The Ghat Of The Only World
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The Ghat of The Only World
This lesson“The Ghat of the only world” is a friend’s tribute to a friend. In The Ghat of The Only World, Amitav Ghosh recalls all memories of his beloved friend in order to fulfil his promise. This is a profoundly emotional response to respect a friend’s desire to write something about him after his death.
Note: For More Notes About This Lesson You Can Check Here.
A short summary of The Ghat of The Only World
The writer had a friend named Agha Shahid who knew he wouldn’t live long, so he asked the writer to write about him when he wouldn’t be there anymore. The author kept his promise. The author and Shahid were both studying at the University of Delhi. However, their time at the university had overlapped briefly. They never had met. Shahid belonged to Kashmir and moved to America in 1975 where his brother had already been settled. The two sisters of Shahid also joined them later. Shahid used to write poems and published a collection of his poems. The author had read some poems and was very impressed. But so far he had never met Shahid. The two had friends together. One of them contacted the author, Shahid. From 1998 to 1999, the two had several phone conversations and even met a couple of times.
The Ghat of The Only World
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Shahid had a sudden blackout in February 2000. The tests showed that he had cerebral cancer. On 7 May 2000, the author went to Shahid, where he worked as a teacher. With his students, Shahid was very popular. Shahid now moved to Brooklyn in order to be close to his youngest sister. The writer lived a few blocks away, too, and the two met very often. On 25 April 2000, the writer phoned Shahid and reminded him of their friend’s invitation to lunch.
Shahid spoke to the author about his approaching death for the first time and asked him to write something about him after his death. The author kept a record of all his talks and meetings with Shahid. He noted that Shahid shared the music of Roshanara Begum, Kishore Kumar and his fondness for Rogan Josh, and his interest in old Bombay films. And both shared a cricket indifference. On 21 May 2001, Shahid was admitted to hospital.
He was very weak now, and could hardly stand. However, he was as happy as ever. On 27 October, the writer met him last. He died on 8 December 2001 at two o’clock. Without Shahid, the writer says he feels a great void. He feels surprised that such a brief friendship has led to such an enormous void. She often remembers Shahid’s presence there when he walks into his living room.
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Detailed Summary Of “The Ghat of the Only World”
The Ghat of the Only world is a friend’s homage to a friend almost in the manner of the Romantic Essayists. In this essay, the writer Amitav Ghosh recalls all the memories of his beloved friend Aga Shahid Ali. At the beginning of the story, Shahid suffered from a malignant brain tumour. When he couldn’t see anything, his words seemed a touching epitaph, ” I hope this doesn’t mean I’m dying… ”
And a few words later, his wish also moved his friend, “When it happens, I hope you’ll write something about me.” Agha Shahid Ali, a Kashmir expatriate, asks Amitav Gosh to write something about him and his poetry when he dies. Amitav is dumbfounded by this unusual request of Shahid. He could think for a while of nothing to say. He looks for words in which one promises a friend that after his death one will write about him. Finally, he agrees and says that he will definitely write about him.
An indomitable emptiness fills the mind of the author.”So brief a friendship ” results in ” so vast a void. ” Both Shahid and Shaheed—”witness and martyr “— mixed and melted eternally. Now, to fulfil his promise, Amitav Gosh responds with this beautifully warm piece of writing in which he not only talks about the world of Agha Shahid Ali’s verse but also about his personal experience of moments shared with him.
It is, therefore, a tribute to Aga Shahid; a poignant obituary that gives us a very poignant vision of this is a profoundly emotional response to a friend’s desire to write something about him after his death.
He feels that his beloved ones call him from the other world. Ghat is an Urdu word also used in Hindi which means a place at a river bank from where the boats depart with passengers to the other side. Ghat is used as a metaphor for death and the only world symbolizes the man’s life on this earth and Ghat is the bank ( point of death) which takes the man to the other world.
Shahid as a Great Poet and Music Lover
Agha Shahid Ali was a profound lover of good poetry and music. He was a great poet and always enjoyed the company of poets and writers. He was strongly influenced by James Merril, who changed the direction of his poetry radically.
Shahid loved music, too. He enjoyed doing tasks against the background of songs and voices. Even the doorbell ring had a musical sound. His mother was also a famous singer from Gazal whom he remembered a lot. Through his poems, his melodious words and his amazing sentences, he gave him the freedom to live and gladly shook his hands with death.
