Questions and Answers of The Ghat of the Only World
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How many characters are in the story?
In this story, there are two characters. The names of these two characters are Amitava Ghosh and Aga Shahid Ali.
Amitava Ghosh is the author of the essay and he has written the essay about his beloved friend named Aga Shahid Ali.
What is the problem that Agha Shahid Ali facing?
Agha Shahid Ali who is a young and dynamic personality suffers from an incurable disease of a malignant brain tumour and he realizes that the death will knock his door anytime.
What request Aga Shahid Ali makes to Amitav Ghosh and why? Does Amitav accept the request?
Realizing that he is kicking the bucket soon Aga Shahid Ali requests Amitav to write something about him when he is gone.
Amitav Ghosh at first can’t figure the words in which he can react yet finally, he guarantees him that he will do his best to expound on him.
How does the author fulfil his promise?
From that very day when the author makes the promise, he starts to remember every one of the recollections of his cherished friend to fulfil his promise.
Eventually, when Again Shahid Ali dies at 52, Amitabh Gosh composes this excellent article about him which he names The Ghat of The Only World.
Where from the author gets the title The Ghat of the Only World?
The Ghat of The Only World is actually the name of an acclaimed poem written by Aga Shahid Ali in the collection of his poems Rooms Are Never Finished. In this poem, the writer remembers all his beloved ones who have passed away and distanced to the other world. Accordingly, the poem is written in light of the artist’s acknowledgement of his approaching toward death. He feels that his adored ones are calling him from the opposite side of the ghat.
What do you mean by the ghat of the only world?[emaillocker id=3544]
Ghat is a Kashmiri word sometimes also used in Urdu. It implies a spot at the river bank from where the boats withdraw to another side. The ghat of the main world implies that after a man finishes his adventure in this world he feels at the entryway of the other world. In this manner, it has been used as a metaphor for death. It implies the point from where a man departs to a different universe what is commonly called hereafter. Agha Shahid used to state that he would meet his mother in the hereafter if there was hereafter. He envisioned that he had completed his voyage of life and is now at the entryway of the other world” The Ghat of the Only World”.
Question: Why was Shahid called centre of perpetual carnival?
Answer: Shahid Ali was dynamic and handsome personality and seems, by all accounts, to be a noble soul. He was a fine researcher and splendid educator. His students adored and regarded him. He 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 loved social 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, he was still a limitless source of talk, laughter, food and poetry. All these unique qualities of Shahid made him a focus of carnival.
Amitav writes that on 25 April 2001, he had a routine discussion with Shahid. Amid the discussion, Aga Shahid Ali first time communicated before him about his approaching death. Despite the fact that he had been under treatment for fourteen months, Shahid was still on his feet.
Aga Shahid let him know in the curious voice that he needs him to expound on him when he is gone. To cite genuine words, “When it happens I hope you’ll write something about me “.
On hearing these expressions of Shahid, he was stunned. At first, he can’t state anything besides after a couple of minutes, he managed to state him that he would be okay and he must be strong.
Shahid was staying somewhere in the range of eight blocks from his Study. Prior he had been living in Manhattan. In any case, after tests uncovered that he had a dangerous brain tumour, he moved to Brooklyn to be near to his youngest sister Sameeta.
The author says when he consoled him that he would be fine, Shahid started to giggle. He understood that he was dead serious. He comprehended that Shahid was immovably entrusting him an explicit charge which he ought not to disregard. But, he was not able to pursue the words in which one guarantees a friend that he will write about him after he dies. At last, he let him know, “Shahid, I will. I’ll do the best can”.
All things considered, the creator grabbed his pen and noted everything about the discussion. He proceeded with this procedure for the following couple of months. It is this record that made him able to fulfil his pledge that he had made with Shahid that day.
The writer writes that he knew about Shahid’s work much time before he really met him. Shahid’s acclaimed collection, “The Country Without a Post Office” published in 1997 strongly affected him. The author likewise makes reference to that Shahid was an incredible poet and interesting from numerous points of view.
The writer includes that in 1998, he quoted a line from The Country Without a Post Office in an article that touched briefly on Kashmir. That time he just realized that Shahid was from Srinagar and had studied in Delhi. He also had learned at Delhi University that time, however, had never met.
