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hashir munawer 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.

Lahore Metroblog on this sad event


13 thoughts on “black

  1. “Contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t take a great deal of courage to keep on living. An object in motion stays in motion.”
    please do not mark this incident by such remarks that take away the credit fom those still alive (for instance; his parents!). it take enormous amounts of courage to live, because one who lives is not set in motion, rahter stopped bluntly every other second to face his/ her own weakness. to get back in motion take a lot of courage, and i pray to Allah swt that his family finds that in their hearts.
    words are powerful, use them responsibly.

  2. Anon: That would be your opinion, mine differs. As I stated, I did not go there out of respect in this post, however what words I choose to use is my own decision. It would be nice if you left a name or handle of some sort next time as well.

  3. Hey anon, Guess it’s not same for everybody.Those who die, probably die for a reason. Personally, I don’t need to summon courage to live every moment of my life. yeah, at times, yes. But not all the time. And about using words responsibly, guess you too stand accused of same crime. Having an opinion contrary to yours (or anybody else’s) and expressing that isn’t an irresponsible thing. Perhaps, you need a bit more courage to have a handle. 😉

  4. The smile haunts me too…and I am right now in that same position…..

    If i dont get my degree, should I kill myself? Tellme, would I meet up with Hashir, in some limbo suicide vicitms go to? Devoid of what religion tells us, what happens to us when we die? it it the end of the road?

    Hashir was also not an acqaintance of mine…..he was in the O levels school where i was. But i know this guy..his smile, his inexorable smile…..he played poker with his friends the night before, had breaky with his bro and omeion that very morning….and then……in the afternoon, around 2PM he embraced death, very much in the way some embrace martyrdom……they say as humans die, they see the life that was flash before theri eyes, a light which dulls into a blak, deep balck cavernous morass…..
    As Hashir fell into that morass he took a little part of all his loved ones and others with him. I consider hm a leader, one LUMS shouldve nurtured at her maternal, Lady Macbeth-like bosom……sadly…he has gone…and i feel Hashir’s death will not pass into the black nothingness…his collegemates and faculty i sense would want tom learn from this learning experience. As for his family, I m reminded of the horrific scene from “The Dead POet’s Society” – one of the hallmark TV moments about teen suicide..his father broken, his mother awash with hysteria and horror.”My son! MY SONNN!” emoted the father….and we should emote “MY Brother! MY Son! MY Couzin! MY friend!”

    Goodbye Hashir. You will not rest in peace till the pakistani educational system reflects oin its approach to suicide helplines and organizations, until we as a nation understand that being humane counts….

    Kipling’s “If you can fill the unforgiving mnute/With sixty seconds worth of distance run” would not apply here as Hashir checked out of the mad, cruel race a lil too early, but , in my book, he is a man, and yes, he is all our sons.

  5. i know aaqib but i have never met hashir before..may Allah Almighty gives his brother and his family strength and sheds His mercy on them..i personally would like to dedicate this..

    his lost is none you compare with,
    his ruined castle,
    his opened arms,
    wishes for life his questionable eyes,
    his haunting smile,
    falling petals on his golden shrine,

    alone he waits, for the one,
    who may say, ‘relax bro, i’m the caring one’,
    he atlast smiled,
    on bias justice of life,
    he walks away leaving his trail,
    waits for someone who could steal him away,

    alas ! his inner world,
    they did’nt care to search,
    wretched & broken,
    ruthlessness is what he sees,
    for now he’s gone,
    a place where hope lays dying,
    but where there are Godly signs !

  6. While most of you talk about summoning courage, and the right to express an idea, I am surprised you guys would look down at Hashir’s choice with such disdain.

    I disagree that it takes no courage to live in times like these. Go ask the children in your city slums and they will tell you another story of survival. Even if Hashir was from an affluent family and much more pampered, his choices like those children in the slum, are/were limited.

    If they weren’t, he would not have gone to LUMS and chose to study the most sought after program (Economics), that I am sure of.

    People who do not have to summon up courage to live everyday are people who need to die first.

    Hashir, as I hear, was also a heart patient. His smile hides all of the pain inside.

    And oh what a lovely way of expressing your emotions, like any poet would say for a moth, is to accept death!

    What does take courage is to accept that one has failed and I guess this was Hashir’s way of expressing it.

    Where in fact, it’s useless pieces of turds like us, Hashir’s parent’s, and his college who have failed to do anything substantial about helping desperate people like these.

  7. I pray that Allah grants strength to all at this difficult time. His family and his friends and also all those who knew him, worked with him, and taught him.

    People here have been saying that it takes some courage to live. I agree with Phil, go ask kids who have to abandon their childhood to earn a survival, and feed themselves and at times their own families. Go ask the children who stand beyond the windshields of your car, with a tear in their eyes, even if they are hiding it well you can see right through it. I assure you, that the courage to live on will be quite prominent.

    I for one question, the society and the environment in which Hashir was made to live in. Am not pointing towards anyone specifically for I didn’t know anyone specifically to be doing that. But honestly, think to yourselves, is this the world we are living in? That failure is so vast that we choose to embrace death.

    Men are not as strong willed or as strong period as they are shown to be in movies, epics, novels and stories of glorious courage. Sometimes those acts of bravery come in small packets in the most tiniest of moments. And sometimes thats what matters.

    I keep going back to the fact that our country, is limited in opportunities. Many people don’t end up doing what their true calling is. Instead most of us go living out our parents dreams for us. Yes our parents dream for us only for our own benefits. But again, thats the work of the society. It’s the society that we live in unfortunately that dictates down the fact that only a few chosen fields (VERY LIMITED) are good for progress in life. The rest is trash. Even if you are brilliant at it. Not everyone can be accommodated in those fields. Even if they pass, then their’s the job hunt.

    I say this because this is exactly the kind of environmental pressure and societal pressure which can lead a man to succumb to failure. And I for one don’t think it’s fair. That is not to say that I am saying suicide is ok. Embracing death is one thing, suicide is quite another. But at the same time, we must check and evaluate what leads to such circumstances. For he has gone to Allah’s judgment. We must live on and check ourselves for our time to go to Allah’s judgment.

    I wish Hashir’s family all the prayers I can. I wish them strength and the will to get through this as one.

  8. oh wait up everyone, what is this?

    Forget about thinking about the person himself, think about the people associated with him, his parents etc, the selfish action of his would have affected his parents terribly.

  9. Don’t know what to say really… I have been in that situation so many times… yet having passed one hurdle after another I have fallen into a deeper abyss every time… not just studies but life in general… Why have I not taken that jump yet? I really cannot say… over the last few years life has turned me into a heartless brittle piece of organic life form who is just carrying on living in a world of his own… devoid of friends… devoid of family… yet surroundin himself with them …

    We are funny creatures us humans… I do not know how and why he was pushed to the limit, but I can definitely relate to his mental state!

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