Mufti Jameel Farooq
My mentor Dr Ameen Parray, who is an Assistant professor at the University of Kashmir and I were strolling on the lanes of our vicinity. As we were walking, we found a boy holding a wheel toy and playing with it as if his whole world existed in that toy. The boy seemed joyous and was lost extremely while playing. The scene of that boy would act as a catalyst and could have brought any Tom, Dick and Harry into nostalgia. The scene of the boy was influentially so imaginative that it didn’t even leave my senses and brought me straight back to my childhood days when I used to have a sound cut on my finger, a smile on my face and intangible dreams in my empty pocket.
When the boy approached, my mentor stopped him and asked him a few questions. Once up with the questions, he addressed him in a bit professional way and added “I would have been happier than happy if you would have held a book in your hand than this wheel-toy and would haven be reading it anywhere.” He further said, “I, in that case, would have given you the prize of hundred rupees.
Much to my surprise I saw the boy leaving his toy behind and fleeing from the place soon after he heard his words as if someone had passed a decree on him.
They say that teachers are the only beings in the world that shape the undeveloped minds and make them apt ones to be sold in the market at the valuable price. Teachers toil in making their students well organized personalities. This profession has immense respect and greatly regarded Leaving Asia behind and flying to west, the teacher there is treated as an angel like and there he holds sovereign powers. A teacher contributes in voluminous ways. He shapes the clay like a potter and forms it into different pots for different uses; thus a teacher has innumerous contributions in a society to be tallied.
But, that in no way means others to be overlooked and forgotten. I reside at Hajin, Bandipora. In my vicinity, I have come across sea of people who hold different mind-sets and ideas, and I respect every individual. In my society I come across so many persons on a day-to-day basis whose contribution have never been valued or encouraged and who have always been treated as lollygaggers and idlers but if deeply delved into their persona then it comes it fore that they contribute not less than what a teacher does.
Two such people who deserve all the accolades and applauds are Zahoor Ahmad Parray and Nazir Abdullah, who both belong to Hajin Bandipora. The person in contention, who is a senior citizen and a senior government servant by profession has bequeathed his whole life on mentoring kids in the playground and I personally have seen him so dedicated in his job that many a time he spends his own money to engage youth especially budding ones in playing games. He, despite his busy schedule, manages his time for these kids. I have seen him religiously following this schedule for more than almost two decades.
I once got an opportunity to meet him in person where I asked him the hidden secret behind doing his work. He while replying back said, “I have no secret behind my work but yes, I doing it for a cause.” Driving me curious enough I pounced back hastily and demanded the cause. “The cause is simple, I don’t want my kids to fall prey to drugs and other narcotic remedies and become drunkards and drug addicts. I simply engage their psyche in playing games; hence it becomes blessing in disguise as it maintains their physique and distances them from other bad habits which society is facing now a days.”
While talking to him it felt the work he does serves a cause and is a means of social work for him.
The other person, namely Nazir Abdullah, who runs a photo copying and drafting business at the main bus stand of the said village holds the same dogma. He like a religious devotee worships the sports and treat it not less than a religion. Abdullah, had once got an opportunity to settle abroad and make good bucks but his love towards sports didn’t allow him and had turned down the idea in a jiffy .
I once met him at his plant and enquired about the truth behind the gossip of his going abroad. He while replying back said, “I have been here for more than thirty years by now, and I have made my identity whatsoever it be and people know me here and they respect me.” He after uttering these words heaved a sigh and then added further, “I cannot leave these kids and I cannot leave mentoring them, they are my family and I’m the head of the family. Does a head of the family leave younger ones and fly away from them?”
I could feel his sense of attachment which he was trying to show and bringing into words but was failing to bring in due to his sentiments. It was evident and apparent that the budding ones who he mentors in the playground are not less than his family. Before I could leave I asked him, “was he happy in the bucks he makes here, as it would be meagre than what he could have made in Russia. He replied smilingly but philosophically, ‘money satisfies the tummy not the heart, but it’s hard for someone like you who believes in pragmatics to decode. It needs a heart like me to decipher.”
—The author is a teacher. He can be reached Mufti.email@example.com