How did the writer come to know about Shahid’s approaching death? What was his reaction to it?

The writer knew that Shahid had been under treatment for cancer for about fourteen months. But he never thought of Shahid’s approaching death as he was still on his feet and perfectly clear headed, though he suffered from occasional lapses of memory. One day the writer rang him up to remind him that they had been invited to a friend’s house and tell him that he was coming to pick him up. While going through his engagement book, suddenly Shahid said, “O dear, I can’t see a thing. I hope this doesn’t mean that I’m dying.” This was the first time Shahid had touched on the subject of death and the writer came to know about his approaching death.

The writer was shocked into silence to hear this. After a long pause he tried to reassure Shahid that he would be fine. But Shahid cut him short and asked him to promise to write something about him after his death. The writer tried to change the topic but Shahid persisted on his request. There was an urgency in his voice. The writer realized that Shahid was dead serious. So, he promised that he would honour his wish.

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