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Potter’s Legacy Lives On

In a heartbreaking turn of events, the close-knit community of Berigam comes together to mourn the sudden demise of Jamal Maam. Remembered for his warmth and generosity, his legacy lives on in the hearts of those he touched.

On the evening of Saturday, November 18, 2023, as part of my weekly routine, I returned home after fulfilling my duties in Ganderbal. The tranquility of the evening was shattered by a tragic and distressing incident—the untimely and unfortunate death of Jamal Maam. The news reached me when my father received a phone call from his lone son, Gh Hassan Kumar, detailing Jamal Maam’s sudden health deterioration.

Despite being bedridden himself due to fever and chest infections for the past couple of days, my father couldn’t contain his emotions upon hearing about Jamal Maam’s worsening condition. He immediately rushed to inquire about him, only to find Jamal Maam, who once spoke like an iron man, now a mute and lifeless body. The impact of the news was profound, as tears flowed not only from my eyes but also from those of my spouse and our only daughter.

Within minutes, the community of our mohalla gathered at their residence to offer solace and support during this challenging time. The chilly night made orchestrating the last rites difficult, leading to a unanimous decision to lay Jamal Maam to rest at his ancestral graveyard in Berigam the following morning at 10 am. Relatives, friends, and well-wishers were informed of his sudden demise via phone calls.

Throughout the night, my family and I, along with others from the mohalla, stood by them, sharing in their grief and melancholy. Jamal Maam, the son of late Gh Mohd Kumar, had deep connections with his extended family, including a loving sister, Mukhti, settled in the nearby Mondhol village, and brothers in Tanjloo village of Qazigund and Hillar Shahbabad of Doru tehsil.

His familial bonds were a testament to his warm and affable nature. Known for his entertaining and humorous talks, Jamal Maam was cherished by all. His endearing habits included referring to his daughter-in-law as Shakil Koor rather than the customary Noush, showcasing his unique and loving approach.

Potter's Legacy Lives On

Jamal Maam’s generosity extended beyond his family, earning him the title of “Naata Baba” in my younger years. His visits to Mondhol and Banihal, coupled with his unwavering commitment to nurturing relationships, reflected his dedication to family ties.

Despite facing challenges like intense traffic jams and closures of the national highway, Jamal Maam’s commitment to staying informed about the highway’s status and Jawahar Tunnel, crucial lifelines for him, remained unwavering. His role as a guide for the younger generation highlighted his commitment to healthy relationships, respect for elders, and love for juniors.

Jamal Maam’s profession in pottery, passed down through generations, remained a constant in his life until his physical strength allowed. His journeys to Dialgam, Akhal, Brinal, Lammar, and other far-flung areas to sell pottery vessels on foot underscored his dedication to earning a decent livelihood.

While Jamal Maam is no longer with us, his memories, affection, and love will forever be cherished. His departure leaves a void in our lives, as we mourn the loss of a helping companion, philanthropist, and a loving and caring member of our extended family.

As we reflect on his life, we acknowledge the rarity of such selfless individuals in today’s inhumane and materialistic world. The saying that “death keeps no calendar” has never been more evident, as we grapple with the reality that his departure was unforeseen.

Jamal Maam’s close companionship with a few villagers, who chose to spend entire days with him over attending their own functions, exemplifies the virtues of a pious and God-gifted noble person. To Jamal Maam, we say goodbye, knowing that you’ve left behind a large extended family that will deeply miss you. As we pray for your peaceful hereafter, may your soul rest in peace, and may Almighty Allah grant you the highest ranks in Jannah, offering you the sacred drink of Hawzi Kawsar through the blessed hands of our dearest Prophet, peace be upon him, on the Day of Judgment.

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