Rahman Jahangir's death might have struck many in the journo community as something out of the blue. This could have been because they weren't aware of what he had been through for around past six months - living with the deadliest lung cancer.
For some one like Rahman Jahangir who spent most of his off-time in the National Press Club, unless compelled by something unavoidable to be away, life meant continuous wheeling - unrelenting in getting on with activities of all hues that his family, friends and workplace demanded. Ever optimistic of life's possibilities, he hardly ever considered anything blocking his move forward. Finally, it was death that hurled the salvo to silence him. He passed away at around 5-00 am day before yesterday, March 26 at the city's Labaid hospital.
As an editorial team colleague at The Financial Express, I had the ill luck of watching him up-close as he approached slowly but certainly through his final journey. He knew what was in wait for him, just as most patients get to know of the ultimate that cancer at its advanced stage brings for its victims.
But he was not willing to give in. He went through two phases of treatment in Dhaka and Singapore, and did believe that he was coming round. He took a break from office and then, as though done with his fight with the killing ailment, resumed work, writing at least two pieces a week. There were some visible signs that chemotherapy left on his appearance, but his voice was as loud and clear, and more importantly, as candid as it was all his life. And he allowed himself to be deluded in believing he had succeeded to undo the inevitable. It was only a month ago that he asked for two months' leave from office believing rest at home would help regain the energy and vigour that he felt was sometimes missing at work.
My association with Rahman Jahangir was for a period of around four years when he joined the FE's editorial team. He was quick to make friends, and his long stint as a newsman in most English-language newspapers of the country had earned him the reputation of being a very well-known figure within the media and beyond. He would occasionally share with me anecdotes from his working career with some of the most renowned media personalities of the country. He would often express his gratitude and happiness for having worked with veterans like Mr. S M Ali.
Rahman Jahangir was straightforward in what he said and believed. It, however, remained a puzzle for me to acknowledge how he was able to mix his straightforwardness with his brand of simplicity -- hard to find in adults. He was an affectionate father to his children, and loved to speak about their academic accomplishments.
His family and friends will miss him every now and then. As for myself, a colleague who shared room with him, it is quite disturbing to try to get used to his absence - silence. Rest in peace, dear Jahangir bhai.
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