Knowing that he would die at any time, Shahid Ali opened his treasure trove of the enormous strength of life and tied Ghosh to the ropes of nostalgia. He was also very strong in repartee. This sheer dynamism was his way of life until ” the last saffron of the Shahid world ” was gone.
The Ghat of The Only World
Shahid’s Love For His Homeland
The love of Shahid for Kashmir is shown in most of his works such as ” The Country without a Post Office, ” ” Eleven Stars in Andalusia, ” etc. He sees Kashmir as a possible ” flashpoint of a nuclear war ” and warns in ” Ghalib ‘s Ghazal ” that ” terraced cities ” and ” marble palaces ” can be reduced to a ” wild ” if peace in Kashmir is not achieved. Ali talks about exiles in ” Eleven Stars in Andalusia ” not only in Kashmir but also in Spain and Palestine.
Shahid loved his homeland even in the last stage of his life. He wanted Kashmir to come back and die here. To quote his own words, he said, ” I want to return to Kashmir to die. ” His words revealed the warmth of the political lava during his stay in Kashmir. During this short period of their friendship, Shahid left an unambiguously different Kashmir with some fabulous brush strokes.
Shahid Was a Secular Person
Even being a firm believer in the separation of politics and religious practice, he set apart the separatism, atrocities, and violence that had already led the paradise to a paradise lost. At the point when his childhood loitered about in the room of Srinagar, he intensely set a craving of wants to his parents. It was but to build up a little Hindu sanctuary inside his room.
He was mainstream and comprehensive even at the season of his remaining on the consuming map book of Kashmir. His mother conveyed icons and different trappings to her home and the deepest piece of their home turned into the holiest place a temple. Along these lines, his home turned into a delightful religious blend of Hinduism and Islam. He vision tended always the comprehensive and ecumenical.
Shahid’s Love For Food and Festivity
Shahid was food and celebration maniac. His ability in the kitchen was unbelievable. He would spend days planning and arranging a supper party. He thought I wouldn’t give him any chance to be discouraged. He loved the Kashmiri was on a lot, especially the rogan josh.
Despite his last phase of illness with all affirming his death, Shahid could appreciate food and talk about food. He went to it without disappointment at whenever there was a meeting. Whether it was to satisfy his aspiration or to satisfy his friends, we have no foggy idea. All things considered, he always appeared an as-as insane person of food and festivity appeared.
Shahid And His Terrible Disease
Shahid Ali was a valiant and powerful person. Even the terrible illness such as cancer could not break his mind. He was a fighter and in the face of misfortune, he never lost courage. While at the hospital, he refused to take help from a wheelchair and preferred to walk his feet. Cancer was like a joke to him. He admitted but never admitted his cancer defeat.
“Almost to the very end, even though his life was consumed by his illness, he was the centre of a perpetual carnival, an endless meal of talk, laughter, food and, of course, poetry.” He celebrated the life that everyone thought he was defeated every day. But death does not create a paradox. Shahid suffered from cancer at the beginning of the account for 14 months. When he couldn’t see anything, his words seemed a touching epitaph, he said, “I hope it doesn’t mean I’m dying”. He was truly a multifaceted figure.
Shahid And Ghosh as Friends
When Shahid came close to his death, he asked Amitav Ghosh to write something on him. Ghosh tried to console him that he was going to be okay soon, but Shahid Ali seemed to accept his destiny. Amitav kept his promise and opened painful and tender memories with a hidden ability that even hid his pain from him. Agha Shahid Ali was all Amitav Ghosh lost and therefore the Ghat of the Only World was written to reincarnate him in order to breathe life into his uninterrupted friendship.
Shahid and Hospital Scene
Shahid’s remarks to a man in the hospital about reading Spanish especially about
Lorca is as moving as possible. When a blue-uniformed hospital guard arrived with a wheelchair to carry Shahid when the time came to leave the hospital. Shahid waved him away and walked alone. But his feet buckled after a few steps. The escort of the hospital returned. Shahid smiled and asked his address for him. The hospital escort said he came from Spain. Shahid clapped his hands and shouted loudly, ” I always wanted to learn Spanish, only to read Lorca. ” García Lorca was a famous poet and playwright, as you know.
