At the conclusion of my talk to the tenth graders just before their Boards were to commence,my heart missed a beat,when it suddenly dawned on me that one of my kids was not there in the hall. A friendly , warm ,cheerful,polite and well-mannered Meherzad was not there . His cheerful smiling face stood right there saying,”I am here to cheer my classmates”. He was, I know ,up there doing his bit for his friends ,so that they will do well.
I have known Meherzad for 12 years, more so in the past 3 years, when he was diagnosed with cancer. Moving between hospitals and the rigorous treatments, he always told me ,”I am a survivor” I would always tell him “You are a fighter and with the positive attitude you exude , you will always be a winner.” However ,sadly, it was not to be.
Around the same time last year ,we lost a great educationist Shri Rasikbhai Shah whom I know for over 18 years to the dreaded disease Cancer.Despite his brave fight for life , he could not win the battle.When Rasik bhai refused Chemo after a few cycles , I chided him and asked him ,’ Why do you deny treatment? ,he would laugh it aloud saying “Arre, chalta hai .I am an old man. Gaadi chalegi.”Both of have have left a void in the lives of all those who knew them.
Both of them had similar qualities though one was 15 and the other 85. Their smiles , the cheer,the joy love for life and open fields/farms and positive aura had always attracted people to them. I was left stumped for words when Meherzad’s father wrote to me ,” I am just coming out of Meherzad’s prayers , I felt that it would be incomplete if I forgot the kindness care , affection personally shown by you and the school throughout our difficult times. Meherzad’s world centered around the school and the farm. He went to sleep every night looking forward to going to school.”I thank my teachers who stood by the family always.If school meant so much to Meherzad , the presence of all of us must have kept him happy.Teary eyed his father then said,”Perhaps, he does not need me as much as I need him.please cherish all the memories forever.”I could do nothing to disagree.
As I drove through the emotional journey, I realised – What is always remembered and cherished is the goodness that people have in them and what we share with others.Wealth , power, positions,money, the brands we wear has no meaning because during moments of crisis , what matters is humanity. When we reach out , it gives us bliss .Humanity needs no awards , recognition or publicity.
Farewell Meherzad -We will always cherish the beautiful years of you in school.