His last words to me

 In the death of Muddasir Ali, we have not just lost a good human being but a wondeful Kashmiri journalist. Muddasir understood nuances of print journalism to the best of its detail. It was often that stories authored by me, copy-edited by Muddasir was a new learning experience for me as he was an ocean of knowledge.

He was a reporter’s copy-editor, for the life he infused into a story with his first-rate editing skills. His understanding of Kashmir politics and the thorough professional way to report it will be missed. He personified the quintessential ground reporter with his sheer hard work and go-getter attitude.

Sharing the newsroom with Muddasir was more than a pleasure. His self-belief and the mantra that a journalist must improve from the last story he had done are the last words of this great person which shall remain with me for the rest of my life. On November 12, barely 8 days before his untimely death, Muddasir telephoned me for the last time. His words of wisdom left me overwhelmed. He didn’t just give me confidence, but also encouraged me that covering Kashmir politics was all about being in the grind of daily political activities and hitting the ground each day. Now covering political affairs in Kashmir, I would each day be telling myself that I am carrying a baton once held by Muddasir Ali.

May Almighty Allah give us all the courage to overcome the loss and help all the fellow colleagues of Muddasir to imbibe the qualities he possessed. For Mudassir questioning the corridors of power was the most important aspect of journalism. He was a common man’s reporter and he always ensured that interests of a common man are reflected in a news story.

Hailing from Charar-e-Sharief, Muddasir touched the epitome of journalism with his work being published in national and international publications. His 14 years of selfless work in journalism has left so much of inspiration for all of his colleagues and fellow journalists.

He believed in simplicity and keeping things, including news stories, grounded yet informative and hard-hitting. Personally, I learnt the art of developing catchy news stories from Muddasir during the last five years of my stint at Greater Kashmir. I will miss all the sessions of learning from an able journalist and a colleague.