The moment we are born, we begin to receive love and affection from our family; be it our parents, our siblings, uncles, aunts or cousins. As we grow up, we begin to harbour the same kind of affection for those people. These are our blood relations.
These blood relations are believed to be unexplainably strong and even if we tend to drift apart from them, they have a magnetic tendency to attract us back. Indeed! But, once we step out of the realm of our homely relationships, our first encounter with strangers includes those angels without halos who are better known as our teachers.
Parents admit their tender ones to school to prepare them for the life ahead. As naive kids, we hardly realise, that one teacher who wiped our tears on the first day at school would turn out to be a life-long inspiration. Gradually, we begin to develop feelings of love, honour and immense adoration for our teachers, who stand as parental figures on one hand and on the other, as unbiased friends, ready to listen to our problems and furnish forth a wise solution.
Recent researches have revealed that a majority of people are more influenced by their teachers and tend to seek their opinion rather than their parents’ as the former provide a comfort zone which the latter fail to generate. Considering all this, while the magnetic attraction of blood relations makes sense, this much inexplicable relationship of students with their teachers and vice versa can well be enlisted as one of the wonderful miracles of Almighty Allah.
But, the value of light is only realised when we confront darkness. Similarly, when we lose our gifted teachers, we realise how they strived to make us what we now boast of. Lately, a blessed soul, an angelic human being bade goodbye to the transience of this world.
He was a teacher, a mentor, a shaper of little minds and a maker of successful lives. Mr. Mukhtar Ahmad Mir, Professor of Botany, and the Vice Principal of Iqbal Memorial Institute(+2 Girls Wing), but better known, not by his designation, but by his amiable nature, his helpful temperament, his gentle disposition and his appealing persona.
I, having spent a little time in his kind shade, couldn’t come to terms with the fact of his sudden, tragic and untimely demise. I could hardly believe my eyes when I read a post informing me of the dismal news. While my heart started to wring with pain and work towards gushing of tears through my eyes, my brain began to screen the memories of the dear teacher. I started cursing myself for being a part of social media, wishing to have never come across this disconsolate news. Sombre and melancholic, I lifted my hands in prayer for the departed soul.
In a state of pretentious normality, I tried my best to reconcile with the sullen reality. How can but a writer lighten one’s heavy heart except for concretizing one’s emotions into a chain of words. But this was a different case, where the page was bruised with the weight of teardrops bombarding it hard. A distressed soul strives to seek consolation in every possible way that it can. Likewise, I tried to think this way and then that way so as to unburden my heavy heart but all in vain.
Even a much acquiesced fact that “Every soul shall taste death” works little to provide comfort at a time when one is shaken to the core by the death of a dear one. With the demise of a dear teacher, I realised the evanescence of life, the ephemerality of all human endeavours to make life better ; a life which has not been promised to us in the way we expect it to be, a life whose duration we know not, a life which may dissipate like a vapour without giving us a moment to correct all our wrongs.
The reality of life is like the poison hemlock which we ought to gulp in one go. This incident particularly made me aware of the futility of the kind of life we live, where ‘elbowing others out’ is the norm be it in the name of religion, race, social status, division of labour, nationality and so on. While we chase huge things in life to derive happiness, the real happiness lies in realising how blessed we are to have certain people in life who love us, care for us and want the best for us in spite of being strangers.
These are our teachers who mentor us, day in and day out work hard to mould us into better human beings. It is a bond extraordinaire – over-swaying all the other relationships. Yet, when I began to render my feelings on a blank paper, my pen failed me. I couldn’t but write a word to lighten my soul. The very pen which would assist me in filling pages altogether in praise of beloved teachers now became stiff. It would not move. My pen froze! It denied to admit that a blessing had been snatched. It refused to accept that something venerated was no more.
It was for the first time that my pen had abandoned me. It was as if my pen had choked out of shock. Finally, a few words on the paper unclogged my pen : “The show must go on!” Yes, certainly! Life goes on, but so do the memories of loved ones in our hearts and minds.
As such, while we are alive we should be thankful to Almighty for those special people in our lives who work, perhaps harder, than our parents to make us worthy of facing the travails of life. Now, that I look back, I realise the loss of an ‘awakener’. Now, the choking of my pen makes sense. Now, I realise why my pen failed me!