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Chandra Ravikumar on Shuja

March 24, 2015


We teachers too had our nicknames ... (and) ... Syed was "Gentleman Syed" to us. I remember him as good-natured, friendly, and gracious, yet with an inner firmness of ideas and convictions.

Your class was my first when I was willy-nilly precipitated into the teaching profession. But I could not have asked for a better set of students for a beginning. With you began my introduction to a manageable miniature of the vast human community. And Syed was representative of hope for our future.

Yes, I remember the elections. Rather like the present with party tickets being handed out! Maybe that way was the best that could be thought of for the circumstances. I also remember that when it came to choosing Syed as the Student of The Year there was unanimity amongst the staff.

Syed had in him what it takes to be a leader. If he had been thinking of putting this quality into efforts towards bringing sorely needed balance and good sense into the arena of public affairs, our loss is even greater than we know.

It pains (me) to know that Syed and his family had to suffer from the dualities and divisions in our society born of the ideology of "the other". Tens of millions have fallen victim to this ideology, a historical and self -perpetuating pandemic. Maybe Syed, with his personal experience of both fossiliized and evolving societies would have been a fit and worthy voice for the future.

I did not see Syed after (he) left school, except in the passing. But I have wondered about him as I have wondered about all of you, and where Life has taken you and made of you. Thank you again for sharing a little of his story with me.

Please pass my good memories of Syed to his family, something small that I can share with them in their sorrow.