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Peace Watch » Kashmir-Talk » Noor-Ul-Hassan: An Evocative and Emotive Tribute by A Grandson

Noor-Ul-Hassan: An Evocative and Emotive Tribute by A Grandson

BY Syed Hamzah Mehmood Rufai

Never in gazillion years I thought that I would have to write this, alas, I’m here; our dearest grandfather Syed Noor ul Hassan Rufai left us for heavenly abode, only to be reunited with his dearest wife. As many would say an institution, a legend has left us forever!From my earliest memories, I remember him right by my side. Holding my tiny hand with his and guiding me through life. Taking me on walks through the neighbourhood and feeding me nuggets of wisdom along with the occasional candy and treats.Today, I have the honour of reintroducing you to Syed Noor-ul-Hassan Rufai—better known to many as “Lala”.A proud son to his loving parents, A caring husband that many would have been fortunate to witness, doting father of three children, 7 grandchildren, 13 great grandchildren, humble friend and eloquent raconteur to all else who met him.I write this note to remember the life and the unmatched legacy he leaves on this earth. He lived a magnificently simple life: never complex and always with good, honest intentions.He was a fierce and honest officer, revered and respected by everyone who had the pleasure of meeting him. He demanded respect, not just because of his unmatched accomplishments but his personality – that of a tall and fearless Kashmiri. Lala took pride in his heritage and instilled in us the love for our dear Kashmir. If you were fortunate enough to meet this man, you would remember him as an engaging storyteller, a charming historian and a die-hard Kashmiri. The stories and recollection he would tell would transport you to the past and it would not be an exaggeration to say that each conversation would leave you a bit smarter than before. The way he spoke was exhilarating, never for a second could someone take their eyes off this charismatic man whose knowledge and wisdom knew no limitations.“Family man” is a term not appreciated nearly enough these days and in my opinion a word nearly not enough to do justice to this beautiful man. Lala was the epitome of how great and unselfish it is to put those in your family first, and to lead with example of how intensely hardworking and accomplished he was.Lala never asked for much. He lived a simple and fulfilling life, a life he valued to its core. He loved to consume knowledge and update himself with the history of Kashmir, his children or grandchildren, be it in any part of the world they may be in would ensure to keep his desire alive and would send him books every now and then. The little moments that we take for granted were so effortlessly cherished by this great man that a simple conversation with him would take all your worries away.Lala was a very devoted husband to his wife, the center of his universe, the love of his life, his Biba. They used to eat every meal together, Lala not taking a single bite before Amaji would. Like a diligent caretaker, he would make sure that she had all her medicines on time. I honestly don’t know if I ever really saw one without the other. If you ever had an opportunity to visit them, the chances were they were at the table together, having a beautiful conversation over a cup of tea, cherishing life.They had a life together that was inspirational and moving. They made the best of life together for a glorious period of over 70 years. Even these last few days, the love you could see in Lala’s eye’s or hear in his voice for the woman he went through life with was nothing short of amazing. He would recall her every moment, saviour the time they had spent together and visit her every day without exception. Lala holding onto those memories was priceless and painful at the same time. We can all learn from them, our time together is short, even 70 years together is barely a blip in the realm of the world.Some say it’s what you leave on this earth that shows what you did with your life.What Lala was able to help me see is it is more important to grow old with love and dignity, and give everything you can to the people you love.Lala made sure Amaji was always happy, and that is something that we should all take pride in. It was never about individual accomplishment with him, it was about their life together.Lala is so much a part of who I am that even though I knew he would one day leave us, I can’t quite believe he is gone.Lala—you impacted my life in so many ways.You shaped who we are. You shaped who our children will be. You influenced all of us so greatly and immensely that I wish to relive each one of those magical moments again and again.We will always love you and save a special corner of my heart to keep you with me.As we bid farewell to you, we are truly blessed to have you as our grandfather.It’s said that those who touch our lives inspire us and love us. And they do so for a lifetime.As Lala would say :Be kind, be generous, be grateful. Open your home and hearts. Share your wisdom. Share your laughter. Show what it means to truly love your family and treasure the moments you have with them.Dearest Lala , Forever in our hearts……………………. You will be dearly missed.


Syed Noor-ul-Hassan

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