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The Sheep to Their Shepherd

Dedicated to Late Professor Abdul Mutalib
You have bloomed beyond my comprehension
My ignorance led me Afar.
Your Benevolence is Divinity
My neglect, my scar.

People come and people go
Memories linger; they were so and so
With the passing of time, memories fade
Not all of them, not the specially made
They are etched forever in letters of gold
They never get tarnished, they never grow old.

Some special memories like these you share with your teachers. Not all teachers but those that make a difference in your life. And such a teacher was Professor M. A. Mutalib, our A Levels English teacher in Maple Leaf International School. He departed on the 17th of February but his memories have not.

He was special. He was different. I was never a teachers pet but in Maple Leaf, in English class, I had gotten the taste of what Harry might have felt like about his relationship with Professor Dumbledore. He would always greet me with a smile even if I hadn't attended class in weeks, even if I hadn't handed him any of my writings for days. And oh yes, every time I managed to write something I thought was presentable, he would accept it not like homework but like a gift I had chosen especially for him, a gift that he was waiting for days, a gift that he thought he was blessed to be accepting, although my writing to me felt like just another piece of paper with words written on them.

So as I grieve over his loss
I recall with gratitude, with respect
How he bestowed upon me
His wisdom, his knowledge
How he opened my eyes
To the beauty, to the power of words
How the classes with him
Seemed like a dive into the sea
Of which he knew every corner, every depth
Of which he examined every droplet
And how long after the classes
The words would still zoom into my head.

He made me feel special every time I would enter his class, like each one of us in class were a chosen one by God, to be coming there and exploring language. He made me believe I had potential; he made me believe in me and in my writing.

If you wonder how, then know
That all because of the care
The attention, the patience
He never failed to show
Oh no, his lessons did not end
With the words, with the content
But touched every aspect of life
Of nature, of God likewise
So he differed, he excelled
From all others, and so
He holds an image
Of a mentor, of a man
Who had no end to experience
No limit to honesty, no lack of compassion
He holds a place in our hearts
Concrete and special

So thank you professor for giving me the memories of a real teacher-student relationship, thank you for smiling at me, thank you for not being angry at me, and thank you for just being what you were.

So no Adieu
No Farewell
There will always be
The scent of Pages and Wood.
So No Adieu
No Waving Away
There lies immortal
The Thunderous roars of ink in the polished furnace of the Heart.
So no Adieu
I am no longer Afar
I see you close

The form of Angel behind Human Mask.

By Shahed Ehsan, Maisha Hussain, Anika Saba and Zerin Rafiuddin


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