In life one gets to know hundreds of teachers but some teachers are remembered always. Perhaps for the reason that they cared us like their own children.
Though, not highly qualified like present day teachers, yet, they were generous, sincere and had neatness in their teaching. I feel honored to recall the big role those school teachers have played in my life.
I vividly remember, it was the holy month of Ramadan. I was studying in 5th standard. School was a threat for me those days. I used to go to my school in my locality out of fear, and compulsion, of my mother.
Noor Sahib of Dangiwacha taught us that big book of mathematics. I shan’t forget that cloudy day, when we used to sit on sack-mats in school premises. He mostly preferred to teach us outside classroom on the wooden blackboard supported on an easel.
How harsh and stern he was! Not a single day would go by, when he did not thrash us. His rebuking was quite different than other teachers in the school. Then students would tremble out of fear, if, all of a sudden, teachers were seen anywhere.
No child would dare to speak or even stand in front of them. Their punishment was a blessing without which, we, probably, wouldn’t have attained anything in life.
My classmates Sajad and Ashraf were stalwarts and hefty in the class then. On Noor Sahib’s command they would take us on their shoulders, and oh, we were thrashed - on our buttocks! Sometimes, our wailing cries would catch even the attention of men working in the fields.
I was the monitor of my class, but I too wasn’t spared. The intensity of the fear was so much that we’d each day pray Allah for Noor Sahib’s ill-health. His absence would delight us as he’d thrash amply. Those questions of division and that recapitulation of 101, 102, 103 … which is easy now, was toughest for me those days. I imagine, my mother used to coax me to go to school.
She used to fill my uniform pockets with khand-tumul (sugar-mixed with rice) and my satchel with maize chapattis (a piece of flat unleavened bread in Indian cookery). I was reluctant to goto my school instead of one rupee coin given to me by her, which was valuable in that time.
There was no recreation at all. Every class, whether English, Mathematics or History, was a torture. In Urdu class Mohiuddin Sahib was a great threat too. His class was no different than cries and wails.
He scolded so severely that too without rod. He’d use his hands for punishment. His blows and pinches were more hurting than that of a cudgel. He’d tweak our ears to cherry red colour. Nevertheless, that punishment was a bliss.
My old friends would have forgotten that often written ‘Cow is a pet animal’ model line given by Hub Sahib (Mr. Habibullah) on slates, but for me it is very hard to forget it. Unto 5th standard, we all would write Na’t (encomium) on our slates very often.
Hub Sahib’s Urdu hand was chiseled. Like Hub Sahib, Sadiq Sahib too was different, punctual and always gave his duty the upper-most place. He’d teach us English in 8th.
He had such a good hold on English and had such a neat hand. He was our headmaster, those days who checked a pile of our English note-books, unlike teachers nowadays. He’d make us rewrite twice or thrice, till we learnt to write, so skillfully.
Sadiq Sahib would never let any one of us sit absent unnecessarily. However, when anyone would somehow dare to stay at home, he’d, abruptly, send a group of sturdy boys to bring that boy or girl to the institution. The sturdy boys, irrespective of, whether the student was ill or not, would bring him/her on their shoulders, to the school.
I still recall, in 5th standard; I’d often run away from school after recess time because I was scared of Mr X (name withheld). How ruthlessly, he’d beat me! Because my parents couldn’t afford maths textbook for me. His class, after lunch break, was a fearsome thing. But then he was a good teacher.
All teachers would rebuke and scold when a student would not work hard. Teachers’ beating is a blessing; my mom would often tell me at home, whenever I was beaten in school.
Firdous Sahib’s teaching style was quite amazing. He‘d teach us science. He’d never discourage his students. His unique way of encouraging students while teaching was probably the factor that fetched him a separate identity.
The scene when the bell would ring at 3:30 pm- still posses ineffaceable imprints on my gray-matter. We’d come out nudging each other, thinking that it was, Chutee (off). But then our moods would suddenly change when Syed Sahib would assemble us at one place.
It was his duty to assemble the students in the lawn for reading Pahada (now Tables). He’d bring in front two students from each class for reading Pahada loudly for other students. It was Duy Kaya Doo, Doo Duna Char…….(means two ones are two, two twos are four).
Reading it was fun. Syed Sahib would scold, if any body would commit a mistake. We all owe him for whatever little we do in maths today. Pahada is the base of mathematics, he’d say.
Manzoor Akash teaches English, hails from Zone Dangiwach ,Rafiabad
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author.
The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.