Today is 23rd July, 2013. It is Er. Shakeel Ahmad Salman’s 18th death anniversary today. He died in the year 1995, the year I was born. He was 35 when he was killed. I wont reveal the circumstances of his death since we live in a disputed area and I dont want to end up in jail for that. So on his death anniversary, I would like to remember him and tell you what he really was. How much his death affected our family. How much we all miss him and even after 18 years, we still feel his absence.
He was my maternal Uncle. Even though I never got the chance to meet him, I have the deepest regard, love and respect for him. That is because my mother who was quite attached to him used to tell me about him. She remembers almost everything that she shared with him. He was called as ‘shakujaan’ at home. He was an electrical engineer from REC, srinagar (now known as NIT-srinagar). He was quite accomplished in his job and was on his way to a higher success had fate not intervened.
The best part about all this was that my dad, Dr. Naseer Ahmad Laway was Shakujan’s best friend since college. I am not sure if they were together in school or not but they became best of chums in college. Then dad was married to mum and their friendship flourished.
The photo below is of Shakujan (left) and my dad (right) and was taken on 22nd July, 1995. This is the last how Shakujan looked before he died.
Shakujan was an obedient son, a supportive brother, an amazing father. But the tragedy struck on this day, 18 years ago when he was killed and all his endeavors were left unfulfilled. When he died, he left behind a young wife and four kids. The youngest were twins and they had just turned two. I was 3 months old. It was the first and the hardest blow to my family. We never talk about it but we all know how much better it wouldve been if he’d been alive to see his kids grow up to become such fine, young people. It is sad he never got to buy them their 18th birthday present. He couldnt be there for their first bicycle ride. He couldnt be there when his son first learned to drive. He couldnt be there when they graduated from college. He couldnt see his twins starting their school. He missed it all and we were forced to do it all without him.
We all miss you and its still not enough
The longing for you, the pain of your absence
It was cruel and it was a tragedy
Something which is hard to live with
Time only shows us how much we missed
How much we lost, how much we couldve gained
By your love, with your support
We all miss you, even after all this time
We really do!