For the Greater Kashmir office assistant Mehjoor Dar, the last conversation with his colleague and senior editor Muddasir Ali ended in a never-ending wait, as he received his last parcel on Monday.
A few days after Muddasir Ali met with a minor road accident, he along with several other colleagues went to Srinagar’s historic SP College to play a cricket match.
“After the match, he told me that he had ordered some stuff online and I should receive it at the office if he wasn’t around. I still wonder as if he knew he isn’t going to turn up ever again,” Dar sobs.
“I never knew I was going to receive this parcel after his death,” he said.
“MuddiBhai used to order a lot of stuff online – mostly books,” he recalled. “We took a selfie at the ground but he asked us not to put it online as his father would scold him for playing with a broken leg.”
Reflecting on Ali’s generous nature, Dar said, “I come from Gool, Ramban, in Jammu region. I joined the Greater Kashmir in 2013. In all these years, he never gave me a notion that I am away from home. He always treated me like his younger brother and he literally meant it.”
“The parcel is still with me and I am just trying to console myself and trying to come out of this shock,” he said.
Besides his passion for journalism, Ali was deeply into cricket. He would travel and go to any area to play a cricket match. Dar said he would keep his cricket uniform ready and would force them too to play cricket.
“I have travelled and gone with him to many places just for the cricket matches,” he said.
“My nearly one-decade association with him has always comforted me and I always felt my elder brother was around,” Dar with moist eyes said.
Dar, along with other staffers at the newspaper, have put Ali’s photo in their rooms. “He shared a unique bond with ground staff, including catering, assistants and office boys and all those who weren’t directly involved in the Editorial department,” Dar said.
Another colleague and office boy at the newspaper, Tariq Ahmad Ahangar, recalled his association with Ali, saying, “As Kashmir lost a brilliant journalist, we lost a brilliant all-rounder in cricket, an affectionate colleague and a brother. May Allah bless his soul.”