Once upon a time ….

….his father lived in a far flung area



Sajjad and Shabir were batch mates in a professional college in Srinagar. Sajjad got admitted to the professional course by dint of his hard work. In fact he had no option but to work hard as he had no mentors, no political or social backing, nor could his family afford to gratify anybody in cash or kind. Shabir’s admission was a mere formality as his entry into the professional college was guaranteed because he was lucky enough to enjoy a quota as his father once upon a time lived in a far flung area. Moreover, he enjoyed sound and dependable political, social and economic backing.
While Sajjad’s father was a teacher in a government school, Shabir’s father was a retired bureaucrat turned politician who once upon a time lived a far-flung area but had since long migrated and stetted in a city. Sajjad studied in various government schools of the valley, changing after every two to three years because of his father’s frequent transfers.  Shabir on the other hand was an alumnus of a prominent missionary institution located in a posh area of the city. The two eventually became friends.
Sajjad burnt the midnight oil and his hard work fetched him the gold medal. Shabir just managed to pass, of course with some backlogs and repeat courses but thanks to the carry-on system, he managed to complete the degree along with his friend. Armed with the professional degrees both the friends jumped into the job market. Sajjad, as always had to struggle. He had to pass through a series of screening tests and interviews to get a job but thanks to his diligence he again topped the list.   For Shabir it was a cake walk. He  was lucky again to get the job thanks to the quota he enjoyed because his father  once upon a time lived in the far flung area.
Twenty years later, Shabir and Sajjad are still friends. They have got married and have children. Sajjad has travelled a lot. He has criss-crossed the length and breadth of the state because like his father he has been transferred after every two or three years. For some years he was posted in the village where Shabir’s fore-fathers once lived. In fact Sajjad stayed in Shabir’s ancestral house though Shabir has himself never been to that village in his lifetime. Thanks to the political and bureaucratic clout enjoyed by Shabir’s family he always got plump posting and that too within the municipal limits. Consequently Shabir’s son Aasim recieved education from the city’s best school while Sajjad’s son Qasim was always on a move along with his father, and studied at several city, town and village schools.
Sajjad still holds the same position against which he was appointed with no chance of promotion in near future. Shabir, on the other hand got elevated to the next higher cadre half a decade back and has already put in papers for another elevation that would make him the chief executive of the department, courtesy the quota he enjoyed because his father once upon a time lived in a far flung area.
Today, results of Common Entrance Test were declared. Qasim’s score is 188/200 and he is nowhere in the list but strangely Aasim with the score of 108/200 is among the selected - again because his father’s father once upon a time lived in a far flung area.
While Shabir is busy celebrating his son’s success, Sajjad has no answer to his son’s query “Papa! How many times would Uncle Shabir get a benefit out of the fact that his father once upon a time lived in a far flung area?”
(Above discourse is a mere imagination and characters do not represent anybody living or dead. Resemblance if any might be a sheer co-incidence. Message conveyed therein represent the views of the author and  not that of the  institution he works for.)

Author is Associate Professor at SKUAST-K. Feedback at alamkhan1231@yahoo.co.in

Lastupdate on : Thu, 25 Oct 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 25 Oct 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 26 Oct 2012 00:00:00 IST

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