One of the universal laws of life is to accept the reality, no matter how much it destroys one’s inner world or completely deprives him/her of joy. Accepting reality that is sometimes equal to unwillingly embracing sorrows is much better than living in a world of self-deception. If we do not accept reality, it does not recognize our existence.

Whether the death, for the person who experiences it, is painful or not is unknown, but for those who just see and mourn their loved ones surely feel the greatest pain of their lives. Sometimes it cuts so deep that it never heals completely… but we accept it because this is reality. We have to.

At the end, may be, we exclaim – this is life! And it’s sad...

It was an unfortunate afternoon on July, 24 when everything in my world was turned upside town.  Because I had heard that an ideology, a philosophy and a vision was no longer with us.  Prof. Dr. Muhammad Hafeez (former Dean and Director of the Institute of Social and Cultural Studies P.U, who had also served as Principal of Aitchison College) had died.

The sense of loss may not be accurately expressed by any of his students – it is, without any doubt, beyond expression.

That night when I opened up my Facebook account I felt everyone was weeping, mourning, and expressing his/her sincerest condolences on the sad departure of a legend.

And then I wrote a few words to express what I was feeling at that time:

Anybody who interacted with him is bound to believe that he was a legend, an inspiration for his students and role model for his colleagues.

Interestingly, Dr. Hafeez got his higher education from abroad, but had his own ideology, set of values and framework of analysis. He was never apologetic with regards to his society and state. He had a hope and used to spread the rays of that very hope. One of his students and currently my teachers, Miss. Asma Yunus expressed her feelings on the untimely death of Dr. sb’s death as:

“I believe he is alive in the hearts of his so many students... amongst the rare ones who have their own ideology and they have courage to inspire people with this.”

Another student who is proud of her teacher, beautifully summed up everything she learnt from the legend in a single sentence:

“Sir Hafeez kabhi kitab nahi parhatay thay magar who kitab likhna sikha detay thay”.

And, to be very honest, she is very right.

He had an inspiring personality and had always a decent smile on his face. It didn’t matter whether he was on TV screens or in classrooms, he was always polite and soft to his colleagues and students. Once one of his students asked him, “Sir, how do you stay happy all the time?” He smiled and politely replied, “Beta, I stay happy because I am a sociologist”.

I am, like so many of his students, sad to accept the reality that Dr. Hafeez is no longer with us. But I believe Pakistan will always remember him, and his students will always miss him.

Rest in peace, sir!