Those who matter – 3
Posted by Haris Gulzar on August 22, 2010
I never thought I’d write about this person when I started writing about the people who mattered in my life. But that’s what life is all about I guess. Who knows who’d be living the very next moment…
Muhammad Umar Khan. I first met him on the 5th of June 2008 at the PC hotel Lahore where we gathered for our group discussion and interviews for IBA admissions. That entire day was enough to make the 10 or 11 of us become friends of each other, because we all were to be part of the IBA hostelite family once selected. I had my interview taken ahead of everyone else because of the alphabetical order and I wasn’t allowed to see my other fellows waiting to be interviewed, so I could only exchange mobile phone number of Umar, that too in a hurry, before I left the hotel. Hence, Umar was the person I communicated with for anything related to IBA before we actually submitted our fee. I would ask him if he is planning to join IBA or waiting for other options, or if he’d start his job? I’d ask him if he had filled out all the forms or not? I’d ask him if his other class fellows who got selected for IBA were willing to join IBA? I’d ask him to stop thinking much and to make up his mind once and for all and submit the fee…
The second time we met each other was on the 30th of July, 2008. That was in Karachi, when we had our orientation. The journey started from there. I moved into my hostel room on the 31st of July 2008, and Umar moved in on the 1st of August. We would just sit together in the TV lounge and talk about everything. We would go to the market together. We would wait for each other before we had our meals in the mess. We would be found in each other’s rooms more often than being found in our own rooms. We would make project groups together. We would participate in competitions together. We would walk to the campus together and would come back to hostel together. Umar Khan was one of the closest friends I had at the IBA.
I also wrote about one of the experiences I had with Umar in a competition held at the IBA. That post can be found here. Before summer vacations were to start, several companies came to IBA for recruiting our seniors and for our internships. One of them was GSK who, when they came, gave the attendees some gifts. Their gifts included a small tension reliever ball, that we played catch catch with :-P. I remember whenever I went to Umar’s room, I got hold of that tension reliever ball of his and would throw it on his room walls as hard as I could and would catch it. Sometimes he would sit on his bed and I’d stand in front of one of the walls and would throw the ball on another wall in such a way that made it difficult for Umar to catch it, and Umar would have to dive on his bed to catch the ball.
We also used to celebrate our birthdays at the hostel, though it was always a four or five member gathering, but we would bring cakes and would cut them at exact 12 midnight. We used to take pictures and make videos of those celebrations using Umar’s mobile. He just had his 24th birthday on the 2nd of April this year and I remember Shahid and Waqar trying to get hold of him and me making a video of the entire event, to make him wear things we brought for Umar that he didn’t want to wear :-P.
Umar was one of the luckiest guys from our entire batch at IBA who got a job before the exams ended. He started his job on the 12th of July in Karachi. On the 27th of July, I had a chat with him and he told me he’d be coming to Rawalpindi to attend to his mothers surgery, and that he might also come to Lahore over the weekend. I asked him to stay at my place if he does come to Lahore. He told me the details about his mothers operation and that he had taken three days off from office and would be flying the next morning.
That flight didn’t allow him to see his mother get well after the operation :-(, in fact, it even took him away from his family. The ill-fated airblue flight from Karachi to Islamabad had one of my best friends in it, and that flight took him away from all of us. A few days back I was going through the pictures of my stay at IBA and was recalling the times we were together. The pictures at the beach, at the restaurants, at ice-cream parlors, at the hostel, in the funniest of poses.
His memories are never ending and ever lasting. I pray that his soul rests in peace at the highest of places in Jannah Insha-Allah, and that Allah gives sabar to his family. Ameen. Umar Khan, you will always be remembered Insha-Allah. I miss you…