RAYEES AHMAD KUMAR
Famous British poet William Shakespeare has written in one of his sonnets; ‘Like the waves make towards the pebbled shore, So do our minutes hasten to their end’. Time of our life, the one precious gift from God, is passing so fast that it is beyond human control. By no means can it be stopped nor can its pace be reduced to suit our day to day life. However the intelligent ones are really those who make best use of their time and never waste their minutes, hours and days. And in the end success stories are indeed written by only those who regard time as their costly resource. I remember the popular sofi poet of valley Rajab Hamid who says ” Rajab Heamido suli yim draay manzilas weatii, ajab amlah karti aasakh earfan seathii”. Gaya waqt phir haath aata nahi is another centuries old saying about time saving chanted mostly when one has to advise younger siblings or any other person indulging in wasting of time. Every stage of human life has its own importance and is equally helpful in shaping the overall personality of a person. In childhood he is free from all kinds of responsibilities and spares most of his time in playing and kidding with his fellow children. In his youth the vibrant and energetic nature never allows him to remain idle and irrelevant rather he leaves no stone unturned to make a name in the society. In his old age especially when he retires from his active services all his previously attained positions and status seems to be of no use. In fact it is contrary to what the actual crux and motif of life is. Retirement from active government service never means retirement from life. However it is a means to liberate yourself from the heavy responsibilities and enjoy the rest of your life with full enthusiasm and zest.
On 28th of February 2023 our beloved colleague, children’s favourite teacher Shafi Sir and parents special choice Shafi sahib attained superannuation from his active services after rendering twenty seven years in the education department at different capacities holding varied assignments. Born on 2nd of February 1963 at Saloora the well-known village of district Ganderbal, Mr Sheikh Mohammad Shafi was admitted to Qamaria School Saloora Ganderbal where he did his primary schooling. Then he passed his upper primary 8th class exam from Govt BMS Saloora Ganderbal. He completed his high and higher secondary level education from Govt Higher Secondary School Ganderbal. From Islamia College of Science and Commerce Hawal Srinagar, Mr Sheikh Mohammad Shafi did his graduation in commerce subject. He was selected for LLB course at Kashmir university and spent a year there but fate had something different reserved for Shafi sahib. He was selected as a teacher in erstwhile Srinagar district in 1996. Prior to his appointment as an educator Mr Sheikh worked as a medical practitioner as well because he is well versed in pharmacy and drugs. During his services Mr Sheikh Mohammad Shafi got the chance of pursuing B.Ed as a regular candidate from the popular Govt College of Education Srinagar. After joining the department of Education on 13th of November 1996 as a teacher, Shafi Sir was initially posted in Zone Kangan of Srinagar district. He worked at Govt BMS Khanan also. After spending some years in Zone Kangan Mr Shafi was transferred to Zone Hariganiwan. Later he was transferred to Govt Girls HSS Kangan then to Govt HSS Chittergul. He was again transferred to Govt Boys HSS Kangan. After being promoted as a master in 2009 Mr Sheikh was again posted in Zone Kangan of Ganderbal District. He spent a few years in Zone Kangan as Zonal Resource Person also. Then he was transferred to Govt High School Wussan. From HS Wussan Mr Sheikh was transferred to Govt BHS Anderwan in 2014 where from lastly he attained his superannuation on 28th of February 2023. Shafi sahib besides being a dynamic teacher was also a humble human. He would teach his students with utmost affection and love. He would give first priority to students’ issues and grievances. That is why whenever any parent used to visit the school for any document or any other issue, their first word after greetings was “Where is Shafi Sir ? Because they knew Shafi Sir would redress their issues anyhow without any prejudice or favour. This institution has remained headless for a long time since its upgradation and in absence of a full-fledged Headmaster it was run by the senior-most master grade official. Shafi sahib also worked as an incharge of this school for a couple of years and his tenure is regarded as the golden one in its history. He used to run the school with full capacity gaining the support of his subordinates without irking or annoying them. He used skilfull tactics as an administrator and never let the bad times impede his work. Officials of CEO’s office Ganderbal would redress our issues at an earliest whenever Shafi sahib visited the office himself. They had great regard for him and strong belief in his integrity and honesty. People of school surroundings would show a unique and special kind of love for this retiring teacher. Since 2019 I have been in this school and as a colleague I have special memories of Shafi Sir. He would always wait for me at Dursuma main stop to take me along and would never go alone in his vehicle. He had an utmost respect for his seniors and good affection for his juniors. Students of school loved to be taught by Shafi sahib because he had an excellent style of teaching little buds and he would playfully taught them varied subjects and things. His taught students are holding dignified positions at different levels of administration now. Once a young guy came running towards him and kissed his boots in Kangan market. Upon enquiring it came to fore that he was Shafi Sir’s taught and had become a doctor. While giving details about his service career in the headmaster’s office on his last day, Shafi sahib said more than 80% of his students have succeeded in acquiring the job. Apart from being a good teacher, Shafi sahib was an excellent biker, a great sports person and a melodious vocalist. At BMS Chittergul Payen Shafi sahib worked so dedicatedly that its enrolment increased from 150 to 330 during 2010. A day before his retirement, an impressive farewell function was arranged in his favour at the popular hotel Hotspot of Ganderbal attended by all the staff members. On his last day of service i.e. 28th of February Shafi Sahib was given a warm send-off by his colleagues. Besides the teaching fraternity of the school, this splendid function was graced by ZEO Kangan Mr Qamarudin Lone, Fayaz Ahmad Sheikh,Mohd Maqbool Rather, Fayaz Ahmad Malik and Fayaz Lone. He was garlanded so brightly that he looked like a young groom. From the school campus to his residence he was taken in a cavalcade of vehicles. At his residence his family members and staff of the school wished for his good health and contended post retirement life. Every eye was moist and emotional scenes were witnessed the moment Shafi sahib bid adieu to his colleagues at the end. Shafi sahib ! May you live a long prosperous and contended post retirement life ahead. Wish you all the best ahead.
– The writer is a columnist, hailing from Qazigund Kashmir. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org