As the Quranic verse goes, “To Allah we belong and to Allah we return,” death is a universal fact that every soul has to taste, irrespective of rich or poor, black or white. However, the affliction caused by the death of our loved ones is unendurable. This affliction reaches its peak when we lose a young buddy; that death poses a question “why so early”? Today, when I heard about Muddasir Ali’s death the same question knocked my mind, and of many other people.
My mind was unable to figure out anything. Pictures of sweet moments spent with him were flashing in my heart; the only thing I could do was to utter in shocking disbelief – ‘really? how?’. Being helpless before the will of God, I had to accept the loss, and pray for his soul. And to console myself, I put down these lines, thinking maybe he reads it in the next world, and puts a smile on his face.
Muddasir was a man of skills. He was an allrounder who would write stories on all beats – health, education, or politics, for the state as well as national news organizations. A fearless journalist who was never afraid of calling a spade a spade, Muddasir’s stunning stories weaved around real concerns would perfectly depict the tale of common man. His tough questions even terrified the top politicians. In fact, Omar Abdullah also tweeted about his tenacious reporting, and how he also tried to dodge his tough questions at numerous press conferences. Moreover, unlike other journalists, he was a good editor as well, whose edited stories would not need approval from the executive editor. Be it front page, or inner pages of our newspaper, he would perfectly edit the stories that would meet the requirements of the reporter, the people, and the newspaper.
A man of deep benevolence, Muddasir never shied away from helping people. Right from listening to concerns of people and drafting beautiful stories that would force the concerned person to act, to helping his juniors in learning the art of journalism, Muddasir was a perfect blend of intelligence and kindness.
In fact, being his junior he never dictated me in the office. Instead, he always helped me professionally as well personally. Be it defending me in the office before my seniors, or rejuvenating my mind with funny jokes, he looked after me like a big brother. Last year during internet shutdown, he would offer his space to me at the media centre to avail internet, and sometimes he would get my phone connected to his wifi to take me out of boredom. I was no execption, in the office right from the topmost employee to those in the lower levels, he used to treat all with affection, and kindness. Whenever he would go, he would become the centre of attraction with his humor, intellect, and knowledge.
Well, we will surely miss his presence, bureaucrats his tough questions, Kashmir its skilled journalist, but as the famous adage goes “Death ends a life, not a relationship.” His life would continue to inspire us to live a fearless life, and his stories would continue to inspire journalists to draft people-centric stories. Rest in peace, brother.
Younis Ahmad Dar, works at Greater Kashmir