancer for months. Scores lost a brother-in-arms, a friend in need. He had shown resistance and resilience which mark the month of Ramadan, months before the holy month commenced. The resistance and resilience to temptations of life, in order to lift the self from the mundane to higher goals, the goals that only the spirit can attain, being beyond the reach of physical self…that is what is the windfall of Ramadan. Bakshi Qayoom exhibited that resilience in ample measure.
Some episodes stand out, episodes of those long months of trial. A month or two before he bid adieu, I got a call from my brother in law—Bashir Siraj on a short visit to the valley from England to join him in Amar Singh Club. We had planned to visit the sick and ailing Bakshi Qayoom in his uptown Sonwar residence. As I reached Amar Singh Club, I was surprised to see Bakshi Qayoom sitting in Billiards room watching proceedings as Syed Maqbool and Saif Shangloo took their turn. One look and his frail frame while apparent carried the unmistakable impression of getting on with life as long as he could. He went to the extent of joining his club mates on the table, though the frail frame could hardly stand the displayed bravado.
A month later I went with Dr Allaqaband to see him. He was relaxing on a sofa, the overpowering disease had worn him physically, yet the spirit stayed kindled. Dr. Allaqaband advised a para-cilnical radio-diagnostic procedure and started arranging it right away at a particular chamber. Qayoom however was insistent on paying for it. The radio-diagnostician on a previous visit had refused to be paid for the services rendered. Even though the occasion was somber, I was amused. Here was a man who would arrange for others on umpteen occasions much that went free of charge. It meant taking a personal obligation or payment out of his own finances or asking a relative, a friend, even a stray acquaintance to help one in distress but without means to fulfill his need. As far as his self was concerned, here was selflessness on display, of admirable proportions, of a higher quality, of magnificence of spirit, of strength of character. The strength displayed won him ‘Ahad Zargar Social Services Award’ a few months before he died.
Qayoom would be a noticeable presence in the last rites of all and sundry…high or low in the city of Srinagar. “What brings you here brother, where is the link”? I would ask. Without batting an eyelid, he would say “need there be a link”. And once seeing him in a reflective mood, I repeated my query, pat came the answer “Don’t you think human beings are one and all related to each other”! That settled my query. Qayoom lived with that spirit. God bless his soul.
Yaar Zinda, Sohbat Baqi [Reunion is subordinate to survival]
Feedback on: Iqbal.email@example.com
Lastupdate on : Fri, 3 Aug 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 3 Aug 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 4 Aug 2012 00:00:00 IST
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