Here are seven pics. All except the seventh have one person in common, because he was fretting over minor details while I was fussed over and treated like a king. Ammi was in the next room ensuring nothing went wrong while his wife and daughters served up the meal of our lives for three of us, self, Bharat from USA and Mondal from Nagpur who had come over to pick up a shy and reclusive Mahboob for a class get together to celebrate four decades since we left school. I was looking forward to another round of pampering in October this year, but alas, that is not to be because Mahboob took leave on 02 March.

It took me a while to get over the loss and every time I wanted to write about it I could not go beyond a few words.

It was sometime towards the end of 1974 that his father Mehmood came to me sayings ‘ Sen isko Dekho, kuch sikhao’. That’s when we realised that there was talk of Mahboob being detained coz his performance was deficient. We were all carefree children, more interested in winning the next hockey match than studying, but this was serious.

Mahboob was a day scholar while I was a boarder and getting to study together was tough, but we thereon sat on the same bench till we left school in 1975. I was the more serious type and Mahboob was the shy type. It was not difficult to get him to study, and he generally had First rights over my notes. He did well, and soon we were in the final year of school.

What all classmates remember of Mahboob is that his mother always fed us wonderful Semiya during every Eid while his sisters fussed over us.

Mahboob wanted to just get over his studies and get down to work so that he could look after his family.

Anyway, both of us worked hard in our final year and left school after the ISC final exam. We decided to get into Engineering. Those days communications were by snail mail. While I joined Osmania Univ College of Chemical Technology, I thought Mahboob would have joined Engineering at AMU. I was saddened to learn that he did not join Engineering and he wrote to me that he could not afford it. Those days, AMU had a provision of students joining directly in 2nd year if their grades were good in first year of graduation. I told him to give it a try and he did, and succeeded.

At AMU he had some friends who helped him financially though I know he slept hungry on many days. The support, financial and otherwise that Tariq his friend at AMU gave him was exemplary.

He successfully completed his Engineering and landed a job in The Gulf. An accident had him suffering a few setbacks but the OAK GROVIAN crowd pulled him through the thick and thin of his stay there. He particularly always remembered Naresh Nayyar, Salim and Furquan and of course Tariq who though not from OG was his pillar of support.

Mahboob was always shy and reticent. He never ever got into a discussion or controversy and I recollect his words of the last time we met “AMA yaar, hum toh roz khadda khodte hain, Paani nikalta hain, peekay chal padthe hain”. He worked with the singular aim of settling his sisters and kid brother Ayub. He got his sisters good education and got all of them married and he was now looking to get his younger daughter settled.

His health issues forced him to be back in India and he was going fine at his job. He thanked Dinesh Acharya for this.

We were looking forward to the Reunion in October but it is not to be. All of us classmates are left with the responsibility of settling his daughter which I am sure we will do. So dear Mahboob Rest in Peace. Hum hain Nah!

– Tapesh Chandra Sen (1975 Batch)

This tribute is a work by Tapesh Chandra Sen. This content has been reproduced from a Facebook post by him on March 15, 2017.


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