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Citizen Voices

Demise Of A Quiet Neighbour!

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The void left with the death of a “quiet” neighbor seems unlikely to be filled ever in my lifetime. Known for waving his hand to whosoever greets him with a smile on his face, Muhammad Siddique said goodbye to this worldly life in an utmost quietness on January 19, 2021. He was in his early 70s.

You might be thinking how come I have used the epithets “quiet” and “quietness”; first to qualify his nature and personality and then to make you familiar with the peaceful way he left this world. To clarify your curiosity, he was deaf and dumb and was commonly known with the sobriquet “Goonga”. Goonga in our local dialect stands for a person who cannot hear even the loudest of sounds nor he can utter a single syllable of a word. That’s how Muhammad Siddique was.

Though survived by his three children— one daughter and two sons— Siddique spent last days of his life with the youngest son. Being a man of honour, he strove to eke out his living on his own without taking any financial help from his children. In the scorching heat of summer, he would sell blocks of ice in the bazaar. He had a bicycle on which he would carry the blocks of ice to his Adda. Whenever I have had the opportunity to buy aloo tikkis from our city’s most famous cart that was situated near his shop, I would occasionally chance upon him. Mostly, I saw him out of breath, even then with a smile on his face. At some point in his life, he also tried to deal in the clothes of flea market, yet he couldn’t continue that trade for a longer period. While on the other side, ice selling had been his permanent trade.

As the demand of ice plummets in the winter, he would remain in his house all the season sans doing any business. Yet he would earn enough money in the summer to sustain himself for the other half season. Sadly he was a smoker and that habit caused him great trouble in his old age. Early in the morning, I had many a time heard him pipe coughing and advised his son to have him quit smoking. Since his son is also a dead smoker,all my persuasions fell on deaf ears.

The thing that made my heart more weep has been that he was innately devoid of two senses (mentioned in the start), but even then he would go on his bicycle donning a green turban to attend the weekly sermons arranged in a colony far away from his house. Despite his limited income, every Eid-ul-Adha, he would buy sacrificial animal of his own to observe the Sunnate-Ibrahimi (AS).

Until his demise, his son whom he would live with was still a bachelor whose mother died eight years ago. Due to this reason, the duo, son and father have been unable to enjoy the routinely home cooked meal. Much to my sadness, this morning has not been the one that I could think of finding one way or the other to persuade him to quit smoking because he had already left for his heavenly abode before I awoke. Tragedy of life is that we know the worth of a person or thing once it’s gone. Gone to somewhere, whence retrieval is improbable.

جاتے ہوئے کہتے ہو قیامت کو ملیں گے

کیا خوب قیامت کا ہے گویا کوئی دن اور.

Departing You say “We shall meet on the day of Judgement”

Marvelous! as if the day of judgement is some other day.

—Mirza Ghalib

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