The author further said that they had numerous common friends and one of them place him in connection with Shahid. From that point forward, they had a few discussions and even they met each other number of times.
When they come to realize each other they found that they shared numerous things for all intents and purpose. Both had a big rooster of common friends in India, America and else. Both cherished the music of Roshanara Baigum and Kishore Kumar. Both likewise had an equivalent enthusiasm for rogan josh and different foods. Both despised cricket and both had a passion for Bollywood films.
Shahid was a devotee of suppers and party. He cherished social events. It gave him genuine delight. He frequently welcomed individuals for lunch generally for well-disposed discussion. Indeed, even his deadly illness did not block him from doing and getting a charge out of things. He was amazingly striking. Indeed, even his life was devoured by his perilous sickness, Shahid was always a focal point of the fair and boundless mela of talk, chuckling, food and poetry. One day a team arrived on a TV screen. Shahid spilt out, ‘I’m so shameless; I simply love the camera’.
Shahid transformed basic things into amazing ones. One day when Shahid was taken for a medical procedure. He had already experienced some unsuccessful operations. At the point when the time came to leave the hospital, a blue-uniformed hospital escort reached with a wheelchair to carry Shahid. Shahid waved him away and walked without anyone’s help. But, after a couple of steps, his feet clasped. The hospital escort returned. Shahid smiled at him and asked him his location. The escort said that he was from Spain. Shahid applauded and cried in the most intense voice, “I always wanted to learn Spanish, just to read Lorca”. Garcia Lorca as you know was a popular poet and writer of Spain.
Shahid was strikingly capable in the kitchen. He would spend days over the preparation of dinner parties. He would welcome individuals to the gatherings. In one of such gatherings he gave in Arizona, he met James Merrill. James Merrill radically changed the style of his poetry. After he met James Merrill he started to compose the verse with strict metrical patterns and verse forms.
Shahid has a great enthusiasm for the food of his valley. He adored the diverse variants of Kashmiri food especially Kashmiri food in the Pandit style. The writer writes that one day he asked Shahid for what reason he gave so much significance to it. Shahid clarified because he frequently imagined about the Pandits. He every now and again thought how the Pandits have vanished from Kashmir and their food becomes extinct. This was what again and again haunted him.
Shahid was also an extraordinary repartee. Repartee implies the individual who is brisk and entertaining at answers and comments in a discussion. Once at Barcelona air airport, Shahid was halted by a lady security guard for security checkup. She asked Shahid what he was doing. Shahid answered that he was a writer. The lady asked him what he was doing in Spain. Shahid answered that he was writing. The woman got extremely irate. In indignation, she enquired Shahid in the event that he was conveying whatever could be hazardous to the travellers. At this Shahid interestingly clapped his hand to his chest and yelled: ‘Just my heart.”
Shahid was additionally a splendid teacher. Amitav writes that he had heard a lot about the brilliance of his teaching. He once observed him instructing at Baruch College in 2000 and this was to be his last class. On that day he found how much his students cherished him. The students had printed a magazine and devoted the issue to him. At the point when a student from India arrived late, Shahid welcomed her and articulate in a noisy voice, “Ah my little subcontinental has arrived! ” It was the sentiment of patriotism that stirred him every time the would see another South Asian.
He recalled the time at Penn State with outright joy. He once said to a dynamic gathering of students who were mostly from India that he grew as a reader, he developed as a writer and he grew as a lover. Shahid used to state that his time at Penn State was the most joyful time. After, he went to Arizona to take a degree in creative writing. From that point onward, he played out a progression of jobs in schools and colleges. He educated at Hamilton College, the University of Massachusetts and lastly at the University of Utah where he was selected as a professor in 1999. When he had his first blackout in February 2000, around then he was on leave from Utah University.
Shahid was initially the resident of Kashmir. From 1975 onwards, when he moved to Pennsylvania, he lived primarily in America. His brother and two sisters also lived there, however, his parents kept on living in Srinagar. Shahid would spend the summer with his parents at Srinagar consistently. Shahid was a direct observer to the mounting violence that enmeshed the valley from the 1980s onwards.
Shahid was comprehensive and ecumenical in his outlook. Ecumenical means the individual who treats the people of various religions and groups parallel and one who joins the people of various religions and sects. In his childhood, he made a Hindu sanctuary in his room in Srinagar and his parents also supported him.
