Obituary – Qasim Ali, A Good Man

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Reading Arundhati Roy

He died on March 29th, aged 25.

[Text and picture by Mayank Austen Soofi]

Qasim Ali, a resident of Daryaganj in Old Delhi, a journalist, an occasional photographer and my friend died on March 29, 2009, aged 25. Early this year he was diagnosed with leukaemia. Thereafter he was admitted in Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Institute, Rohini, from where he was not able to return home.

Mr Ali, who is survived by his parents and an elder brother, always encouraged me with my writing. We had also planned to walk around in Daryaganj bylanes together but could never work out the plan. During Ramzan, in the winter of 2008, he had insisted that I break my fast in his house with his family but somehow I could not make it. However, once we went to Connaught Place where he graciously posed for my camera with my favorite novel, Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things.

Mr Ali was a good man, a practicing Muslim who would rarely miss his Friday prayers. His e-mail id was qasimaligogeous@gmail. We used to chat very often on Gmail. Here is a sample:

qasim: hey i wanna do a story with you
me: which story?
qasim: i am thinking on it
me: ok
qasim: trying to jot some points
i wil let u know
me: ok

As it happened, we never got around to do any story together. I also could not visit Mr Ali during his very brief but fatal spell of illness. The morning after his death, Mr Ali was buried in a graveyard in ITO which is just a short ride away from his home. To me, he will always remain handsome, healthy and young.

ps: Qasim, if you are reading this, you must know that you will be remembered.