Many people die with their music still in them – Oliver Wendall Holmes
It is dawn to the day of first death anniversary of our mentor Tanveer-ul-Ahad. It was on this fateful day in 2020 (Ramadan 17, 1441 AH) that ‘Editor’, as I would lovingly call him, left us once for all.
On May 8, I received a call from one of my cousin’s that ‘Tann Bhaie’ has taken seriously ill and admitted to District Hospital Handwara. Having talked to him two days back, all I only mutter that he talked to me yesterday only. With all my strength and left out patience, I could only console myself and thought of attending him at hospital, however as the fate had it, the looming Covid threat having thrown life out of gear with minimal vehicles plying, I stay put hoping for the best, little aware that the all of us had to prepare ourselves for the worst. All day long phones kept ringing with frantic calls from relatives and friends enquiring about the health of ‘Tanveer’ and till evening the things went more dreadful as no one could offer even a whiff of positivism. Hearts kept sinking with each moment and the people started anticipating of the impending calamity that was to fall a day later.
While being provided with initial treatment at District Hospital Handwara, the conditions however kept worsening only and the doctors sensing emergency asked the broken father to shift him to SMHS Hospital. With literally nothing at hand, the father took the arduous journey to Srinagar with the brave young son, known for his compassion and generosity, showing little signs of improvement. On reaching Srinagar, the scenes created out of Covid pandemic provided less room to think what was possibly to be done. The strict hospital protocols and fear psychosis among people and doctors alike had a role to play on Tanveer-ul-Ahad’s admission to SMHS hospital. It finally was made nonetheless the conditions of Tanveer having deteriorated considerably. Frequently being asked for Covid report, the attendants could only say that, sample has gone for tests, but the then time-consuming sample report again aggravated the things. Tanveer in the meantime, despite knowing himself to be on death-bed, kept asking his attendants to stay afar – for the Covid test was awaited. It arrived finally much to the relief of those attending him, but till then Tanveer had already started coming in terms with his fate.
In the meantime, those attending him kept ignoring the calls back home and giving false hopes of his resuscitation – However it all came crashing down, as the news finally broke right at the restoration of Internet services at around 11:55 PM, which had remained suspended for several days. I was already on a call consoling one of my cousins of an imminent calamity while in the meantime I received a call that ‘When are they going to take back the body’, and my response was like ‘Who told you, he is critical but alive’ and I was informed that ‘Tanveer is no more…’ I was jolted, broke, stunned, shocked, traumatized – bring the whole of lexicon on it.
What was to be done at such a time, was beyond my comprehension – I was about to explode, but kept quiet for I thought that it is me only from the family who knows of it by now and feared that emotional vent I could give may cause mayhem to those who somehow had been hoping against hope. The family finally knew of it at Suhoor – the cries, the wailings and shrieks on the death of ‘Tann Bhaie’ and ‘Tann Saeb’ pierced through an otherwise calm ambience of dawn. Tanveer left never to come back and the thoughts of his separation from his young wife three little children melted even the coldest of hearts. In the midst of pandemonium created out of Covid pandemic, many people couldn’t reach out the family and phones of each kith and kin at the residence kept on ringing.
‘Tann Bhai’ was one gem of a person who was highly sober in nature and had an aura of a mentor and companion.
Tanveer-ul-Ahad, the former Editor-in-Chief of valley’s prominent and reliable news agency Global News Service (GNS) shot to fame within a short span of time. In-depth reporting and accurate analysis of news continues to remain hallmark and news reports of Srinagar-based news agency continue to get featured in national dailies and its reports have off-late been waited for by big media houses – Thanks to the courtesy of Tanveer. Apart from the news agency, Tanveer is founder of news daily Kashmir Glory, which is being sought for its unbiased reports and opinions.
The untimely demise of Tanveer has created an unending vacuum in the journalist fraternity of Kashmir, which to one seems difficult to get fulfilled anytime soon.
Back at the Organization, the team is finding it difficult to raise up to the standards’ set by ‘Editor’. Each day, the team feels absence of him however each day it musters courage to go on, and here we are after a one whole year –Upbeat and Upfront. We at GNS led by newly appointed Editor-in-Chief, Showkat Ahmad, vouch to keep our audience abreast with all important happenings. Be with us, we are with you!
– Bichda Kuch Iss Ada Se K Rutt Hi Badal Gayi; Ik Shakhs Saarei Shehar Ko Veeran Karr Gaya
- The author is Sub-editor at GNS and daily Kashmir Glory. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org