The uncertainty of the last sleep lingers dramatically. Critically speaking, it is a very interesting analysis of Shahid’s poetry, his experience as a diasporic poet who, through his verse, kept building an imaginary homeland, his dual relationship with Kashmir and its problematic topology, and above all his desire to die in his homeland.
Shahid Was an Extraordinary Teacher
Shahid was a brilliant teacher as well. Amitav writes he had heard a lot about his teaching ‘s brilliance. In 2000, he was also taught at Baruch College and this was his last class. He discovered that day how much his students loved him. The students had a magazine printed and dedicated it to him. When an Indian student arrived late, Shahid greeted her with a loud voice, ” Ah, my little subcontinental is here!” It was always the feeling of patriotism that moved him when he saw or behold another South Asia.
He remembered Penn State ‘s time with complete pleasure. Once he told a vibrant group of students that he grew up as a reader, a poet and a lover. Shahid used to say he was the happiest time of his life in Penn State. He then went to Arizona to graduate in creative writing. He then carried out a number of jobs at colleges and universities. He taught at Hamilton College, Massachusetts University and finally at Utah University, wherein 1999 he was appointed professor. When he got his first blackout in February 2000, he left the University of Utah at the time.
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Shahid was a Wonderful Repartee
Repartee means the person who is quick and amusing in a conversation with answers and remarks. Once at the airport in Barcelona, a woman security guard stopped Shahid for a security check. She asked what he did for Shahid. Shahid said he was a poet. And the woman asked him what he did in Spain. Shahid said he was doing poetry. The woman was very irritated. She asked Shahid in anger if he carried anything that could be dangerous for the passengers. Shahid clapped his hand uniquely at his chest and shouted: “Only my heart.”
Q.No.1 What were the common things between Ghosh and Shahid?
Ans The common things between Ghosh and Shahid were that they both loved the music especially the music of Kishore Kumar, Roshanara, and Begum Akhter. Both shared the love of Rogan Josh. They both had a natural indifference to cricket and equal attachment to old Bombay films. Above all, they had a common roster of friends in India and abroad.
Q.No.2 What are things that Shahid loved?
Ans Shahid was the profound lover of good poetry, good music, and good food. He loved the music of Kishore Kumar, Roshanara, and Begum Akhter. He also loved the old Bollywood films. He had a passion for Kashmiri food. He always loved rogan gosh. He had a friendly nature and, therefore, loved the company of others. There was never an evening when there wasn’t a party in his living room.
Q.No.3 How does Shahid face death? Describe the hospital scene?
Ans Shahid faced his death with extraordinary courage The dreadful disease of cancer could not break the spirit and never lost courage in the face of misfortune. He thought he was to meet with his mother after-life.
Once before his death, he was in hospital and escort came to him with a wheelchair. He refused to take help of a wheelchair and preferred to walk on his own. However, when he walked a few steps he could not proceed forward. The attendant was called again.A.kind of joy came upon him, when the hospital orderly returned with the wheelchair, he gave him a smile and asked where he was from. The man said that he was from Equador. He clapped his hands and said at the top of his voice that he always wanted to learn Spanish in order to read Lorca.
Q.No.4 Who is James Merill?
Ans. He is a poet who radically altered Shahid’s style of writing poetry and often started experimenting with strict metrical patterns and verse forms.
Q.No.5 Pick out the elements of humour from the lesson?
Ans. Shahid was a humorous person. He loved to be happy wished to see others be happy too. Once at Barcelona Airport, a lady security guard asked him what he was doing in Spain.S had replied that he was writing poetry. When the lady asked him if he had anything that could be dangerous for the passengers, he sharply clasped his hand to his chest and cried, ”only my heart”.
Also, once in hospital escort orderly brought a wheelchair for him as he was too weak to stand but with a big smile, he waved him away.
Q.NO.6 What facilitated Ghosh to fulfil his pledge? How did it help him?
Ans Ghosh had promised Shahid that he would write about him after his death. To fulfil his pledge Ghosh started recollecting a record of every moment that he spent with Shahid. He also gathered all the information that he could about Shahid’s life. All this helped him to fulfil his pledge.
Q.No.7 How was shahid’s reputation as a teacher among his students?
Shahid was a successful teacher. He performed a series of jobs in colleges and universities. Due to his brilliant intelligence and art of teaching, he gained a great reputation among the students. They held him in deep love and respect. For some time, he taught at Manhattan’s Baruch College. When he was to leave this college, the students published a magazine and dedicated the issue to him.
