We are bereft …

Amna Apa has left us. Inna Lillahi wa Inna Ilayhi Raje’oon.

From amongst our school’s community of educators, Amna Apa is remembered very fondly by many generations, including myself. Where there is a dearth of strong, committed individuals, her passing has left a huge void, one not easily filled. She was an inspiration and a role model for so many young women.

She was an amazing Urdu teacher who brought the language to life and was able to influence and teach even the most reluctant student. Her ability to spot, groom and enhance the talent of students; her prowess over the Urdu language both prose and poetry; her eye for spotting naàts with literary merit, her understanding of the use of diction in music – the list is endless.

Her recitation of naàts at the annual school Milad is etched in the memory of thousands of alumni. Up until our last Milad in 2019, we depended on Amna Apa to create the same magic of yesteryear. She always readily agreed and came forward to work with our teachers and put together a beautiful ensemble for us. When she walked in  wearing her iconic gharara, she brought a joyous energy with her and you just could not be left unaffected.

At a personal level, Amna Apa was my teacher and an integral part of my life, all my life. I will mourn her loss as I do Amma’s. She will always be remembered with love and her memories will always bring a smile to my face. Not many can boast of that. Yesterday, my batch mates and I spent hours on the phone just talking about her and remembering those days in the 60’s. She was the last from my grandmother’s generation and now I feel quite bereft at her loss.

It is pointless to say how much I thought of her and how much regret there is not to have met her more recently. Rest in Peace dear teacher of mine.

Seema Malik