After parents, it is a teacher who guides us, and instils value of life. All along, a teacher is devoted to impart quality education to students. A teacher is definitely more than the knowledge instiller. After devoting entire life in building the foundation of success, every teacher deserves to be remembered after getting retired. One such great teacher is Professor (Dr.) Lily Want, love-fully known among his taught in the department of English, University of Kashmir as Lily Ma’am.
What Professor Want left behind after, are teachings which will always remain alive in the hearts of her students. Though she won’t take classes in the department any more, she can inspire her students even in her absence. The walls of the department will feel faded, corridors empty, and classrooms lifeless without the inspirational presence of a great professor like her.
An amazing awakener who taught us not to cut down jungles but to irrigate desserts, a nurturer who nurtured her students and enabled them to ignite their own flame of learning; Prof Lily Want is a diamond forever sparkling.
To teach is to touch lives forever; Ma’am, you taught from the heart. She is a great sculptor who carved her students only to create masterpieces. “All that is harsh and dissonant in my life melts into one sweet harmony…” Gitanjali’s line from second poem automatically comes to one’s mind.
Some teachers refuse to fade from the memory, and Professor Want, who bade adieu to the English department on 31st of December, 2020, is undoubtedly one such great teacher. She left a great legacy for teachers, scholars and students alike. She always got the job done without even the slightest delay. Indeed, she was, and will be an inspiration for thousands of teachers and students.
No doubt, it hurts so much to say goodbye to a professor like Lily Want. But it’s the perfect occasion to let you know that you were the best teacher in the world for your students, and always will be. Learning without a teacher like Lily Ma’am will never be the same. A teacher like Professor Lily Want will never really retire. Even if she will stop coming to the department of English, she will continue to do things that inspire us every day.
I met her first in June 2017 regarding my PhD Admission. As I recall, I lightly tapped at her chamber door, when a voice ‘come in please’, greeted me. I was eager to meet her from a pretty long time. As I stepped into a lovely cabin and greeted her formally, she gracefully cued me to get seated. After hearing me briefly, she rang up the office of the department to bring the file. In a couple of minutes when an employee brought the file, she made things clear to me pleasantly. Those starting valuable moments with her had a lasting impression on me.
When ,after two months ,I formally got admitted to my PhD programme, she taught us Postcolonial Criticism. Her every lecture was laced with strong force to understand the difficult issues regarding discourses, criticism, poetry, fiction, and non-fiction. Prof. Lily Want’s extraordinary ability to explain things, passion to teach and her encouragement to boost scholars to explore the learning horizons are a proof of her being an embodiment of excellence, and integrity. She possessed an extraordinary mastery over things; her unique ability to make complex things easily understandable. Her way of teaching literature was simply remarkable.
Dr. Lily Ma’am would quite often boost the morale of the scholars to achieve quality research. Her breadth of knowledge on research areas always blew scholars away and sparked a passion in them. Her profound literature-cum-life memories are enough for students and scholars to live a cheerful life ahead.
Despite shouldering many responsibilities besides Head of the Department and Dean, School of Arts, Language and Literature, she had always so much on her platter. She was never, even by a minute, late to her class, nor would she leave even a moment earlier. Once she would start teaching, she would go on and on till one would feel literally mesmerized. She would load her lectures with lots of wit, which her students and scholars would never miss.
“Being an analytical and insightful personality in the campus, Prof. Lily Want has no parallel. For her deeds spoke louder than words. She had great experience of teaching here and abroad. She is a name in the sub-continent. As a professional, she was always alert to assist her students and scholars”, says Manzur Akash, a renowned English teacher from Rafiabad.
During our presentation her valuable suggestions will keep ringing in our minds; to think critically, to write scholarly, and to understand micro and macro layers of wisdom.
English literature and Dr. Lily Want are inseparable. Honesty, integrity and an aura of great character will define her. She left behind so much. As long as her teachings are with her students, scholars and colleagues, they will never be hopeless in life.
Thank you for being my beloved teacher. Wish you a happy life ahead, dear Madam.
Ahsan-Ul-Haq is Research Scholar at Dept. of English, University of Kashmir.