On Mnemonics and a Trip Down the Memory Lane

On Mnemonics and a Trip Down the Memory Lane
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By Shafat Manzoor Dar

“Meri Kabar Pai Aana Do Pool Sath Lana, Rona Agar Na Aya Thoda Sa Muskurana”

The above , a couplet which I and my friends would mutter round the clock during our childhood days, had caught the eye of my friend, Imran, during his encounter with an Auto-Rickshaw at Bemina by pass. It was inscribed on the rear of the said vehicle. Imran would often utter it like the poetry of Wordsworth and John Keats. During those days, we hardly knew what it stood for and for whom it meant. Our innocence drove us that crazy that no sooner any student of our school murmured the lines, the couplet would result in our punishment we did not know. I was beaten thrice for memorizing the same couplet, first by the principal of my secondary school, then my father and finally my Urdu teacher, whom I would hate very much then( because he was very crooked and twisted and his favorite line used to be, “Tell the walls my name, they too feel shake on hearing it”).
May Allah bless him, for today I realize his dedication and commitment towards his work; he was really an angel in the guise of a human face. But, the couplet in contention still remains with me though many decades have passé. However, it still rhymes in my heart and gives me the same vibes as it used to with the same breeze and same aroma.
Soon after this, I left my old school which I still commemorate by heart had old rusty roof surrounded with gigantic pollen trees and some flowers in the grilled garden, which most of the students would pluck and in the heart of hearts would fantasize to give it to someone, who then were their ‘Aishwariya Rai’; but how time flies, no one knows.
Thus I left school and admitted myself in the higher secondary for further studies and the process continued until I completed my MSc in mathematics, but the couplet still remains there and rhymes in my heart as if I have read it just a few hours back.
After my MSc, I began to teach and my teaching became fruitful; some of these were ripe, as expected but some were unripe; since I was fresh and a novice I dug deep and hunted for the way out, but I came out with empty hands: dejected and desolate.
Soon after, I wrote on the rear mirror of my car some formulas which turned tricky and my students memorized all of them and made my job easier in the classroom; initially , I had to toil a lot to make them bite the formulas but now my rear car mirror does the job of mnemonics.
After this occurrence, I contemplated and thought to write about the whole saga. I pondered and after much musing I deduced that if instead of writing couplets and the names of persons or some other trash on our cars, we write the useful things like formulas or some beautiful and inspiring quotes of proven legend, especially teachers than their vehicle would do the half job which otherwise they have to do in the class rooms, this graffiti would act as mnemonics and can change someone’s life.
As a successful businessman told me some days ago, “An inspiring line on the calendar made me a successful businessman.” When I asked what the line, he replied, “Change your thinking, and Change your life.”

The author holds an Msc and an Mphil in Mathematics. He can be reached at: shafat17312@gmail.com