Srinagar: In a book released seven months after his execution, Parliament attack convict Mohammad Afzal Guru had praised Taliban chief Mullah Mohammad Omar for standing up to the United States and allied forces in Afghanistan.
"Taliban commanded by the leader of the faithful Mullah Mohammad Omar is a ray of light in darkness ... this group has shattered the supremacy of the US and NATO forces although developed Muslim countries like Turkey, nuclear power Pakistan and Arab countries are scared of the West," Guru was quoted as having written in the 94-page book.
The book in Urdu, edited by separatist leader Shafi Ahmad Khan Shairiati who claimed that Guru had sent him a message for Kashmiri people from Tihar Jail where he was hanged on February 9 this year, 11 years after his arrest.
Afzal went on to do the Mammooty starrer '1993 Bombay March 12'. It was in this movie that popular Bollywood singer Sonu Nigam rendered his first Malayalam song 'Chakaramuthu.'
A notable feature was that singers Kailash Kher, Usha Uthup and Sadhana Sargam also crooned in this movie.
It has been a hard grind for this composer. Instead of moping about their child being visually challenged, his parents discovered his innate music talent and gifted him an harmonium and later sent him to learn the nuances of music.
By the time he was in the 10th standard, he was an expert keyboard player. Then came opportunities to do stage shows with music bands which further honed his skills as a keyboard programmer with helpful tips from senior professionals.
The first step into filmdom was when he was noticed by a producer while composing the title song for a stage show of the Society for Rehabilitation of the Visually Challenged which incidentally was directed by noted director Lal Jose.
"That is how 'Chandranillukku Vazhi' happened."
A former keyboard programmer of popular music composer Bijibal, Afzal, who was keyboard programmer for close friend, popular music composer Bijibal upto 2010, is now looking forward to the October release of 'Parinikimala' directed by Sennan.
The movie is a remake of the 1981 classic directed by Bharathan.
He has done two songs in that. His role model is Stevie Wonder, who like him was visually challenged at birth.
"He is a legend, an inspiration... Look at what he has achieved... Among Stevie Wonder's songs, he rates "I just called to say I love you" as his favourite.
"I have still a long way to go. I am just a student. There is still more to learn. In this field, sympathy does not count. It is talent, and I am here because of that."
Singer Najim Arshad, who has rendered quite a few songs composed by Afzal, including the popular 'Manamthudichathu' in 'Immanuel', says, "It is just sheer magic when Afzal plays the keyboard. It is a different feel altogether."