A Eulogy for my Colleague, my –Sister!
Though death is the ultimate and eternal destiny of every soul but the eternal departure of some people gives us grievous injuries which leave deep scars on the canvas of our reminiscence. Their separation is not just only unbearable but obnoxious as well. And our dear ones are not necessarily our relatives always but sometimes the strangers carve so deep into our hearts that they cement their places there forever. But who can stop the angel of death from trampling down the flowers when they are about to bloom? Who can save people from the clutches of death when it is decided in the heavens?
One such flower was lost in the last month to the cruelty and callousness of the demon of death. Yes, it was the first Sunday of last month, the 4th of March 2019. I was reading an editorial on an English daily on my phone and chanting Tasbeehi Fatima less loudly as I was afraid of breaking the sleep of my little daughter. I had just returned back from the Mosque after attending Fajr prayers. I was feeling sleepy again when my younger brother opened the door with a thud and said , ” Bairaja, Kulsoom Jee is no more “! I just couldn’t believe my ears but it was the reality which was too harsh for me to accept. I stood up from my bed and ran towards our Hamaam where my mother was chanting Durood Shareef very loudly. I hesitantly asked her to stop. She paused and heard the unfortunate news after which she could control her tears and started crying loudly.
My wife and sister-in-law who were preparing breakfast in the kitchen came in rushing and joined my Mom in mourning. The jocund environs of our home turned melancholic within a few moments. Every face turned grim and sad.
It was difficult for me to console myself but I somehow sat in my vehicle along with my brother and rushed towards her in-laws home which is just 3 kilometres away from my residence. It was a Doomsday there, with every eye tearful and every heart pained. The noise of mourning was audible from a good distance. It was difficult to distinguish between mourners and consolers.
Her parents, in-laws, three little kids who are too innocent to guess the magnitude of the tragedy befallen on them, neighbors, friends and relatives were crying and weeping. Women were beating their chests.
I walked towards the graveyard where a group of men were digging the grave for her. Finally, at around 10am, a group of her nears and dears appeared on the road with her coffin on their shoulders, followed by a huge gathering of people from all shades of life including children, young and old. Thus, I bade my final adieu to her.
It was June 2012, when I first saw Kulsooma Bano, at Middle school Poshwari who was posted there as a teacher. She was in her early 30’s. Though her family had been living in our village for last one decade or so but I had never talked to her. I had just heard a great deal about her purer character and unmatched qualities of compassion and sympathy. She welcomed me with so much warmth as if I was her brother. The most pleasing aspect of her personality was that she would always lit up her face with a smile. I have never seen frowns on her face.
With the passage of time, I noticed an inquisitive learner in her . Most often, She would enquire and discuss about different things related to English language with this author. She was always punctual and regular to school. She would hardly skip her duties or classes. She was admired and respected by all the teachers and the students for her extraordinary character and capabilities. She was the darling of students. None of the student has complained ever for being canned by her.
Her philanthropic and generous attitude would place her at the top. She was taking a lead to help poor and needy. I am witness to many instances where she has paid the fee dues of poor and destitute children from her own pocket. She would not stop there. She would always extend her all possible help to her friends, colleagues and neighbors. She was soft spoken but very straight forward. She would always prepare different veg and non-veg cuisines for the whole school staff when it was about an outing or excursion.
Very recently, after her death, I visited the model kindergarten centre of our school where Kulsooma jee was teaching since last October. One little girl , in her stuttering voice asked me, ” Sir, where is Kulsooma jee “. It hit me like a bullet. I was speechless. I can’t imagine the amount of agony her near near and dear ones are going through.
Kulsooma jee will be remembered for her sincere efforts in teaching-learning process. She was a true educator who would bow down to the level of children. She was an asset for the school education department in general and for Middle school Poshwari in particular. It is almost impossible to fill the vacuum created by her death. May Allah shower his choicest blessings and bounties upon her soul in Jannah and may elevate her status there. May Allah bless her parents, children and husband with patience to bear this irreparable loss. ( Aameen )
We miss you every moment in the morning assembly, classes and lunch time, Kulsooma jee. Rest in peace, dear Sister in Islam.
The writer is a Teacher and Columnist. He can be reached at [email protected]