We have lost Mohsin Ehsan.
At 2 o’clock in the afternoon my husband said, “I heard on BBC that Mohsin Ehsan has died.”
We all, who knew him, knew it was coming. It was expected but still I felt something drop in my heart.
I had received an email from Khalid Qureshi yesterday. He had sent it to all those he knew; I got a copy too. It read like … Mohsin is not feeling well. His Son Ali came from the UK and took him back. He is in the hospital now. He is being given Morphine … he is not talking, not responding…
This was my very first contact with Khalid Qureshi. I had a torrent of email exchanges with him after that. I was a little apprehensive that my too many questions might become too many. But he was really nice and polite, helpful. Maybe he understood what I was saying. Sometimes words are not just words- they become connectors if there is a common cause, a shared concern. We both wanted Mohsin to get well and get well soon.
I again contacted Khalid Qureshi to confirm the news. It came back with a yes.
Why did he have to die? Couldn’t he hold on to… ? We were going to have “Zavia, Mohsin Ehsan Number.” Only last month Irshad Siddiqi made me promise to write something and I had finally written and sent my contribution – a short essay on him. We all wanted him to know he was loved, respected and valued.
Yesterday a dear friend also called from Lahore – our, time spent together routine – The first thing I said was “Mohsin bemaar he. Du’a karo” (Mohsin is ill, pray for him) and we talked about him for about an hour. Where did all that come from?
I had told Irshad , “What do you want me to write on Mohsin ? I have never met him. Apart from Wah Ordinance club mushairas, we never even met. So what do you want from me?” And I spent an afternoon writing about Mohsin Ehsan. It was a short essay but I enjoyed writing it.
Humans are a strange species, totally!
Rest in peace Mohsin. You will always be in our hearts.