My friend Nadeem and Navitus

imageThe last time I met Nadeem Chawhan was when he came to see me a few weeks ago. He brought an apple pie with him, but then decided not to eat any himself, as he was on an eating regime. Early this morning, Nadeem encountered the ultimate challenge in this life and faced death. I pray that he went with equanimity and peace. Inna lillahi wa inna elehi rajioon.

Our association goes back almost a decade. At the time when Engro Foods was launched, Nadeem and Farhad (Nadeems partner at Navitus) were heavily involved. Not only in the early motivational sessions, but later in the vision and values aspect for the new company. Still later, as we tried to bind the company culture within the vision and values agreed for the new company, Navitus was instrumental in disseminating these down the line at EFL. I remember a session in Sukkur in 2007, where we bonded well over karahi and cigarettes and had a lot of laughs together. Also remember, as part of our community work going out with him to paint the local Sukkur government school.

His style was free wheeling, a bit in the face and at the same time he spoke the local colloquial language. Hence he connected well with the sales and milk collection people. There were many a time, when Nadeem would play the clown on stage and connect with our sales employees. During these fun filled sessions, he found ways to pass on the basic motivational or ethical messages we wanted conveyed. And within this system, he would create aspirations for our employees to drive them on to greater performance.

That was the official side of Nadeem, as representing Navitus. There was the other side, which to me was personal and over the years had been a great part of our relationship. To him I was Guru and every now and then we would share philosophical sessions, when he was in Karachi for one of his work sessions. I would pick him up from the Navitus rest house and we would go for a meal. In the old days, he would eat his share, as befitted his ample bulk. Over many hours of random discussions, we would talk about the art of living, why we are here at all and also a lot of spiritual discussions on the way to live this life. Our gripe about the rat race was something which bound our thoughts together and we imagined a world where one only did aspirational work and money was not the issue.

At the back of both our minds was his health. A lot of discussions on cigarettes and also his tendency to be large. So it did not shock me when he took the procedure to reduce his stomach intake. Some months later, when we met on a trip to Islamabad, he was thin and the familiar bulk gone. While, it was sort of sad, yet one felt it was best under the circumstances.

In the twenty or so months, when I left Engro Foods, Nadeem, Farhad and Kamran (another partner friend) were still in touch. Never in these months did I feel that I was now not important in the scheme of things for my Navitus buddies. Though honestly speaking I was now peripheral to their business. So it was with a heavy heart that one heard that Navitus had now decided to split and that these friends of mine were parting ways. Navitus had been such an integral part of the EFL story, that this break up went heavy on us, as I am sure it did for the partners.

Sadly it does not matter anymore, as one of the participants has departed. I personally have no words except deep sadness. For one to depart so young and vibrant is one of Allah’s conundrum, which shall be resolved at a different time and in a different dimension. All one can say is that Nadeem will be sadly missed by many and I for one will remember my long discussions – which led nowhere – with him and pine for moments which cannot return.

Posthumously, I want to thank Nadeem for great times and inspirational ideas which helped us. Maybe the good depart early. May Allah grant him maghfirat and Jannah and may his young family sustain during these difficult times.


About sarfarazar
I have been lucky! A long career with large scale organisations and some acclaim. Also, took time off to write, mentor and do some education and social development projects. I continue to mentor and help younger people in life. Inshallah, hope to write on various subjects in my blog.

17 Responses to My friend Nadeem and Navitus

  1. omair says:

    May Allah rest his soul in peace. Ameen

  2. kamran ansari says:

    deeply shocked and saddened, he trained the initial Mobilink new team in 2003, 04, 05, we were buddies ever since, esp due to shared “good” eating habits, didnt meet too often but whenever we did, it was like lost brothers, no words can express the sorrow, may Allah have mercy on him and his family, aameen

    • sarfarazar says:

      Ameen. Yes very sad…I had a Whatsapp chat with him a few days ago..its the suddeness which always seems surreal. A lesson to all of us of the transient nature of life.

  3. Mohammad Khan says:

    May Allah bless the departed soul. Ameen

  4. That is the reason why I like Navitus. These are not just trainers but people with authentic integrity. May his soul rest in eternal peace. Amen

  5. Usman Hassan Syed says:

    Inna Lillahe Wa Inna ilehe Raajeon. Very sad and shocking news that such a nice person and an energizing trainer is not among us anymore. May Allah SWT bless him and give patience to his family and friends.

    • sarfarazar says:

      Nadeem was more than a trainer..he and Farhad were directly involved in our early strategic thought process and then yes they used their conmunication skills to disseminate that strategy to others…

  6. saima says:

    he was a fun person May Allah rest his soul in peace

  7. Asim H. Akhund says:

    I attended only one training session with Nadeem and that was the orientation of Efert 2012. He shared his views on Kaizen but most importantly he told us what Islam’s view is about improving oneself continually…he shared a hadith which was on the lines ‘he whose today is not better than his past will perish’.

    Not many trainers emphasize on the area of self-improvement the way he did and it was a very powerful message…even today when I am evaluating myself, sharing my views with other on this aspect or reading on tazkiyah, his words echo in my mind…may Allah rest his soul in peace and Jannah and give sabr to his loved ones for losing and missing such a special human being. Ameen

  8. Zahid says:

    Just met the gentleman only a few days before his death… Made some plans and explained to him what is Sabiqa and Lahiqa in urdu…. May his soul rest in peace… A man with many qualities…

  9. Shahid Rana says:

    May his soul rest in heavens (Ameen). we met only once a year ago but he forced his message to be part of our lives still today. In friends circles we still borrow his motivational lines and use them in a fun way to deliver the message on lighter mode. His early departure has turned the message even more powerful and unforgettable. Earlier those were his lines who kept him alive and now It was Nadeem’s turn to give eternity to his lines.

  10. Syed Muhammad Zareef Agha says:

    Inna Lillahe Wa Inna ilehe Raajeon.

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