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He ran faster than life

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He ran faster than life

Post  بامسار بلوچ on Sat Dec 03, 2011 3:27 am





He was always on time. We would find him waiting for us at our proposed meeting place well before we reached there. His punctuality was a bit of a joke among us. It is not a sin to be a little late sometimes, Hakeem, we would tell him. And then the little man would smile – his trademark smile which I always thought was full of mockery.

He would keep mocking us, for the rest of the time we would spend together — while ordering food, dealing with a rickshaw wala, negotiating with the owner of a computer shop. How was it possible, we would think with envy, that he had always done his homework on almost anything under the sun. He would tell us which bus went to which place in the city, which film was Stanley Kubrick’s best and which one was the best book ever written on Dr Che Guevara’s life. He was the ultimate planner among us. It was due to his constant pressure that we would submit our exam forms or attend a funeral.

But we missed his funeral. Hakeem was not there to drag us. While we were waiting for a bus to go to his residence on Thursday to condole with his family, I imagined him telling us: “Come on, let’s go to my funeral. And please don’t be late.”

On the bus I was amazed to think how a man from Kalri – one of the most violent and poverty-ridden areas in Lyari — travelled this distance: from a boy in Karachi University to a central committee member of the Baloch Students Organisation to an associate producer at GEO and Express News to an information assistant at the US Consulate in Karachi.

Over the years, he became an icon in Lyari where kids would chase him for tips on writing and the old would want him to write a complaint about the hazards of a garbage dump in the neighbourhood. Journalists who sought his help on stories about Lyari loved him. “He would give you the phone numbers of two sources even if you wanted one,” says one of my colleagues.

All this distance was covered with an amazing pace. But yet he never let us feel left behind; at every stop he would wait for some time, send us an email to inform where we could find a better job or he would just be present at our homes one fine morning to gift us a book or a film.

I always wondered why he wanted to do everything the very day he thought of doing it; why he did what he did days, months, years before us; why he had that mocking smile on his face. You are only in your twenties, Hakeem, and life is much longer than you think it to be. So what’s the rush? In reply, he always smiled and quoted Socrates: “I know only this that I don’t know.” We had no option but to agree.

But today, I don’t agree with him. His death early on Thursday morning after a brief illness makes me think he knew many things: that he didn’t have much time left, that he had to tell people he loved them before it was too late. Today I know that his smile was not full of mockery but full of innocence and triumph, and I feel like telling him that I love that smile but I’m afraid it’s too late. Rest in peace, my friend, your place in this world shall remain vacant forever.



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By : Baloch Warna
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بامسار بلوچ
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Posts : 1335
Join date : 2011-01-05
Age : 21
Location : PanjGur Balochistan

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