SRINAGAR: Journalist Ashok Pahalwan is no more. He died today later afternoon. He lived alone for most of his life, separate from his brother and his family. He was around 65.
Basically hailing from Sumbal area, he would live all alone in one room in TRC. Earlier, he was on the ground floor but a few years back he was given a room on the first floor – Room No 123. This room was his universe. A small place having a few chairs, a run-down computer, a teapot and a lot of newspapers. Prior to migration, he would live in Sathu Barbarshah in Srinagar.
Pahalwan was not able to move around for the last few years as his feet had developed blisters, which were not healing. This had limited Pahalwan to his room for all these years. He would mostly have his dinner outside preferably in the JKTDC restaurant, the venue of the small parties that he would routinely host for his friends.
Reports reaching here said that he had lunch and later in the afternoon when the TRC staff went to serve him tea, there was no response. His brother and police were informed who reached the spot and drove him to the hospital where he was declared dead. They found him unconscious on the ground and not on his bed.
Pahalwan was working for Reuters for some time and later freelancing with a portal. More than a journalist, Ashok was a great human being. There is no possibility of any Kashmir journalist visiting Jammu and not spending time with Ashok. He would ensure that he has enough interactions with his friends when they come to Jammu. He would visit Kashmir almost every summer, however, owing to his crisis in feet, he was not able to come.
That, however, never meant that he was not connected with Kashmir. It was impossible that he would not send a detailed message to his friends, once a week.
Kashmir lost a great human being and a concerned citizen who hardly cared for himself. He was a big-hearted person who lived a very modest life. He was hugely respected by everybody. Reports said he will be cremated in Jammu on Sunday.