In Remembrance of our friend- Fauzia Sultana Tumpa
It was yet another lazy Friday afternoon, that after lunch I was relaxing, skimming through the previous days’ newspaper, when my friend Fariha called. At first, I could not hear anything but her sobbing. Then after gathering enough breath, she just managed to tell me that our friend Fauzia passed away…
I was too shocked to say, think or do anything at that point of time. It was towards the end of May when we found out that she was suffering from liver cancer. Cancer is such a deadly disease that the chances are 50-50, still deep down we all knew that she would soon recover. Since May, she was in Bangkok for her treatment. However, thanks to Facebook, email and sms we were in touch with her. Despite the ups and downs in her health, yet she had mentioned in one of her messages that she was almost done with her chemotherapy and that she would come back by October. Fauzia being Fauzia, she kept her word…she did come back…but in the manner which was hard for all of us to accept.
It seemed that just the other day we were all at her place for a pound-party. We can still hear her laughing cheerfully…she was so happy that day. A couple of days later, we convinced her to participate in our annual inter-semester debate competition. At first, she was reluctant as she had never debated before, but again Fauzia was always ready to accept challenges. She gave in her best, improving at every round, and at the end, our semester won the finals! It was around the month of April when she started suffering from extreme pain unaware of its cause. Despite that, on the day of Shakespeare’s birth anniversary, she played the role of Isabella; performing brilliantly in one of the most crucial scenes from Measure for Measure. Few days later, the Drama Club organized a program celebrating Rabindronath Tagore’s birth anniversary. Yet again, due to her fascination for arts and literature and her desire to share this with everyone, Fauzia managed to have renowned artists to perform at that program…which in turn was successful.
She was always there for everyone be it during their good times or bad times. No matter what sort of problem anyone was in she was surely there to help. She did all of those not for popularity but because she genuinely wanted to help. Not only that she cared for every small big thing that people around her liked. Even towards the end when she was suffering from severe memory loss, yet she wrote on every individual’s wall in Facebook, keeping in mind of everyone’s’ interests.
No one can ever take the place of 238 (this was her student number in the university. Weird as it sounds but many knew her as ‘238’). Still today, when unconsciously her roll is called out, we wait hoping miraculously for her to respond. There will be debates, dramas and programs. We will still go to the nearby canteens for chai and or maybe to MFC for fried chicken. Nevertheless, her absence will surely be felt at every single moment. Bitter as it sounds but life will go on… this is the reality. We all have come to this world only to leave it one day…it is just that some are here for a longer time while some are here for a short while. Whether as Fauzia, Tumpa, Prince of Aragon, 238 or tempo, as some of the boys called her, we will always remember her. We will miss her a lot and the remaining days in DELL surely will not be the same again without her.