It is 3rd of June again and I shiver to the hilt remembering and recalling that it was on this fateful day when my revered father, Prof Waheed uz Zaman Deva left for heavenly abode leaving all of us deeply grieved and devastated.
The experience of grief never ends, but we live with the pain of his loss. Although the hurt may subside with time, certain days trigger a wave of new grief that feels difficult to handle when needing an advice or remembering an anecdote. It is quite agonizing and cannot be described in words. There is strange feeling of emptiness.
This day does not mark the end of grief, but it can mark a transition in your mourning process. Through these two years his absence has been felt on every occasion and every day and we are still sorting through the life he left behind.
The anniversary brings up big and complex emotions. Finding a healthy space to unpack and reflect on these feelings can give the means to channel and express the grief.
As painful as it is, but this day provides an opportunity both to celebrate his life and legacy as well as reexamine the changes in our life after his passing.
You may notice which of his qualities continue to live on in you. This date is particularly significant as we survived; we thought it was impossible to live without someone who was as important to you as life itself.
Daddy is not there to advice and guide but we see his attributes and qualities in each other and in our children. A great soul never dies. It brings us together again and again.
The word Daddy reminds us of love, respect, care, shelter, support, sacrifices, and many more. My daddy will remain our biggest inspiration and support for all of us.
His words of wisdom always echo in my ears and feel sometimes helpless when needing help in my literary pursuits.
It remembers me his favorite couplet of Dr Iqbal which he recited more often in the last year or so of his life…
Maut ko samjeh hain ghafil ikhtitam-e- zindagi
Hai yeh sham e zindagi subah e dawame zindagi
We miss him and feel lucky to have been children of such an affectionate, knowledgeable, scholar of highest order, honest, dedicated and a workaholic person who did everything to bring relief in the lives of many people and many students.
I miss the way he made each of us feel special and loved. I pray to Allah that his love and strength will carry us forward.
Apart from being an ace educationist he was a scholar of literature and Urdu. He writes a detailed account of religious and political account of his childhood at Anantnag, teenage years at Srinagar while studying in S. P College and going to Aligarh for his masters in Chemistry, in his book written in Urdu.
He dedicated all his life for the betterment of society and emphasized the need of education which can only lead to creation of a just and logical society. His emphasis on girl education is an achievement in itself when he fought all to give education to his daughters.
He always said that women tend to be more empathetic, compassionate and seek satisfaction in their job role and responsibility, as opposed to salary.
This can bring plenty of positive changes to a traditionally male-dominated working industry and see better engagement with workers of both genders.
He used to say that women who have access to education have a greater awareness of politics and confidence in their ability to lead, resulting in stronger and more informed female leaders who are more likely to be politically involved.
As a token of remembrance and to carry forward his legacy, a Trust by the name Waheed uz Zaman Deva and BJ charitable Trust for sustained development has been established to undertake the path shown by him.
In this connection, to run up to his anniversary, a Free Medical Camp was organized at a village in Kulgam district a couple of days back on creating awareness on Breast Cancer which studies are pointing is more prevalent in South Kashmir.
Reckless use of pesticides has been thought of as a possible reason but needs further research.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author.
The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.