Q.NO.8 What does “ the ghat of the only world” mean?
Ans ‘Ghat’ is an Urdu word also used in Hindi which means the place at a river bank from where boats sail off with passengers to the other side. Here ‘the only world’ is a symbol of the man’s life on this earth and the ‘Ghat’ is the bank ( point of death) from where a man departs for another world. Thus it is the only death which takes a man to the other side. Ghat is simply used as a metaphor for death.
Shahid dreamt he was at the ghat of the only world – the world of the gone. He was to bid adieu to the world of the living. Having gone past pangs of life he was cradling “in supreme consolation”, that is, “I love to think that I’ll meet my mother in the afterlife if there is an afterlife.”
Q.No.9 Write down the personality profile of Aga Shahid Ali.
Shahid Ali was a multi-faceted and glamorous personality. He was born in Srinagar and had studied in Delhi. Later, he migrated to America and served in various colleges and universities. He has authored many books which include The Country Without Post Office, A Walk Through The Yellow Pages, Rooms Are Never Finished and many other books. Shahid was a fine scholar and brilliant teacher. His students loved and respected him. Shahid was a profound lover of good poetry, music, clothes, and food. He always thought of Kashmir and was hurt by the mounting violence in the valley. Though he was not a political poet his finest work relates to writing about Kashmir. Shahid outlook was ecumenical. He did not believe in the mixing of politics and religion. He never lost the courage in the face of misfortune. Even dreadful disease of cancer could not break his spirit. He refused to take the help of the wheelchair in the hospital. He was a fighter throughout his life.
Shahid was a good dreamer. He knew that he was s going to die at any time. So, he seriously requested Ghosh to write something about him when he dies. Shahid also used to say that he will meet his mother in the after-life.
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Q.NO.1 How do Shahid and the writer react to the knowledge that Shahid is going to die?
Ans.: When Shahid approached Gosh out of the blue that he would die and asked for him to compose something about him, Ghosh was shocked and astounded. He couldn’t discover words, the most effective method to react. He attempted to reassure him. “Oh dear! I can’t see a thing… I hope this doesn’t mean that I am dying,” The dread of death was plainly obvious in Shahid’s manner of speaking and use of words. He got terrified when he felt out of the blue that he was passing on. At the point when his infrequent memory slips turned out to be more genuine with the progression of time, the acknowledgement of death moving closer ends up more grounded. When he was in a discussion with Amitav Ghosh, he said in a reasonable ringing voice-“When it happens, I hope you will write something for me.” The author could consider nothing to state on such a subject. He reassured him that he would get well soon. But, finally, he had to guarantee, “I’ll do the best I can”. From that very day, the essayist began tracking all of the conversations and meetings he had with Shahid. This record helped him to satisfy his promise.
Q.NO.2 Look up the dictionary for the meaning of the word ‘diaspora’. What do you understand of the Indian diaspora from this piece?
Ans.: The term diaspora originates from an ancient Greek word signifying “to scatter about.” And that is actually what the general population of a diaspora do. They dissipate from their country to places over the globe, spreading their way of life as they go. The Bible refers to the Diaspora of Jews banished from Israel by the Babylonians. But, the word is currently additionally utilized all the more for the most part to depict any extensive scattering of displaced people, dialect, or culture. With reference to the specific situation, the Indian diaspora turns out to be more conspicuous in Ghosh’s compositions.
From this content, we come to realize that various Indians have settled in various nations of the West, particularly in England and America. Agha Shahid, his brothers and two sisters, Suketu Mehta and the author shape some portion of the Indian diaspora in America. Shahid had a place with Kashmir and relocated to America in 1975. his senior sibling was at that point settled there. His two sisters are additionally gone along with them later. These individuals, however living in another land, always remembered about their underlying foundations. These Indians feel a feeling of solidarity and continue meeting each other on different. Narendra Modi as of late turned out to be extremely celebrated for giving talks to India’s diaspora over the globe.
Q.No.3 What did Amitav feel like when he was asked to write about Shahid?
Ans.: Amitav was puzzled for some time. He could consider nothing to the state. He didn’t get the words in which one guarantees a companion that one will expound on him after his passing. He endeavoured to console him.
Q.No.4 What do you know about Shahid as a poet?