One day when the author revealed to Shahid that he was the nearest to the national poet of Kashmir. Shahid answered: ‘ “A national poet, But not a nationalist poet; please not that”.
Shahid was significantly connected with Kashmir. In “The Country Without a Post Office” he comes back to Kashmir to find 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
The author says that one day he had a noted phonic conversation with Shahid. Shahid had gone to the hospital for a scan to check whether the chemotherapy he was experiencing had any constructive outcome. He called him a few times but there was no reaction. Then he called him the following morning, this time he replied. He calls attention to and said that specialists had halted all his medicines and they gave him less a year. At that point, he told him what he would do. Shahid serenely answered that he would come back to Kashmir to die there. He added that he would not like to leave a wreck for his kin. He would come back to Kashmir where he would get a lot of help and his father was also there. However, later because of some logistical and different reasons, he changed his concept of coming back to Kashmir. He was contented to be laid for rest in Northampton close to one of his beloved’s Emily Dickinson.
In the last paragraph of the essay, the author wrote that the last time he saw Shahid was on 27 October at his brother’s home. They had a standard discussion with each other. There was no hint of stress or anguish on his face. He had made peace on the moving toward the end. He was quiet and surrounded by the love of his family and friends. The creator author says that Shahid knows, I imagine that I’ll meet my mother in the hereafter if there is hereafter” Finally, he passed on peacefully in his sleep at 2.0 a.m on 8 December.
The author concludes that in Shahid’s absence, he is amazingly flabbergasted because their so short friendship has brought about so tremendous void. The writer also says that he recalls him often whenever he strolls into his living room particularly on the night when he read them his farewell to the world: “I Dream I Am at the Ghat of the Only World…
LONG ANSWER TYPE QUESTIONS
1. How do Shahid and the writer react to the knowledge that Shahid is going to die?
Ans. Shahid and the writer react differently to the knowledge that Shahid is going to die. Shahid had a sudden blackout in February 2000. Tests revealed that he had a malignant brain tumour. It was on 25 April 2001 that Shahid spoke to the writer about his approaching death. He had been under treatment of cancer for some fourteen months. Shahid was still on his feet and perfectly lucid. The writer was shocked into silence. Then he tried to offer reassurances. Shahid ignored them and began to laugh. In spite of physical weakness, Shahid would smile and laugh gleefully. He would entertain his friends at his apartment. Even when his eyesight was failing, he could tell from the smell alone, which stage the rogan josh had reached and issued instructions. Shahid accepted his inevitable death boldly. The writer felt dazed and stared blankly as Shahid disclosed to him what the doctors had said. Shahid had made his peace with the approaching end. There was no trace of anguish or conflict on his face. The writer felt shocked and overawed by the gradual decay and ultimate end of his dear friend, Shahid.
2. Trace the development of the bond of affinity between Shahid and the writer.
Ans. The writer, Amitav Ghosh, had known Shahid’s work long before he met the man. One of their common friends put him in touch with Shahid. In 1998 and 1999 they had several conversations on the phone and even met a couple of times. But they were no more than acquaintances until Shahid moved to Brooklyn in 2000 when he had a sudden blackout in February. Tests revealed that he had a malignant brain tumour. The building in which Shahid lived in Brooklyn was some eight blocks away from the writer’s apartment. Since they were in the same neighbourhood, they began to meet for occasional meals. They quickly discovered that they had many things in common. Although Shahid’s condition was already serious by that time, it did not hamper their friendship. The writer was always present at the gatherings in Shahid’s house. He accompanied Shahid to the hospital whenever he went there. Even in a brief period, they grew so intimate that Shahid asked the author to write something about him after his death.
3. Give a brief description of Shahid’s apartment and point out the impact of his lifestyle on others.
Ans. Shahid’s apartment was a spacious and airy split-level, on the seventh floor of a newly renovated building. There was a cavernous study on the top floor and a wide terrace that provided a magnificent view of the Manhattan skyline across the East River. Shahid loved this view of the Brooklyn waterfront slipping, like a ghat, into the East River, under the glittering lights of Manhattan. The journey from the foyer of Shahid’s building to his door was a voyage between the continents. The rich fragrance of rogan josh invaded even the dour, grey interior of the elevator. Even the ringing of the doorbell had an oddly musical sound. There was never an evening when there wasn’t a party in his living room. Songs and voices were always echoing out of his apartment. There would be some half a dozen or more people gathered inside—talking, laughing and reciting poetry. It seemed in his company that life was endless fun. His hospitality and love for good food impressed all his friends and visitors.
