Those who matter – 2
Posted by Haris Gulzar on July 22, 2010
When I came back to Lahore after my final exams ended around mid June, I met one of my street friends who started off his conversation by asking me if I came to know about Omer. I asked him what happened and was told that Omer passed away a week back. Omer was another street friend, exactly my age, as in we had the same date of birth. We’ve played so much cricket together and have spent so much time together that it was extremely difficult for me to even believe he is not living anymore :-(. I remember when we used to sit late in the evenings after our matches were over, and we used to discuss what we wanted to become in our lives. We would discuss our options and which Universities we could apply to. I remember him telling me that he cleared the entry test for Army and that he had decided what he wanted to become.
We used to organize cricket matches amongst the adjacent blocks of the society we lived in. We would just walk to the streets of other blocks, find boys playing cricket there and would ask them if they wanted to have a match with our team. These street matches were starters to big matches that were played in grounds on Sunday mornings. We would fight on the stupidest of things such as if the bowled ball was a no ball or not, and if the runner had completed the run. I even remember us backing for each other if any of us got engaged in a quarrel or something. He was an extremely good batsman and lead our team most of the times. I just can’t stop visualizing his face right in front of me every now and then. We used to be together for most of our evenings, specially in Summers.
But then he joined Pakistan Army, and I started my Engineering studies. Another street friend left for abroad for his studies, and yet another friend went to GIKI for his studies. That was when the members of our cricket team chose their own paths, and though we still met but not that regularly. But Omer and I met a bit more frequently whenever he was in Lahore, maybe because we were the same age.
This friend who told me about Omer’s death told me that Omer was the commanding officer of his sepoys at Siyachin post and was coming back after completing his term there when he slipped off the mountain :-(. Although his body was recovered but he had fatal head injuries and he couldn’t survive. It is just so difficult to believe that the person I’ve spent my childhood with is not living anymore. He is one person I probably won’t forget, not in my near future atleast. May Allah grant him Jannah and me his soul rest in peace. Ameen