Ans.: Shahid’s most commended work is The Country Without a Post Office, published in 1997. The Country Without a Post Office had established a great connection on his readers
His voice was unique – at once lyrical and fiercely disciplined, connected and yet profoundly inward. Not for him the taunt easygoing nearly composition of so much contemporary verse. His was a voice that was not afraid to talk in a bardic enrol.
Q.No.5 What makes you think that Shahid Ali and Amitav Ghosh were chance acquaintances?
Ans.: We suspect as much in light of the fact that their late friendship was a piece of fate. Everything started in 1998 when Amitav Ghosh cited a line from “The Country Without a Post Office” in an article that touched briefly on Kashmir. At the time all the author’s knowledge about Shahid was that he was from Srinagar and had studied in Delhi. Himself having hailed from Delhi University, Amitav’s time and Shahid’s briefly overlapped. The two shared companions, however, and one of them place Amitav in contact with Shahid. In 1998 and 1999 they had a few discussions on the telephone and even met two or three times however they were close to colleagues only when Shahid moved to Brooklyn the following year.
Q.No.6 What fed and strengthened their friendship?
Ans.: Once remaining in Brooklin, in Shahid’s neighbourhood, Amitav soon found that both of them shared a great deal in common. At this point, obviously, Shahid’s condition was already serious, yet his disease did not hinder the advancement of their companionship. They had a colossal roster of common companions, in India, America, and somewhere else. They found a common love of rogan josh, Roshanara Begum, and Kishore Kumar; a shared lack of concern to cricket and an equivalent connection to old Bombay films.
Q.No.7 Do you think that Shahid’s cancer played an important role in the making of two friends?
Ans.: Yes, due to Shahid’s condition even the most unimportant trades had an exceptional charge and criticalness. The unpreventable agony of discussing food and half-forgotten figures from the past with a man who knew himself to be dead was multiplied, in this instance, by the information that this man was also a writer who had achieved significance. Shahid had an alchemist’s capacity to transmute/change the unremarkable/common into the mysterious.
Q.No.8 What incident does the author quote to explain this?
Ans.: Once Amitav Ghosh happened to go with Iqbal, Shahid’s brother, and Hena, his sister, on a trek to get him home from the doctor’s facility. At that point, Shahid had just experienced a few unsuccessful tasks. Presently he was back in doctor’s facility to experience a surgery that was proposed to ease the weight on his mind. His head was shaved and the state of a tumour was obvious upon his exposed scalp, its edges laid out by metal sutures/fasten. When the time had come to leave the ward a blue-formally dressed healing facility escort touched base with a wheelchair. Shahid waved him away, proclaiming that he was solid enough to leave the healing centre without anyone’s support.
Question.No.9 What impressions of Shahid do you gather from the piece?
Answer: Shahid Ali was dynamic and handsome personality and seems, by all accounts, to be a noble soul. He was born in Srinagar and had received education in Delhi. Later, he relocated to America and served in different schools and colleges. Shahid was a fine researcher and splendid educator. His students adored and regarded him. Shahid was a significant admirer of good verse, music, garments, food and festivity. Being himself a good poet he always enjoyed the company of poets and writers. His wit, sharpness of tongue and sense of humour were also unique. He was a sharp repartee. He usually thought of Kashmir and was pained on the mounting viciousness in the valley. Despite the fact that he was a secular and was not a political writer, his best work identifies with expounding on Kashmir. Kashmir became more or less the central theme of his writing. He never lost the mettle in the encounter of misfortunes. He was a warrior and never lost courage. Even dreadful disease of a malignant tumour couldn’t break his spirit. He declined to take the assistance of wheelchair in the hospital and preferred to walk on foot by himself. Above all, he always liked to remain happy and wanted to see others also happy. Surely he was a gifted person.
Main Highlights and Attractions of The Lesson
There are two characters in this chapter. Both are Amitava Ghosh and Aga Shahid Ali. Amitava Ghosh is the author of the essay and he wrote the essay about Aga Shahid Ali, his friend. Agha Shahid Ali, a young and dynamic person, suffers from an incurable disease of a malignant brain tumour and knows that death will anytime knock his door.