4. In spite of malignant brain tumour and awareness of approaching death, Shahid was “the centre of a perpetual carnival”. Elucidate.
Ans. Shahid suffered from cancer. A malignant brain tumour had been detected after he had a sudden blackout in February 2000. The doctors gave him a year or less. In spite of the malignant brain tumour and awareness of his approaching end, Shahid retained his zest for life. His gregarious instinct and love for music, poetry and good food helped him to retain his cheerfulness. The spirit of festivity didn’t leave time for him to feel depressed. His living room was always full of people—poets, students, writers and relatives. Songs, music and recitation of poetry enlivened the meetings at his apartment. He loved entertaining guests with good food. His hospitality and personal attention to the details of food were well known. Although his life was being consumed by the disease, he was always, the centre of a perpetual carnival—an endless fair of talk, laughter, food and poetry.
5. What responsibility did Shahid entrust to the author (Amitav Ghosh)? How did the latter discharge it?
Ans. Shahid asked the author (Amitav Ghosh) to write something about him after his demise. He was giving the author a specific responsibility. He wanted the writer to remember him not through recitatives of memory and friendship, but through the written word. “You must write about me,” said Shahid. The author promised to fulfil Shahid’s desire. From that day onwards, the author jotted down every important point in their conversation. Because of Shahid’s condition, even the most trivial exchanges had a special charge and urgency. There was an inescapable poignancy when he talked about food and half-forgotten figures from the past. The author continued to make notes of all exchanges, between Shahid and other during parties and visits to other places such as hospital and airports. The record of all these bit of information helped the author to write this article about Shahid which gives an intimate account of the great poet who knew too well about his approaching death.
6. “In his poetic imagery, Death, Kashmir and Sháhid/Shahid had become so closely overlaid as to be inseparable.” Comment on Shahid—the poet, in the light of this remark.
Ans. Shahid was a sensitive poet. He (Shahid) was a first-hand witness to the mounting violence that seized Kashmir valley from the late 1980s onwards. The steady deterioration of the political situation in Kashmir—the violence and counter-violence had a powerful effect on him. In the time it became one of the central subjects of his work. The finest poems that he wrote to deal with Kashmir. The collection “The Country Without a Post Office” (1997) contains many such poems. In the title poem of the aforesaid collection, a poet returns to Kashmir to find the keeper of a fallen minaret saying, “Nothing will remain, everything’s finished”. Death, destruction and violence seemed inseparable. His own destiny was inextricably linked with Kashmir. “I will die, in autumn, in Kashmir.” The exodus of the Pandits from Kashmir finds a place in his poems. His mind turned to Kashmir in speaking death. We may conclude that in his poetic imagery, Death, Kashmir and Sháhid/Shahid (the witness/the victim) had become so closely overlaid as to be inseparable.
SHORT ANSWER TYPE QUESTIONS (Word limit: 30 words)
1. When and how did Shahid tell the writer about his approaching death?
Ans. Shahid told the writer on phone about his approaching death on 25 April 2001. He was turning the pages of his engagement book and then suddenly remarked that he couldn’t see anything. After a brief pause, he said that he hoped it did not mean that he was dying.
2. How did the writer (Amitav Ghosh) react to Shahid’s mention of his approaching death?
Ans. At first, Amitav was non-plussed. He did not know how to respond. He muttered something which was not harmful: “No Shahid—of course not. You’ll be fine”.
3. What did Shahid ask the writer to do after his death?
Ans. Shahid asked the writer to write something about him after his death. He was giving Amitav Ghosh a specific responsibility. He wanted the writer to remember him not through spoken recitatives of memory and friendship, but through the written word.
4. What reasons could Amitav Ghosh have searched to avoid writing about Shahid ’s death?
Ans. Amitav Ghosh might have told himself that he was not a poet. Secondly, their friendship was not very old, it was of a recent date. Thirdly, there were many others who knew him much better and would be writing with greater understanding and knowledge.
5. “You must write about me.” What was the impact of these words on the writer?
