Thursday, September 27, 2012

The One in My Mind

On 25 September 2012, my heart told me that I needed to reach my PhD student Husny urgently. He had come to see me before Ramadhan, but was very quiet after that. During the weekend, I had smsed him and got a notification of undelivered sms instead from Maxis. My intuition was urging me to get hold of him. Finally, on that Tuesday I had found my courage to look into the system and I discovered the number of his wife. By then I had managed to convince myself that perhaps he had gone somewhere and had forgotten to tell me. So, when the wife answered, I simply asked if he was alright and whether he had gone travelling. And true enough he had. He had died on 12 September due to a lung cancer. His phone was lost in the hospital along with all his contact numbers. I was so shocked that I actually behaved quite normal throughout my conversation with her. I was still feeling normal while making my way to my MBA class at 9am that morning. It was only when I was in front of my students that I was suddenly filled with all sorts of emotions. And memories of him suddenly popped in my mind. Us having the discussion in my office. Him, relieved after his Proposal Defense. Him, excited to start the data was like watching movies..only this time, it was real. I could not hold my tears…I had to run away….and ran and ran I did to GSM office to pour out my sorrow, and at the same time tell the staffs the sad news. Husny was a good student. At the age of 61, he was still taking an initiative to do his PhD. He was even excited about it. It was unfortunate that his Proposal Defense was delayed. He could not find a supervisor until he was told to see me. Perhaps, if he did manage to find one, he would have completed his PhD. Maybe it was fate that brought us together. It might seem weird to some that the supervisor was actually younger than the student. But Husny, being him, always acted professionally. He still called me Doc and respected me as his supervisor. I in turn, respected him for a person he was…determined, motivated and hard working. I admired him for the colourful life that he led. I admired him for his inner strength. It was strange that I could not find any photos of Husny anywhere. All I have will only be the one in my mind. My prayer for you Husny..Al-Fatihah.
"Life is no straight and easy corridor along which we travel free and unhampered , but a maze of passages , through which we must seek our way , lost and confused ,now and again checked in a blind alley. But always , if we have faith , a door will open for us , not perhaps one that we ourselves would ever have thought of , but one that will ultimately prove good for us."
A. J . Cronin