The destruction caused by the floods in 2014 is still fresh in our memory. We remember the yeoman’s job done by Akashvani Srinagar and the telecom companies at that time. The Akashvani broadcast messages for the marooned people to know the whereabouts of their near and dear ones when there was no communication at all. One such message was aired about Dr Rafiq Masoodi. Many of us immediately knew who he was, as he was recognised by everyone by his name only. He is a well-known figure in the literary, cultural and social circles of our state and even outside.
Masoodi sahib hails from Dangiwacha, Sopore. His father, the late Ghulam Ahmed Masoodi, was an educationist and a scholar. This ancestral scholarship and literary passion was duly inherited and further carried forward by his illustrious son. After graduation, Masoodi sahib did his PG and PhD from JNU. He started his career at Akashvani (then Radio Kashmir) Srinagar. He has the privilege of serving in different states, including North East, as DDG Prasar Bharati. He has also held high posts in various departments like Cultural Academy, Information Department, and Archives and Museums Department in his own state. He has bagged many literary awards and has authored many books. He has been and continues to be the guest of honour at literary and cultural events. At present he is the patron of Rafiabad Adbi Markaz (Rafiabad centre for culture).
Masoodi sahib is down to earth. He is always ready to help anyone on any occasion. His courtesy, humility, benevolence, sense of humour and critical appraisal of anything coming to his notice, is exemplary. He has widely travelled and loves to read. He and knows many languages. He is a poet par excellence and his poetry has the depth of the sea. We find a human heart reverberating in his poetry. Retirees generally lack work after retirement but this is not the case with Dr Rafeeq Masoodi, who has more work and engagements at hand post retirement than during his service period. This is perhaps the secret of his good health despite his old age.
He has maintained a close balance between his public and literary assignments and his care and duty for his near and dear ones. Once I met him in the SMHS hospital where his mother was admitted. He was sitting in the corridor outside the hospital ward. Many people who walked into the corridor recognised him and were surprised when they saw him sitting in such a manner. I told him that someone else from his family should have attended to his mother in the hospital in his place. He became emotional and said that he was honoured and lucky enough to get the chance to serve his ailing mother in her old age.
A lucky son of a lucky mother indeed!
—The writer is a retired telecom engineer. [email protected]