It is a black day. I am haunted by the smile of the young man to the left, a LUMS Bsc. student who decided on the 22nd of April (coincidently my birthday) to take his life soon after he was expelled from LUMS due to his inability to bring his GPA up to standard in his final year.
No, I did not know this young man. I wish I had. His name was Hashir Munawer and he hung himself in his LUMS hostel room, where he was found by his brother. He was also in his fifth year of what is traditionally a four year degree, I was in the same position less than a year ago.
The reason this seemingly happy young man in the photograph haunts me is because he was like me. In fact, scratch that, he was like me and what I would have aspired to be. Confident, charismatic, a wonderful person [as per those who knew him], extremely talented at his work and making friends wherever he went.
Apart from all this, what makes me think about him a great deal is the fact that he was faced with circumstances like mine and was always outwardly happy as I generally am yet he gave in to despair one day. Yes, we are all emo as teenagers and reacting in an overly dramatic manner to things that really aren’t the end of the world but as we grow older we get used to life’s disappointments and the odd question that you can never really quite figure out the answer to and we learn to move on.
To want to stop the bus and just get off, that takes some courage. Because contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t take a great deal of courage to keep on living. An object in motion stays in motion. A person who is alive and breathing and with no physical hindrances to the continuation of his breathing and eating and drinking will continue to function.
And now I’m straying into inappropriately controversial thoughts, so I’ll just sum up by saying that it is sad that Hashir is gone… for us. From what those who knew him say, he was a good person, a talented individual and a man with apparent joy de vie. But I hope he found what he was looking for and I hope he knows that people loved him but that he did what he felt he had to do. Blame gets us nowhere. Let us just say that we all hope that Hashir has found peace, escaped from whatever demons he wanted to escape from. Rest in peace, Hashir.