Dr. Shahid Amin Trali

Tribute to Muhammad Yusuf Sir

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A legendary athlete, coach, trainer, mentor will always be missed. The best training and lessons received from Muhammad Yusuf sir were simply the best thing happened in life.

We experience some days in life that bring joy to our hearts and remain firmly in the heart forever. The memories of the happy days are sweet and remain present in the heart and spirit. My college days have been indeed beautiful and were highly precious. I am proud to find love, care and valuable lessons from some inspirational teachers and trainers in this college journey.

It was 14 March 2017 when my joys knew no limits to find a post on Facebook that was related to some appreciations for my inspirational trainer. It was related to legendary Muhammad Yusuf.

I can’t express how much of a blessing was it for me to get connected to my inspirational trainer through that post on Facebook after more than a decade. The first message from Dear Sir read as “Shahid sb salams and hope you are fine. Where are you this time? I am happy that the fb connected us after many long years”.The other message read as “Truly I am delighted to find you here. I was nostalgic. I remember all those days and I am still into it. After my retirement I got involved in many commercial and voluntary organizations”. It was so sweetto find this message to me from Yusuf Sir. It was likerevisiting memories of the Gulmarg skiing camps from year 2003-2005 under his able leadership during my college days.

Muhammad Yusuf sir was former swimming and adventure sports coach of University of Kashmir, and General Secretary of Winter Games Association of Jammu and Kashmir. He was an ardent sports lover and a great patron of adventure sports. He has taken Winter Games Association of J&K to new heights.He was a passionate writer and has produced numerous effective and insightful articles in some of the leading dailies.

I can easily revisit the good days in Gulmarg Kashmir under his guidance as a skiing trainer. I remember his ability to bring in us motivation to be present on snow slopes every day from morning till evening without fail. There were no excuses to be considered. What indeed was great about him was his regular presence and keenly observing and guiding participants individually on and off the field.  He was unique, exceptional and tough skiing coach University of Kashmir has ever produced. He made us disciplined and taught us how to be calm and focused towards our objectives in life. He was sharp as a trainer and developed inus better technique and skills as well asinstilling a sense of team spirit…..

Muhammad Yusuf sir has been very strong that he fought with the life-threatening disease for five years. But he didn’t give up easily in life and was still doing his best services as a true sports man. It was on March 03, he finally lost the battle, but he will be remembered for his services for ever.

Muhammad Yusuf sir has produced a great impact on the minds and body of the athletes. He has been inspirational for manyincluding me. Mohammad AbassWani, President Winter Games Association of J&K while paying tributes to him says that the precious guidance from Muhammad Yusuf sir has helped him a lot in running the association. Sajid Yusuf, a  football coach at University of Kashmir and technical director at sports council Football academy J & K on his FB wall writes about Muhammad Yusuf sir as a man who has supported and encouraged him always. Sajid rates Muhammad Yusuf sir as a true mentor and is grateful to him for the role he played in Sajid’s achievements.SanamTasaduqSahaf who is also associated with WGAJK rightly mentions about Muhammad Yusuf that legends never die,rather they keepshining through the centuries to light up the dark alleys of the world. A close friend of Muhammad Yusuf Sir, Mr.ShowkatPutoo Sab mentions the some people leave a legacy when they pass on. Legends don’t die.FidaHussainFidvi , General Secretary at Jammu and Kashmir Baseball Association mentions he has lost a great teacher who guided him in every walk of life. VarunaRaina feels heart breakinng with the loss of Muhammad Yusuf and mentions he would motivate her to climb further and would say he wants girls of valley to shine.

MajidHyderi on INUTH by Indian Express has written some good lines about Muhammad Yusuf. “A few years back, a video of Muhammad Yusuf skiing in Gulmarg on the popular track, It’s My Life from Dr Alban’s 1992 album ‘One Love’ has gone viral on social media. The video clip with background music,It’s My Life has been filmed by his dear friend, Mr.ShowkatPatto sir, as a tribute to Yusuf Sir’s never ending passion for adventures. During a get-together at the ski resort, Pattoo, a fashion designer, and adventure sports lover captured the priceless moments of his friend skiing on the 90s popular track and later posted it on Facebook.

While a few like Yusuf were skiing, many young people were simply watching the event. All eyes were glued to him as he skied down the slopes with style and perfection.“See this old man skies so brilliantly and is not scared of slipping down whereas we, despite being so young, are even scared to walk properly on snow,” a spectator had said. “Because of his age, he(Yusuf) remained an unusual attraction on the slopes so I thought,It’s My Life aptly defines the moments,” Pattoo replied when asked why did he choose the particular song and Yusuf agreed to it.“I really wanted some message for the youth, who were merely taking selfies on the slopes rather than testing their skills on skis, when they could have performed better than me because age was on their side. So It’s My Life was the perfect message,” Yusuf said. Having served as a sports coach in Kashmir University for around three decades, Yusuf has trained more than 30,000 youth including girls in various adventure sports like skiing, mountaineering, and kayaking.“Adventure has been his passion since childhood. I grew up in Dalgate locality in the foothills of Shankaracharya when every morning my day would start with a climb uphill. So with age, my bones have got tuned to adventures. It’s My Life, mentions Muhammad Yusuf!”

Muhammad Yusuf sir has been simply an amazing and inspirational personality. He was indeed a real and exemplary teacher who never missed a chance to boost his students. It was always proud to find his messages and good wishes that I will keep as a treasure of blessings with me. One of his message read as “Your recent article was interesting. You, among thousands of local teachers, care for the social issue, though living miles away. I feel happy when i find ur article on any newspaper. May you gain more and more knowledge and u educate the masses”.  The other precious message on of my video read as “Full of confidence. Not only good writer but u r equally good orator.My applauds professor sb”. One more lovely message read as  “Thank you dear. God bless. I pray you retire at least at the position of Vice Chancellor and you make me proud. Love my students”. Muhammmad Yusuf sir was also there with precious suggestions. One suggestion regarding tourism in Tral Kashmir read as “Your Shikargah, hagul farm and fishery is great tourism attraction. Locals should infact rise and protest. When they could promote Gurez why not Tral. Gurez has least tourism potential. Tral has tremendous scope for tourism. May it be pleasure, heritage, wildlife or adventure but under prevailing situation there is least possibility of developing it. Usually a resort is promoted by travel companies. They invest on it and expect its quick return.

In Tral it may take more time to revive tourism”. He was honest and sincere and one of his message related to my article o smoking read as “I started smoking when i joined University. I became chain smoker. One fine day i found my 4 yrs, old son rolling a piece of paper. When i told him what was he doing and his precise reply was MAKING A CIGARETTE. It was a big bolt to me and shook me. I decided to stop smoking and i succeeded. I think besides medical, the psychological treatment is also important”.

Muhammad Yusuf sir was a gifted personality. Teachers and trainers like him are precious and very rare to find on earth. He was much ahead of his time. Beloved Sir, I regret not to meet you for you had mentioned that you were looking forward for the day I along with family will visit your precious home. It would have been a blessing to meet my inspiration but Allah had different plans. I will for ever cherish your presence and good wishes for me and my family.

A legendary athlete, coach, trainer, mentor will always be missed. The best training and lessons received from Muhammad Yusuf sir were simply the best thing happened in life.May Allah offer you a superior place in Jannat Dearest Muhammad Yusuf Sir.

Dr.Shahid Amin Trali is an Associate Professor in the School of Management, ITM University Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh and can be reached at dr.shahidamin15@gmail.com

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