Life is typically filled with queues of struggles and aspirations than one expects or desires. Man has been able to leave something of his being beyond the death through his creative essence and virtues. The impulse of creation pushes life ahead. At each instant millions of human cells show division, sacrificing their own existence in a death that gives birth to new daughter cells. We all possess a profound psychosomatic drive to keep pace with this process. There are wants that can and must be addressed in the process. Among which, human being’s core necessity is to articulate himself in words, gestures and behavioral expressions. The behavioral expressions are outcome of long-term imbibitions of knowledge and experience in presence of environmental factors. The pulse of behavior and self consciousness of a pupil is well perceived by a mentor. Thus, a mentor is not someone who just teaches you philosophies of life but unveils the treasure of hidden abilities in a person. The distinguished artist who can read your eyes, body language, and frowns on your façade. And ultimately pushes you in the direction of your goal for which your soul quietly strives.
“Within the bivalve castle,
Miracles do happen.
Like a grain of sand I was pushed to you and you kept nucleating my soul,
All the nacre perseveres and I turned into a pearl of oyster (Moonisa Aslam Dervash)”
A person who holds your back while you stammer. Initially, he takes up a task to chisel a rough rock into a beautiful masterpiece of art, in which, he later blows the spirit of wisdom, love, care, knowledge, and perseverance. The importance of mentor-mentee relationship rests on the perception of thought and expression which is basically an outcome of gradual consciousness. Enunciation of self consciousness in a mentee is well diagnosed and recognized by a real mentor that is well portrayed in Hindi movie “Taare Zameen Par”.
“His intense rays passed through the glass of my soul,
Detoxified it’s racks and corners.
All the mirages were now oasis,
And you call me a fanatic myrmidon. (Moonisa Aslam Dervash)”
Well, our religion “Islam” has entitled significant value to a teacher for being the primary unit in the organization of societal advancement, relevance and the foundation of leading emergent conduct, in order to inculcate positive approaches in individuals and society. Almighty Allah reveals in Holy Quran: “Like (a favor which you have already received) in that we have sent among you a Messenger of your own, rehearsing to you Our verses, and purifying you, and instructing you in scripture and wisdom, and in new knowledge (Quran, 2: 151)”. The Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) also showed great respect for teachers and certified their higher eminence. Once, “Prophet Mohammad PBUH came across two public groups; the first group was busy in supplication, whereas, the other group was listening to a teacher”. He commented, "The first is begging Allah who may or may not give them. The second was learning. I have been sent as a teacher. Hence, he preferred to join the second”. Quoting the sayings of Ibn Masud (ra) and Imam Zain-ul-'Abidin (ra) shall suffice my comprehension about rights of a mentor. Ibn Masud (ra) said, "Knowledge is not the abundance of narration. It is an illumination that Allah casts in minds." Whereas, Imam Zain-ul-'Abidin (ra) narrated, "The right of your instructor is dignifying him and committing to solemnity in their classes and good listening and attending. You should provide for your instructor with mental presence and conceptual attendance and heart retaining and sight propinquity. The way of all these is laxness of desires and confine of lusts. You must understand that you are the emissary of what you have been received to the ignorant you may meet. Then, you should convey properly and never breach the mission if you should perform."
Dr. Aziz Hajini, a multi-faceted personality, who mastered the trait of mentorship, is unforgettable for his mentees. Like a father, he would always inculcate noble habits in his mentees, and it was my great fortune to be one among them. He was a stature of love, respect, brotherhood, aspiration, honesty and perseverance. He is indelible personality and so are his teachings. We have dedicated our recent book “Climate Change Alleviation for Sustainable Progression” published with an international publisher of repute, CRC Press Taylor and Francis Group, to our revered mentor Dr. Aziz Hajini for his immense contributions.
“Every morning I wake up with pseudo-hope,
Bells ring with breezes of mope.
Every morning when a bulbul sits on my window frame,
I polish a glass pane to look down the lane.
Every morning I sing melancholic lyrics with a liar harbinger,
And a buzz of sighs echoes when the bulbul arrives (Moonisa Aslam Dervash)”
Remembering Hajini sir on his birthday (7th March)
It is impossible to forget the mentor who knew how to synchronize “psyche, word and action”. He has taught me seven streaks of rainbow for successful life viz; honesty, integrity, selflessness, objectivity, accountability, perseverance and leadership. And I remember Hajini sir’s initial philosophical advices which shall linger to me as lifetime reminiscence:
“Moonisa! Remember you will come across many sorts of characters/people in your life, you will realize that some belong to noble category while majority belongs to debauchee group but you can never mend anyone; never ever even attempt it and be good to all, moreover when you have power to keep your divinity intact, no harm will be caused to you”.
Secondly he advised me, “Moonisa! You will always be pushed by someone to an orifice of a path that leads to your destiny, be it a vast field or an opaque wall, the thing is that you have to explore the passage and walk by your own”.
Thirdly he gave me an advice, “Moonisa! When anyone breaches your trust and later you find him/her in repentance, don’t be an egoistic ignorant, give him/her chance to speak up, listen to him/her, comprehend the scenario and finally forgive him/her, and though never trust him/her readily again”.
Dr. Aziz Hajini was a giant spring of fertile hills wherein he kept irrigating his subjects by rejoining them to the river of intellect, cultural heritage and essence of mother tongue. It has been too long to hold back pen in hand as I feared that I must stutter. In real sense, it demands an assimilation of huge strength to jot these lines bearing past tense for my mentor. It had been 6 months he passed away but the pain of separation doesn’t fade away and it intensifies when you realize that you will never meet your mentor again in your lifetime.
“Am I supposed to write an elegy for him?
Should not I lament for the lost.
From where may I start and where should I end,
An elegy that would break sternum of a paper!
And urge my pen to bleed.
Am I supposed to write an elegy for him?
Who taught me how to scribble and speak!
Am I supposed to write an elegy for him?
When there is an absolute rigor mortis within my living being (Moonisa Aslam Dervash)”
Well, I conclude this write up with the adage of Hazrat Ali (RA), “If a person teaches me one single word, he has made me his servant for a lifetime.” I shall be always grateful to Hajini sir for his distinctive and comprehensive mentorship, particularly, by acting as a psychological sandpaper to polish the crude edges of my personality. Besides, an incredible mentorship, he has gifted me a foster mother (Mrs. Rafiqa Hajini) and lovable siblings for lifetime. Indeed he was an angel of love who eagerly went to his better place as angels are originally dwellers of the heaven. At last, my ultimate heartfelt prayer is; may Almighty Allah forgives Hajini sir for all his shortcomings and blesses his soul with everlasting peace in Jannat ul Firdous, Aameen Summa Aameen.
(Dr. Moonisa Aslam Dervash is a Post-Doctoral Fellow at Centre of Research for Development (CORD), University of Kashmir, Hazratbal, Srinagar. She can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org)