I write this with great sadness over the unimaginable loss of a close friend Haji Baseer ul Gani Zargar, due to different ailments at Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical sciences, Srinagar during the intervening night on April 16-17, 2023 as he was 55 years old.
Baseer was working in University of Kashmir as Technical Officer in Department of Bio- Informatics till he fought a brave and strong battle for two years but the health ailments would not allow him to get better. He took each day in stride, never really complaining, always feeling tired and always hoping that the treatments would finally end so he could get on with his life. This was my hope too.
He had worked under different capacities in various departments of Kashmir University and always showed helping hand to students, colleagues, friends and teachers and with his positive approach he always showed caliber for the new innovations in the university with his zest and zeal towards his assignments in all the years. Colleagues and friends knew him as an affable, cooperative, helpful and dedicated official. Despite his established background and position, Haji Baseer was a modest man; a real gentleman.
This beautiful man, inside and out, was a wonderful friend to me, supporting me for over 15 years with his gentle and caring nature. One of his beliefs in life was the importance of being authentic with people, saying what needs to be said because it’s good for the relationship and for the soul. Also, I always admired how he never judged or forced his opinions on anyone, but offered valuable and truthful advice that I will surely miss.
I just wanted to keep his spirits up so I always told him that he would be okay and not to worry. Perhaps he wanted to have that tough conversation, but I never let him go down that path, and I know he didn’t want to upset me either. That’s just the way he was. He always kept his sense of humor and even when he was in the hospital, I said to him that I wish I could take away his pain.
I remember once he and I were talking about something I was struggling with and, he said, “Look at me”, meaning that you never know in life so make change even though it’s tough and do the things you want to do and dream about before it’s too late. Those three words came across so clear.
My friend was loving and real. He was a wonderful father of his two children, Waleed ul Gani and Naveed ul Gani, and laid a strong foundation for them. The many people who love his children will watch over them, as he is, and make sure that they have a great life, full of his values and wishes.
He also loved the nature, where he could relax and contemplate life. Lastly, his magnetic smile will be missed by all who knew him and his beautiful spirit will live on through his children, and they will always know how much he loved them. He tried with all his heart to stay for them, but Almighty Allah called him, and he had to go.
Haji Baseer faced a challenge to his life by way of a grave illness, with great courage. Many others in his circumstance would have given up. He fought till the last. His determination to carry on despite trying personal circumstances demonstrated his commitment to duties and responsibilities. In his own quiet and calm manner, he showed how to work through challenging times and to carry everyone along.
During my friend’s illness, I know that there were two things that kept him going, his family and hope, otherwise to face another day would have been tough, and I know how many days he must have had like that as he did all that he could and that his children will be fine. When we love people it’s so comforting to know that they will always be with us in our hearts.
The passing away of a good friend is not something easy to get over. It is often a shock that’s difficult to come to terms with. It is not easy to let go of true friends but we just have to. It is said that true friends don’t die but they live on in our hearts and will tell them to Rest in Peace. These quotes will make us express our true feelings in words. Prayers and fond memories are what we have to remember our dearly departed.
Life can be fleeting. But a life lived to the fullest stays in fond memories. Baseer through his decorum and grace endeared himself to many. This is particularly a difficult and painful time for his family. In extending to them our heartfelt condolences, we wish them courage and strength to bear this irreparable loss.
The sudden death of a friend can leave you feeling like your world turned upside down as we will always cherish the beautiful memories of Haji Baseer.
(The author is a regular columnist and can be mailed at email@example.com)