“I shall not look upon her like again” (abstracted from Hamlet Act 1 sc. 2)
We all thought she was immortal. Some people you imagine will live for ever. But then some do. They continue to live. In your heart. In thoughts. In our actions.
Each of us whose lives she touched carry some shade of Professor Anita Ghulam Ali in them. Her institution of a personality and an unwavering drive to be the change. An icon of integrity, commitment and perseverance. Fighter. Activist. Educationist. Teacher. Mentor. Confidant. Friend. Guru. And Guide.
But we knew her more.
As a voracious reader. Connoisseur of Arts. A naturalist at heart. Generous to a fault and hospitable to the core. Her extraordinary rapport with all and the impeccable ability to make each one feel special.
Or perhaps we didn’t.
‘Cause she was as well, Self-effacing. At ease in her own shell. Compassionate. Brusque. All in one.
It bemused me at times.
She has passed from this world to the next. Peacefully in her 80th year, in full control of her life and intellect. A proud Pakistani who knew and enjoyed the true value of identity, autonomy, and self-determination.
Her legacy lives. It is important that it does too. Through the life she personified and I learnt from. That happiness dwells in the soul. The best way out is always through. The immanence of putting one’s heart, mind and soul into even the smallest acts. The wisdom to not sit dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon, but enjoying the roses blooming outside the window today. And to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud! For we are here to enable the world to live more amply, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement.
The greatest tribute one can pay to her is to take over where she left off, with similar passion and commitment at our command.
So rightly is said: “A great soul serves everyone all the time. A great soul never dies. It brings us together again and again.”
My precious Apa, like you.