After taking my S.L.C in 1958 from Wadudia School, I got admission in the most coveted and prestigious college of the region, Jahanzeb College Saidu Sharif. As may house was in Afsar Abad, I could reach the college in just five minutes. Students from as far as Barikot, Charbagh and the Banigan came on bicycles, mostly Philippe and Raleigh brands.
One of my class fellows who came from Bara Bandai, was Fazal Mabood, whose father used to be a Subedar Major in the State forces. His name was Shah Haider Khan, Asha Khel. Fazal Mabood’s righ hand was very small due to some illness in childhood, might be polio ,otherwise his arms and elbow were of normal size. So he used to write with his left hand. He was very intelligent with sharp memory and power of expressions. Another prominent student in my Arts section was Shiekh Nasim Ahmad from Lahore. He had a bony square face and used cosmetics lightly. He loved me and was very fast in English. He was a champion debater of English in the college debates. I often went in the evening to Mingora Hostel where he lived in a cubical. He prepared coffee on a stove and we talked on many topics, over a cup of the aromatic drink.
After our first year annual exam, the results were announced and I stood first in English, History and Political Science. Shiekh Nasim followed me in English and Fazal Mobood of Bara Bandai stood second in these subjects.
Preparations for the annual day started with earnest zeal by the college administration in collaboration with union cabinet and proctorial board of the college. The Wali Ahd, Prince Miangul Aurangzeb had kindly consented to be the Chief Guest. Parents of the students were also among the invitees on the appointed day and time. The Chief Guest arrived and took his chair on the stage with thundering clapping of hands. After recitation of the verses from the Holy Quran, the principal read out the Annual Report. After that the Stage Secretary started the procedure of the prize distribution. He requested the Chief Guest to come to the rostrum and give away the prizes. As the Stage Secretary announced my name for standing first in English, I rose up among the tremendous applause of the students and guests, reached the stage, shook hands with the prince and received a book and a certificate from his hands. I returned to my seat as Sheikh Nasim’s name was announced for second position in English, I heard my name again standing first in History as well. I got up as earlier and received the first prize. Fazal Mabood followed me as he stood on second position.
The third announcement also was me, obtaining first position in Political Science, as I reached the dice and received certificate and gift from the prince, he said laughing, “Are you going to take all firsts. Gave some chance to others too.”
On that day my joy knew no bounds and so happy was my father too. The books I received were ‘Pick Wick Papers’ by Charles Dickens and ‘The Wood Landers’ by Thomas Hardy. But there stopped my glorious beginning. Fazal Mabood was lucky to get Mastes and reached big positions in teaching profession.