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Remembering Ta’eth: Epitome of Patience

The much-admired teacher, Late Hafeeza Begum Masoodi was an embodiment of patience, love and wisdom
12:06 AM May 19, 2024 IST | MANZOOR AKASH
remembering ta’eth  epitome of patience

In the picturesque Baramulla district, lies a small town 20 kilometers from the headquarters that holds a legacy of having produced famous intellectuals and great teachers from time to time. Dangiwacha, en-route to a well-known picnic spot of Mundajji in its kendi-belt, has long been renowned for inheriting this rich bestowal.


Although most of those golden names cease to exist, yet, some recently flatened ones have laid indelible imprints on the minds of people. One such remarkable name is the legendary Lt. Hafeeza Begum Masoodi aka Ta’eth—the real architect of human resource, friendly in nature, soft by heart and generous in life-style.


Held in high esteem, the much-admired Hafeeza Begum Masoodi was an embodiment of patience, love and wisdom. Lovingly known as “Ta’eth” or “Ustaniji”, Begum Masoodi, mother of Dr. Rafeeq Masoodi, was a woman close to everyone’s heart—as attribute “Ta’eth”, dear to everyone, suggests all. As a woman of remarkable caliber—Ta’eth possessed wealth of wisdom and insight whose humble demeanor and unwavering faith served as guiding beacon, illuminating the path of spiritual growth and self-discovery.


Born in 1934, Ta’eth joined the state’s education department in 1954 as a teacher. She was a loving and dedicated educator whose intellect had earned her respect not only during her service but also in the whole Rafiabad vicinity afterwards.


A teacher must be a friend and a true inspiration, not a snooze-fest. With him or her, one should really enjoy studies, and obviously Begum Masoodi was one. She was so caring a lady that her students would come to see her at home. As a true beacon of light and lofty thoughts, her bond with her students was an indication of her contribution.


Married to Lt. Ghulam Ahmad Masoodi who before shifting to Dangiwacha resided at Hatishah, Sopore, Ta’eth, the eldest daughter of a mystic figure Peer Ghulam Muhammad Kirmani aka Maam Sab of Sufi Hamam, Sopore was a pious lady who earlier as teacher served in Chanakhan, Sopore.


And, later on moving to Dangiwacha immediately after her marriage in 1954, she got an opportunity to serve in many schools in zone Dangiwacha from where she lastly superannuated from Govt. Girls’ High School, as Master on 31st of May, 1992.


Ta’eth was steadfast in her devotion, never wavering in her commitment to prayers and reflection. Even as she faced the inevitability of mortality, her spirit remained resilient, finding solace in the power of worshipping Allah. It is believed that she had started a school at Zathen, in Rafiabad’s upper-belt which later was upgraded to a high school status.

Mothering three sons and three daughters, she had taught hundreds of students, mostly girls who later retired from the gazetted posts from service. Deeply inclined towards educating females, iconic Ta’eth was known among people for her patronage and respectful attitude towards the downtrodden lot. Not only in Dangiwacha alone but she had also won the hearts of people in the adjoining villages of Dandusa, Watergam, Reshipora, Chanum, Yarbugh, etc for her down-to-earth nature.

Her students would ring her up quite often to enquire about her well-being because she strongly believed in the education of girls in the society as they have to serve at their in-laws where in difficult times, education proves as a tool to help them.

Ta’eth preferred calm and tranquil village life over busy city life where social fabric seems totally torn. She believed in community life, harmony, brotherhood, bond of kinship and the spirit of generosity despite remaining confided to the four walls.

“She would sit in Srinagar hardly for two days, and then start missing Dangiwacha. She rendered city life not fit for her where people don’t even greet back”, says her legendary son and former secretary cultural academy, J&K, Dr Rafeeq Masoodi whose mournful poem on his mother titled Mouji Regi Regi Chaen Dagh, was widely admired.

“Ta’eth, my beloved mother, stoutly believed in educating girls and that’s why when she died, some ladies of my age who she had taught to, wept so sorrowfully in the tent that they had not simply lost their teacher but a mother. Second, her role in shaping and chiseling me into the person I am today is pivotal. Literally, she never let me down and feel embarrassed during my studies. I really miss her. Dear Manzoor Akash, “When you loose a person you love so much, surviving the loss is difficult”, Dr. Masoodi who is a testament to her enduring legacy of love and wisdom, added amid misty eyes.

As a teacher she was an exceptional source of encouragement and inspiration for her students. Kind to everyone, Ta’eth was a unique example of patience, courtesy and empathy known in the vicinity. Though a diabetic patient, yet, she never believed in sitting idle even after her retirement from the service but in living with harmony that brought her peace and joy. To her rest was rust, and work, worship.

But then on the fateful day of 14th December, 2023, Ta’eth left for her heavenly abode with a record number of more than ten thousands people in her Janazah (funeral prayer). Known for her conservative values, the strong-willed Ta’eth was laid to rest in her ancestral graveyard at Dangiwacha, Rafiabad amid sobs and tears. May Allah (SWT) bestow highest echelons in heaven to the departed soul. (Ameen)! 

Manzoor Akash is a teacher by profession.