The fall of a mentor….

Not a day passes without me deliberating about school. So did happen today, but in an ominous way. A typical Friday had as usual started late towards the forenoon hours. Inevitably, a sad piece of information made its way to the senses in the form of a friend’s status update. It read that Mr. Kasper Raju (our economics teacher) had passed away. I lay numb as the reel of numerous encounters with the gifted being unrolled involuntarily in front of my eyes. He had been diagnosed with cancer last year & had gone for treatment to India I learned. I spoke to a few teachers later during the day & got to know that his situation worsened yesterday and he breathed his last the previous night. He was ticketed to fly back to India today, had the tragedy not have struck.

Raju Sir to me was man of principles. He had very well understood the role he had to play being a part of IISJ. The future of his students was something he never let go down the priority list. The amount of efforts he put in class, those extra notes just to guarantee that extra mark in exam, the phenomenal camaraderie with his students & the flamboyant teaching style is just a few of those plentiful reminisces vivid to me. The way he explained intricate concepts in a rather simplified manner was an art that takes time to master. I still remember the way he used to draw that dotted line on the black board at the blink of an eye. The way he improvised his lectures, with an awesome touch of humor, just made those sessions even more interesting & special. Students were all equal to him. Be it the intellectual lot among us or the weaker one, his commitment to enhance the comprehension of all was indeed commendable. Raju Sir even entertained tuition at the very brink of exams, just to help his students & make sure they stand not at the losing end. This was not it, even during his ailment he had been supporting students from India by way of social networking. He was an inspiration to other teachers too.

I had met him last in 2012 on a visit to the school with a few classmates. Never even thought for a second that it will be the last meeting of ours.  I didn’t really realize that his condition had deteriorated to this extent recently & lament for not having been able to pay him a visit in the last few days of his life. But, certain is my respect & love for him eternally.

May Allah make the final abode easy for him.

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