Prof. Rahi kept his simplicity despite receiving the highest literary honours, and it was obvious from just looking at him that he was born with it; he held onto it to the very end. His words, which have layers of meaning and depth, have remained as strong as ever, despite his appearance of fragility, which began as soon as he stopped teaching and continued until he turned weak. His words carry a sweetness that intoxicates the reader, and his talk never left the audience alone to follow a different line of thought: carefully brought out, his spoken words would always make a person go out looking for himself.
There is no difference in the impression Prof. Rahi left on the people who were his acquaintances and those who met him only once. Just in one single meeting, he would deliver the greatest secrets of the Universe; would always be enough for a person to realise that until meeting Prof Rahi he was living in a fool’s paradise and that there was more to life which has been unravelled by Prof Rahi. He was, in fact, a poet of silence who believed in the power of quietly said and silently heard words.
No matter what, even as he had grown frail, he used to travel on public transport and I remember myself chasing him to get a chance of having a word with the legendary person. He has taught me that life is simple—the way he saw it—and that there is less space for good intentions while truth has got fewer friends in the world. He made me realize the importance of truthfulness and would always tell me not to compromise on truth as well as what I stand for. Prof Rahi, apart from being one of the greatest poets of Kashmir, was truthful, fearless, and more importantly, God-fearing—and that is what he has taught me.
He will be remembered for what he has left behind and more importantly what he has taught the people in general and me, in particular. His words will continue to reverberate and feed the readers with more of the meaning they hide within. Prof Rahi’s death has left a void which will not be filled. To speak for myself, I can feel his absence solidifying after every passing day despite his death. May Allah (SWT) grant him the highest place in Jannah!