Shahid was an expatriate from Kashmir in America. He was a cancer patient. He knew all along that his end was near but he never let the fear of his approaching death sap his zest for life. Till last, he enjoyed every moment of his life to the full. Shahid loved parties and food. There was hardly an evening when there was not a party in his living room. He would spend days over planning and preparation of a dinner party. He was very particular about the food served to the guests. He himself supervised the food cooked in the kitchen. Shahid was a great fan of the music of Begum Akhtar whom he had met in his teens. He was full of stories about her sharpness and smart reply. Shahid himself was a master of sharpness in repartee. He had the ability to change the worldly into the magical with his sparkling wit and humour. Shahid was a poet. His voice was at once lyrical and fiercely disciplined, engaged and yet deeply inward. He pursued a literary career and taught in various colleges and universities in America. He was very popular with his students. They almost worshipped him. After 1975, Shahid lived mainly in America but he never forgot his homeland. He was greatly disturbed by the mounting violence that seized Kashmir from late 1980s onwards. It became one of the central subjects of his poems. Shahid was a firm believer in the separation of politics and religious practice. His outlook was inclusive. Then a day came when the doctor stopped all his medicines and gave him a year or less. Shahid had all along been aware of his approaching end, and he had made his peace with it. His supreme consolation was that he would meet his mother in after-life, if there was an after-life. He died peacefully, in his sleep, at 2 a.m. on 8 December.