ISLAMABAD - When he left TheNation reporting room Thursday evening, no one had even the slightest idea that he was not going to return the next day. Raja Assad Hameed was not a mere journalist, he was blessed with several exceptional qualities. His amazing sense of humour, his magical communication skills, his adorable personality and his caring attitude towards his colleagues, especially towards the juniors like us singled him out in the rest of the lot. Assad Bhai had been spending five to six hours in the Reporting Room for the last few days. As always, his presence could be felt with bangs of laughter, candid jokes and harmless wit. He had a deep literary taste for Urdu literature and poetry, and would recite countless "Ghazals" of Habib Jalib, Mirza Ghalib and Iqbal. Assad Bhai used to be the focal point and the centre of attraction wherever he went. Besides, his deep knowledge about spiritualism and renowned saints was yet another distinct feature of his intellect. On Thursday, Assad Bhai came to the reporting room at around 5:30 pm and left at about 10:15 pm. During all those last hours that he spent with us, he was full of life as he always used to be. Before his arrival, we were sitting quite busy in preparing stories. As soon as he stepped in, the environment changed all of a sudden. The whole environment shone with his witty jokes and bright laughter. Assad Bhai ordered tea for everyone and then at night, ordered dinner and invited everyone to join him. He left the office at about 10:15 pm with all smiles perhaps to make others cry. This scribe was once facing suit for damages on a news report. At that difficult time Assad Bhai's encouraging remarks proved a great source of comfort. "You are a journalist and such lawsuits are no exceptions. Be honest to your profession and no one can undo your mission. Worry not about court trial, take it as a recognition of your work and carry on with fair reporting," he would always encourage the juniors. Other reporters share similar views at TheNation. " Blessed with amazing reporting and news sense, Assad Bhai would love to guide the young journalists. He would tell us which reporting area we should focus and how to communicate with the sources; when to file the news; how to dig stories and how to follow the rules of the games," recalled Imran Ali Kundi, the young reporter. "My early days in journalism were very tough. Assad Bhai guided and supported me to pass through tough times and I became a professional journalist under his guidance," said Naveed Butt another staff reporter. Commenting on Assad Bhai's personality, senior correspondent Abrar Saeed said, "A thorough professional, a through gentleman and above all a towering human being." Political correspondent Irfan Bukhari recalling the good days he spent with Assad Bhai, said, "He was a selfless man. He was always ready to help others in the hour of need with a smile of satisfaction at his lips." Senior photojournalist Syed Mehdi mentions it was all because of the guidance of Assad Bhai that he progressed in this profession. "He had an exact news sense. He would give very useful tips, I followed them and always achieved success," he says. "I don't have words to express my grief. I have lost a real brother," said Sajjad Ali Qureshi, another photojournalist. "He was a lighthouse for the journalists. He knew how to win hearts. He is not among us anymore yet he is very much with us. From a peon to the top management, everyone at the Nawa-i-Waqt Group is grieved at his untimely death" says Kashif Ali Abbassi, the reporter. It ought to be mentioned here that Wednesday last, just a day before his assassination, Assad Bhai had asked a friend to create a website containing all the data of his work. "Life is uncertain, one never knows when you quit this world, I want all my work to be preserved and remembered," he had said then. The day when he had received martyrdom, the website was under finishing touches and he had asked the website operator to inaugurate the website on coming Saturday (today). Another colleague, senior reporter, Shaiq Hussain said, "Assad was not only a colleague but a very good friend. Above all he was a brave journalist always ready to face lurking danger in his quest for truth and real facts." "Assad is no more with us but his sweet memories will always remain in my heart," he added. Raja Assad Hameed was a courageous journalist who took journalism as a mission, a mission to serve humanity. Countless poor people received justice as a result of his stories that he published as a crime reporter. Such great people don't die; they live in the hearts of people. Shakespeare rightly said, "Valiant never face death but once."