One full year has passed since Sariful Haque succumbed to prostate cancer on April 11, 2015 after four years of suffering and I lost a dearest friend to whom I could pour my heart out. After being together in school at Sivasagar we shifted to different places and joined different colleges, our meetings becoming few and far between, but destiny threw us together once again to work in the same department, coming closer and closer and even retiring on the same day.
Retired as Superintendent of Guwahati Jail, Sariful was endowed with a beaming perso and a warmest heart that endeared one and all he came across, regardless of which stratum of the society one came from. In particular, he showed paterl affection towards the jail inmates, always looking into their problems with empathetic concern. His commitment to work was total. Even in awkward, trying situations arising in jail, some of which we happened to face together, he showed commendable patience and mature thinking that helped to save things from getting worse. His post retirement involvement in a drafting committee was also equally useful in producing a new bill on prisons, which came to be ected as the Assam Prisons Act, 2013.
Sariful was an excellent singer too with a golden voice and often enthralled us with old songs rendered in perfect tune. Even in his last, suffering days his singing voice remained unfaded and one regret now haunting me is that it could not be preserved in a CD, although I broached the subject several times and he agreed to practice some selected numbers once he got better! My only solace is that I could be of some help to him in fighting the dreaded disease, giving him company in the last couple of years till his last breath.
From the other world Sariful once showed up in my dream, dressed in formal attire and hurrying in quick strides as if to attend his work place! Going by his appearance, I should like to believe that my friend is in perfect bliss by the benign grace of the Almighty. Amen!
Dilip Kumar Neog