Being aware that he is dying very soon, Again Shahid asks the author to write something about him when he dies. At first Amitav Ghosh can’t think of the words he can answer, but at last, he promises him that he will do his best to write about him. From that very day on, the author begins to recollect all the memories of his beloved friend’s in order to fulfil his promise. When Shahid Ali dies at the age of 52, Amitabh Gosh writes this wonderful essay about him which he names “The Ghat of The Only World.”
The Ghat of the One World is originally the name of a famous poem written in the collection of his poems Rooms Are Never Finished by Aga Shahid Ali. The poet recalls all his loved ones who died and were alienated from another world in this poem. The poem is thus written in response to the realization by the poet that his death is approaching. He feels that his loved ones call him from the other side of the Ghat.
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Ghat is a Kashmiri word,also used in Urdu. It means the spot on a bank of the river from where the boats leave to another side. The ghat of the only world means that after a person finishes his journey in this world he feels at the point of the world. It is therefore used as a metaphor for death. It means the point from where a man departs to another world, which is called hereafter in common parlance. Agha Shahid used to say that he would meet his mother in the hereafter if there was hereafter. He dreamed that he had finished his journey of life and stood at the door of another world “The Ghat of the Only World”.
Now let’s explain the text of the essay.
Amitav writes that on 25 April 2001, he had a routine conversation with Shahid. During the conversation, Aga Shahid Ali first time expressed before him about his approaching death. Although he had been under treatment for fourteen months, Shahid was still on his feet.
Aga Shahid told him in the quizzical voice that he wants him to write about him when he dies. To quote the actual words, “When it happens I hope you’ll write something about him “.
On hearing these words of Shahid, he was shocked. At first, he is unable to say anything but after a few moments, he managed to say to him that he would be alright and he had to be strong.
Shahid was living some eight blocks away from his Study. Earlier he had been living in Manhattan. But after tests revealed that he had a malignant brain tumour, he moved to Brooklyn to be close to his youngest sister Sameera.
The author says when he reassured him that he would be fine, Shahid began to laugh. He realized that he was dead serious. He understood that Shahid was firmly entrusting him a specific charge which he should not ignore. However, he was unable to search the words in which one promises friends that he will write to him after he dies. Finally, he told him, “Shahid, I will. I’ll do the best I can”.
That said, the author picked up his pen and noted everything about the conversation. He continued this process for the next few months. It is this record that made him able to fulfil his promise that he had made with Shahid that day.
The author writes that he knew about Shahid’s work much time before he actually met him. Shahid’s famous collection, “The Country Without a Post Office” published in 1997 had a strong impact on him. The author also mentions that Shahid was a great poet and unique in many ways.
The author adds that in 1998, he mentioned a line from The Country Without a Post Office in an article that touched briefly on Kashmir. That time he only knew that Shahid was from Srinagar and had studied in Delhi. He too had studied at Delhi University that time but had never met.
The author further said that they had many common friends and one of them put him in connection to Shahid. After that, they had several conversations and even they met each other number of times.
When they come to know each other they found that they had many things in common. Both had a big list of common friends in India, America and elsewhere. Both loved the music of Roshanara Baigum and Kishore Kumar. Both also had an equal passion rogan josh and other foods. Both disliked cricket and both were fond of Bollywood films.
Shahid was fanatic of meals and festivity. He loved gatherings. It gave him real joy. He often invited people for lunch mostly for friendly conversation. Even his fatal disease did not impede him from doing and enjoying things. He was remarkably bold. Even his life was consumed by his dangerous disease, Shahid was always a focus of carnival and limitless source of talk, laughter, food and poetry. One day a crew arrived with a television screen. Shahid poured out, ‘I’m so shameless; I just love the camera’.
Shahid turned simple things into the surprising ones. One day when Shahid was taken for surgery. He had already been through some unsuccessful operations. When the time reached to leave the hospital, a blue-uniformed hospital guard arrived with a wheelchair to carry Shahid. Shahid waved him away and walked on his own. But after few steps, his feet buckled. The hospital escort returned. Shahid smiled at him and asked him his address. The hospital escort said that he was from Spain. Shahid clapped hands and cried in the loudest voice, “I always wanted to learn Spanish, just to read Lorca”. Garcia Lorca as you know was a famous poet and dramatist of Spain.
Shahid was remarkably talented in the kitchen. He would days over the preparation of dinner parties. He would invite people to the parties. In one of such parties he gave in Arizona, he met James Merrill. James Merrill drastically changed the pattern of his poetry. After he met James Merrill he began to write the poetry with strict metrical patterns and verse forms.
