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Friday, October 23, 2009

Never too late ... but ...

نہ جانا كہ دنیا سے جاتا ہے كوئ ۔۔۔ بڑی دیر كی مہرباں آتے آتے
Only a couple of days had passed since the heart-breaking death of Salman '@skdev' Mehmood - the very young founder of The Thalassemia Foundation - when the Sindh Assembly, in one of its rarer moments of sanity, unanimously passed a resolution seeking a law that makes tests for Thalassemia (and other diseases) “mandatory” for couples before marriage.
I had blogged about Salman on his passing away and visited his mother and two sisters a couple of days later. With Salman's death, I learnt, they have lost the second of the two brothers (the elder one died a few years earlier, at only 17). Their father, too, died in an accident at work just two years ago.
A lot of bloggers and developers who knew @skdev well - or at least better than I did - have paid tributes to him on Twitter, Facebook, various websites, and on their blogs. His sister, Ayesha, who was closest to him in interests and age (tweeple know her as @blessedAyesha) has put together the links of some of the writings here. I went to many of those pages and was amazed to read how much this young man achieved and against what odds, how many friends and strangers he helped selflessly while fighting his own battles, how he learnt programming and development all on his own, how he had a rating of 9.9 out of 10 at RentACoder. Wow! What a role model!
And what a positive thinker!
The resolution by the Sindh Assembly, which one hopes will become a law soon, would have more than pleased Salman, who wanted it so much, as this video shows:

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Monday, October 19, 2009

Gone too soon …

Salman Mehmood is no more. In my mind he was Little Salman Mehmood, ever since I met him at a Tweetup. His passing away once again underscores the fact that there is no Meaning of Life. But there is (and can and must always be) Meaning in Life. "@skdev", as Salman's fellow Tweeple knew him, gave his life a lot of meaning in the very few days he was in this world and that is what, apart from his winning smile, I will remember and respect him for. Always. With many other hearts, mine goes out to the very brave Ayesha (and I use the adjective after having witnessed it in our brief minutes together at AKUH) and to a family that has known more losses than many can bear with such dignity and calm. Like the numerous legends through time that have been born of our desire to cope with death, these lines from McCreery often sustain me in moments of such losses: There is no death! The stars go down To rise upon some other shore, And bright in heaven's jeweled crown They shine for evermore. If they were literally true, Salman would certainly be a bright star on some horizon. And true they are, in a sense that I subscribe to - the one that the last two lines of the poem state. For all the boundless universe Is Life -- there is no dead! So, @skdev, you live!

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Saturday, October 10, 2009

javaaban arz haé

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