About Us | Contact Us | E-Paper

An extraordinary gentleman

Having worked in several organizations before I met Shujaat sir in December 2012, I thought he was going to be just another boss. I was way off the mark. I remember the first meeting, the interview and how much supportive he was. I walked in and walked ou

Post by on Sunday, June 13, 2021

First slide

Having worked in several organizations before I met Shujaat sir in December 2012, I thought he was going to be just another boss. I was way off the mark. I remember the first meeting, the interview and how much supportive he was. I walked in and walked out of his small room back then in Rising Kashmir office as if I had always belonged there. Although I have seen hard times like we all do, but I never really felt leaving since that day.

Shujaat was always concerned about every member of Rising Kashmir family. The teams worked as parts of one big family. In 2014, when we couldn’t reach and work from the office as floods were everywhere, he made arrangements for a temporary office at his home. His social interactions far exceeded any other professional I have known. He would welcome people from all fields, sections and expertise. And he ensured all young members of Rising Kashmir interacted with experts and professionals he would invite as guests.

Shujaat was one fine gentleman, among very few I have known. I remember his first lesson to young editors, the one he would often advocate in office. It was never to misspell name of a person. Not many people know how offensive or awkward it can be. It’s tantamount to disrespect. Shujaat displayed such sensitivities, and it was the finesse that made him stand out from the rest.

Shujaat was very helpful. He would go an extra mile to help anyone who would come asking. After his death, I have met a number of people whom I had never seen before. They all share their stories revealing how Shujaat had helped them.

Shujaat had a natural leaning to write and share his opinions. He had as a matter of fact very reasonable opinions. He loved writing above all. His column “Off The Record” would appear every Wednesday and he really worked on the copies of every column he wrote.

As a writer who had both the command on language as well as the subject he touched, he was way more tolerant than others. As an Op-ed editor I know of many who didn’t like changing one word in their columns. But Shujaat used to be more thoughtful and understand the position of an editor on a certain matter.

He was also very enthusiastic about his writings. He never missed the chance of having direct feedback from the people. He used to be glad, his face would brighten for even small appreciation he would receive.

As an editor, he maintained certain professional standards. He was the one who would raise the bar, and work hard for it. Mediocrity was not his area of concern. He pushed the teams and every member to outperform.

Shujaat was a fine blend of conventional and modern ideas. He would go by the book mostly, but wherever an experiment was needed he wouldn’t hesitate. In his last years he was more into online and digital media. He was a celebrity on social media. Nevertheless, he was a pressman at his heart.

Shujaat was a friendly figure, kind and a generous person. His behavior was genial and it made him gain friends wherever he went. He would never make a rash decision or comment. He was calm and peace loving. At the same time he was a vehement speaker while expressing his own ideas and views.

One more quality in him, he used to beat the stress in newsroom and desk with funny remarks sometimes. We would all have at least one good laugh before he left the room.

He was fair in his dealings. There were times when someone on desk would make a mistake. If it caused inconvenience to any person he would make us realize that. But at the same time, if he had to stand by a fellow colleague for genuine reasons nothing would deter him.

What I liked most about his persona was that he never forced his way into someone’s comfort zone. He would teach, advise or talk only when the other person was comfortable.

Shujaat was an editor without a clock. If time allowed he would make us do something or the other, no matter which hour it was. For him 12 hours were meager for a day. He used to be super-busy, always moving, and into things. Yet if there were anything he knew little about he preferred the distance.

In retrospect, some qualities become apparent after a person leaves. Beyond reasonable doubt, I can say that he was much humble and downright. I have seen people who are full of themselves, who are arrogant for nothing. Shujaat was different, a remarkable person who was down to earth. He never bragged about his personal achievements, yet he would inspire others to do more.

On his death anniversary, I can only say that I feel more connected with him for one thing that we shared – writing. Even after his death, he became what he was born for.                 

 

 

Latest Post