Shahid has a wonderful passion for the food of his region. He loved the different variants of Kashmir particularly Kashmiri food in the Pandit style. The author writes that one day he asked Shahid why he gave so much importance it. Shahid that it was explained because often dreamed about the Pandits. He frequently thought how the Pandits has vanished from Kashmir and their food became extinct. This was the thing that repeatedly haunted him.
Shahid was also a great repartee. Repartee means the person who is quick and amusing at answers and remarks in a conversation. Once at Barcelona airport, Shahid was stopped by a woman security guard for security checkup. She asked Shahid what he did he do. Shahid replied that he was a poet. The woman also asked him what he was doing in Spain. Shahid retorted that he was doing poetry. The woman got very angry. In anger, she enquired Shahid if he was carrying anything that could be dangerous to the passengers. At this Shahid uniquely clapped his hand to his chest add shout: ‘Only my heart.”
Shahid was also a brilliant teacher. Amitav writes that he had heard a great deal about the brilliance of his teaching. He also saw him teaching at Baruch College in 2000 and this was to be his last class. On that day he discovered how much his students loved him. The students had printed a magazine and dedicated the issue to him. When a student from India arrived late, Shahid greeted her and utter in a loud voice, “Ah my little subcontinental has arrived! ” It the feeling of patriotism always stirred him whenever he would see or behold another South Asian.
He remembered the time at Penn State with absolute pleasure. He once said to a vibrant group of students that he grew as a reader, he grew as a poet and he grew as a lover. Shahid used to say that his time at Penn State was the happiest time of his life. Subsequently, he went to Arizona to take a degree in creative writing. After that, he performed a series of jobs in colleges and universities. He taught at Hamilton College, the University of Massachusetts and finally at the University of Utah where he was appointed as professor in 1999. When he had his first blackout in February 2000, at that time he was on leave from Utah University.
Shahid was originally the residence of Kashmir. From 1975 onwards, when he moved to Pennsylvania, he lived mainly in America. His brother and two sisters also there but his parents continued to live in Srinagar. Shahid would spend the summer season with his parents at Srinagar every year. Shahid was a first-hand witness to the mounting violence that enmeshed the valley from the 1980s onwards.
Shahid was inclusive and ecumenical in his outlook. Ecumenical means the person who treats the people of different parallel and one who unites the people of different religions and sects. In his childhood, he made a Hindu temple in his room in Srinagar and his parents also supported him.
One day when the author told Shahid that he was the closest to national poet of Kashmir. Shahid retorted: ‘ “A national poet. But not a nationalist poet; please not that”.
Shahid was profoundly linked with Kashmir. In “The Country Without a Post Office” he returns to Kashmir to discover its fallen minaret:
I will die, in autumn, in Kashmir,
And the shadowed routine of each vein
Will almost be news, the blood censored,
For the Saffron Sun and the Times of Rain
Tag: The Ghat of The Only World
The author says that one day he had one more noted telephone conversation with Shahid. Shahid had gone to the hospital for a scan to see if the chemotherapy he was going through had any positive effect. The author had called him several times but there was no response. Then the author called him the next morning, this time he answered. He points out and said that doctors had stopped all his medicines and they gave him less a year. Then the author told him what he would do. Shahid calmly replied that he would return to Kashmir to die. He added that he didn’t want to leave a mess for his siblings. He would return to Kashmir where he would get a lot of support and his father was also there. However, later due to some logistical and other reasons, he changed his idea of returning to Kashmir. He was content to be laid to rest in Northampton near to one of his beloveds Emily Dickinson.
In the final paragraph, the author writes that the last time he saw Shahid was on 27 October at his brother’s house. They had a routine conversation with each other. There was no trace of worry or anguish on Shahid’s face. He had made his peace with the approaching end. He was calm and contended surrounded by his family and friends. The author also says that since Shahid told him, I love to think that I’ll meet my mother in the afterlife if there is an afterlife. ” Finally, he died peacefully in his sleep, at 2.0 a.m on 8 December.
The author concludes that in Shahid’s absence, he is extremely amazed because their brief friendship has resulted in so vast a avoid. The author also says that he remembers him every time whenever he walks into his living room especially on the night when he read them his adieu to the world: “I Dream I Am at the Ghat of the Only World… ”
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