In Persian I was taught this couplet by my father (He was a great religious scholar with good command over Persian and Arabic).
YAK ZAMANA SUHABAT E BA AULIYA
BEHTER AS SAD SALA TAA’T BE RIYA
( A single moment spent with the friend of Allah [Auliya Allah] is better than hundred years pure worship)
Same is the case with time spent with great literary scholars. A beautiful sitting with such a great scholar is tantamount to spend entire life in a Library. What a lucky day I spent yesterday. I was blessed with the sweet, marvelous, captivating, heart touching and inspiring sitting with Syed Farzand Ali Shah. What a great teacher he is!!!! I am speechless… In the words of Gul (my friend), he is simply a teachers’ teacher.
He can speak on different topics with great ease and same command of speech. Rhetoric seems his servant and style is his symbol. When he was speaking on English Literature (while responding to different queries by young students) the authority over the subject was the eminent quality of his delivery. What a sense of humour he possesses!!! Mind blowing!! We found light and digestible answers to really difficult and complex questions.
He gave courage and inspiration to all those who talked with him. Everyone was simply mesmerized with the charm of his personality replete with wisdom, knowledge, experience and eloquence. He made us visit many parts of the world ranging from ancient Greek myths to modern day USA and UK through his imaginative style of presentation.
In evening one of M.Phil Scholar talked about his stamina vitality and the same awe and power even so many days after his retirement… He looked fresh with spark and twinkling in his eyes. When he walked with his famous stylish walk we all prayed for his long life and best health.
At the railway station He was quite a different FA Shah. Even the strangers and other passengers enjoyed his living laughter anecdotes on army different cultures and frequent switch of different languages.
In short the time spent with this living legend of our department is the most valuable asset of my life in recent past. I and every body else loved to be with him. May he live long and continue inspiring thousands others like us…Ameen.
Love you saeen.
East or West,
You are the best.
North and South
Without any doubt.