Ans. The writer took it as a very important thing which would have to be obeyed. He could not think of anything to say. He had to search the words to convey his promise. Finally, he said, “Shahid, I will. I’ll do the best I can”.
6. What helped the writer to fulfil the pledge he made to Shahid?
Ans. The writer picked up his pen and noted the date. He wrote down everything he remembered of that conversation. He continued to do so for the next few months. This record made it possible to fulfil his pledge.
7. What does Amitav Ghosh say about Shahid’s voice?
Ans. Shahid’s voice was at once lyrical and very strongly disciplined. It was engaged and yet deeply inward. He did not adopt the mock-casual almost-prose of contemporary poetry. He was not ashamed to speak in a poetic style. In short, his voice was unique. He had never heard anything like it before.
8. What did the writer know about Shahid before meeting him?
Ans. The writer knew Shahid’s work long before meeting him. He was deeply impressed by his 1997 collection The Country Without a Post Office and had quoted from it in an article about Kashmir. Shahid was from Srinagar and had studied at Delhi University.
9. “We had a great deal in common.” Point out some of the common bonds between Shahid and the writer.
Ans. Both had studied at Delhi University and were now in the States. They had common friends. They loved rogan josh, Begum Akhtar and Kishore Kumar’s song. Both had an equal attachment to old Bombay films and were indifferent to cricket.
10. What instance does the writer narrate to show that Shahid had a sorcerer’s ability to transmute the mundane into the magical?
Ans. Shahid had grown quite weak after several unsuccessful operations. The writer and others held him upright in the hospital’s corridor. The hospital orderly came with a wheelchair. Shahid gave him a smile and asked him where he was from. On hearing “Ecuador”, Shahid clapped his hands joyfully and shouted that he had always wanted to learn Spanish just to read Garcia Lorca.
11. How does the writer praise Shahid’s gregariousness?
Ans. Shahid loved company. His gregariousness had no limit. There was never an evening when there wasn’t a party in his living room. He loved the spirit of festivity. He loved people to come there. They included poets, students, writers and relatives.
12. What was the impact of James Merrill on Shahid’s poetry?
Ans. James Merrill had a great influence on Shahid’s poetry. He was the poet who radically altered the direction of Shahid’s poetry. After meeting Merrill, Shahid began to experiment with strict metrical patterns and verse forms. Shahid remembers Merrill as the envoy of Death in the poem “I Dream I Am At the Ghat of the Only World”.
13. How can you say that Shahid loved delicious cuisines?
Ans. Shahid loved dished cooked from traditional methods and recipes. He loved rogan josh. He had a special passion for the food of his region. He liked ‘Kashmiri food in the Pandit style.’ He also loved Bengali food though he had never been to Calcutta.
14. What nightmare haunted Shahid? How did it affect him?
Ans. Shahid had a recurrent dream in which all the Pandits had vanished from the valley of Kashmir. Their food had become extinct. This nightmare haunted him. He returned to it again and again in his conversation and his poetry.
15. What was the impact of Begum Akhtar on Shahid’s life?
Ans. Shahid took great pleasure in Begum Akhtar’s music. It was very dear to him. He had met her in his teens. She had become an abiding presence and influence in his life. Shahid related many stories about her sharpness in repartee.
16. “Shahid was himself no mean practitioner of repartee.” Quote an instance to prove this point.
Ans. Once Shahid was stopped by a security guard at Barcelona airport just as he was about to board a plane and asked what he did. Shahid said he was a poet. To the question. “What were you doing in Spain?” Shahid said, “Writing poetry.” When the guard asked if he was carrying anything that could be dangerous to the other passengers, Shahid promptly replied, “Only my heart”.
17. Which anecdote throws light on Shahid’s teaching?
Ans. Shahid’s last class at Manhattan’s Baruch college on 7 May was a short one but quite exciting. The students adored him. They had printed a magazine and dedicated the issue to him. Shahid did not feel sad. He was brimming with laughter. He welcomed a latecomer with a feigned swoon.
18. How did Shahid respond to the steady deterioration of the political situation in Kashmir?
Ans. The violence and counter-violence in Kashmir had a powerful effect on him. In the time it became one of the central subjects of his work. Shahid was not a political poet yet he created his finest work in the writing of Kashmir.
