‘For my friend I will always pray and keep my mind warm by his memories’
SRINAGAR: In a lyrical tribute to his ‘undying friendship’ with late Mufti Muhammad Sayeed, senior resistance leader Professor Abdul Gani Bhat has said politics never came in the way of their friendship.
Bhat has contributed a piece titled “I Remember My Kind Beloved Now’ to a special edition, dedicated to Mufti, of Sheeraza, a journal published by the state-run Jammu and Kashmir Academy of Art, Culture and Language. It was released at a function on Monday.
In the write-up, Bhat recalls the days when he and Mufti had been boarders in the same residential house in a Srinagar locality and had been studying in the same college, SP College.
“Although our two hearts beat in one rhythm, our paths were separate, yet our friendship continued. At Aligarh Muslim University, despite our political differences, I cautiously protected the friendship and Mufti Sahab would never let any negative feeling supersede it,” writes Bhat.
“I was from north (kamraz), he was from south (maraz) and we met in Srinagar (yamraz). I feel that our friendship was intertwined in our fate to meet in Srinagar at Barbarshah mohallah, meters away from the SP College… Mufti sahib was bigger, bulkier and probably a shade more impressing than me. But let me go on record in all humanity that I would never disappear in his shadow,” he adds.
Bhat said when Mufti was a minister, he would call him (Bhat) at his Jammu residence for lunch and share his “painful political stories.”
Bhat also revealed that his cousin was a Congress man and Mufti’s friend.
“He would come to our village and I would go to his home on his special invitation. He would prepare fish and vegetables. Before he took over as the CM, he would always call me for such feasts. He would occasionally give me ring for a meeting during his chief ministership but I would not oblige him. I never saw him at his home on his position as CM of JK,” he said.
As many as 35 contributors have written articles for the special (Urdu and English) edition of the journal.
“We had a personnel connection between each other and not the political… The fact is we were two hearts with one soul… For my friend I will always pray and keep my mind warm by his memories,” he writes.
On the day of his demise, Bhat had also visited late Mufti’s residence and had also addressed a gathering there. Days before Mufti aligned with the BJP, Bhat paid a visit to Mufti and reportedly tried to persuade him to not sign a deal with the saffron party.