Going back to my childhood, I was sent to school probably in 1950. My elder brother was already in class 3rd.My father got leave from office for an hour and took me to Primary Block of Wadudia High School, headed by Lala Jaan Ustad. I do not know what his real name but he was called so by everyone.
I was given a school cap also free as all other students. But my days at that block were numbered, because a new school at Shagai was ready to receive the lower classes, under the name of Anglo Vernacular Lower Middle School. The old primary block in Wadudia premises was converted to Boarding House. We were shifted to the new building.
My elder brother was very strong bodily and he was a great source of safety for me. I was very fragile and had to depend on him in school as well as at Afsarabad, where we were living. He was more intelligent and always out classed me in exam. I had one privilege over him. I was specially allowed to have my exams whenever I wanted to appear and so joined my brother in class 6th in three years time.
When I was old enough to walk, I found my neighbors were changed. We had then Abdul Hanan Kaman Afsar, as our neighbour. We called him Mama, as his sons Asfandyar and Bakht rawan did call our father. We went freely to each other house, often slept and remained most of the time together. In those days, boys wore ankle long shirts with no trousers till school going age but girls were fully dressed even in mothers’ laps.
I learnt later that Saiful Malook was promoted to the post of Tehsildar and shifted to a house behind Wali Sahib (then Wali Ahad) residence. I also learnt that my father was also offered the post of Tehsildar at Karang, Indus Kohistan but he refused to go so far away for the sake of our education. Wali Sahib accepted his excuse and let him live in Saidu at his Army office. Wali Sahib repeated the offer three or four times each year but my father remained firm on his refusal. Wali Sahib apparently did not show his displeasure, but practically denied promotion rights of my father forever till the State merger in 1969.
My father suffered very much but never said a word of complain, just for the sake of his son’s education. He could not give up the service because, though we have ample lands but in those days productivity was very low. Hybrid seeds were not yet introduced and land owners led a very hard life.
Any how this decision proved fruitful for some us. Our family is comparatively more educated and even our young girls are Doctors, Masters in sciences and Education. My father was very much attached to me and kept me most of his spare times, close to himself. He let me sleep with him, on his broad chest. I think he diverted all his love for Sher Khan to me, though I was the ugliest in our family.
To Be Continued…