19. What was Shahid’s outlook on politics and religion? Which factors were responsible for it?
Ans. Shahid respected religion but he believed in the separation of politics and religious practice. His outlook was inclusive and ecumenical. The credit for it goes to his upbringing. Shahid’s mother helped him make a Hindu temple in his room.
20. Shahid was “an intermittent but first-hand witness to the mounting violence” in Kashmir. How did it influence his poetry and personality?
Ans. Shahid was not political in the sense of being framed in terms of policy and solutions. He was anguished about Kashmir’s destiny, yet he did not adopt the role of victim. There was a dark point of stillness in Kashmir. His own destiny was linked with it. He wished to die in Kashmir though it was stained with blood.
21. What helped Shahid to face his inevitable end?
Ans. Shahid had long been aware of his approaching end and he had made his peace with it. The love of his family and friends gave him support. He showed no signs of anguish or conflict. He was calm, contented and at peace. His hope to meet his mother in after-life was his supreme consolation. He died peacefully in his sleep.
Summary of The Ghat of The Only World
In this write-up, Amitav Ghosh pays glowing tribute to Agha Shahid Ali, a teacher and poet. Shahid was an expatriate from Kashmir. He moved to Pennysylvania in 1975 and after that, he lived mainly in America. His brother was already there and they were later joined by their two sisters. Shahid’s parents continued to live in Srinagar and it was his custom to spend the summer months with them every year. He was an intermittent but first-hand witness to the mounting violence that seized the region from the late 1980s onwards. Shahid regarded his time at Pennysylvania state as the happiest time of his life. He grew as a reader, a poet and a lover. Later Shahid moved to Arizona to take a degree in creative writing. This, in turn, was followed by a series of jobs in colleges and universities: Hamilton College, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and finally, the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, where he was appointed as a professor in 1999. He was on leave from Utah, for a brief stint at New York University, when he had his first blackout in February 2000. The writer, Amitav Ghosh had known Shahid’s work long before he met him. They had several conversations on the phone during 1998 and 1999 and even met a couple of times. He became intimate with Shahid when he moved to Brooklyn in 2000. By this time, Shahid’s condition was already serious, yet his illness did not hamper their friendship or Shahid’s interest—love for music, poetry, good conversation and friends. They had many common friends as well as common likings. Both loved rogan josh, Roshanara Begum and Kishore Kumar. He took great pleasure in the music of Begum Akhtar, the great ghazal singer. They were indifferent to cricket but attached to Bombay films. Shahid was gregarious by nature. There was never an evening when there wasn’t a party in his living room. Shahid had a sorcerer’s ability to transmute the mundane into the magical. He was a poet who had achieved greatness. He knew that he was dying. Even the most trivial exchanges with him had a special charge and urgency. Shahid was a lover of good food. He would issue directions to the person in the kitchen regarding the ingredients to be added to rogan josh at various stages. He had a special passion for the food of his region, one variant of it in particular: ‘Kashmiri food in the Pandit Style’. He also loved Bengali food though he had never been to Calcutta. Shahid loved repartee. The author recalls his witty exchanges with a security guard at Barcelona airport. Shahid worked poetry into his answer. Later he composed the poem ‘Barcelona Airport’ recalling this incident. The author had quoted from his collection ‘The Country Without a Post Office’ in 1998 in an article that touched briefly on Kashmir. Shahid had a prophetic vision. He had a recurrent dream that all the Pandits had vanished from the valley of Kashmir and their food had become extinct. This was a nightmare that haunted him. Shahid spoke to the author about his approaching death for the first time on 25 April 2001. Shahid wanted the author to write something about him after his death. The author recalls an incident of 21 May when he went along with his brother Iqbal and sister Hena to fetch him from the hospital. By that time he had been through several unsuccessful operations. But he had not lost his glee. On 7 May 2000, the author was with Shahid when he taught his last class at Manhattan’s Baruch College. On 5 May 2001, Shahid had an important scan. The doctors gave him a year or less. They had stopped all medicines and even chemotherapy. Shahid wanted to go back to Kashmir to die but had to change his mind. He was contented to be laid to rest in Northampton, in Amherst town. The author saw Shahid for the last time on 27 October at his brother’s house in Amherst. He died peacefully, in his sleep, at 2 a.m. on 8 December. The author feels his presence even in his own living room. He feels amazed that so brief a friendship has resulted in so vast a void.
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