Never Ever Dream Again (Autobiography of Fazal Raziq Shahab) Part 14

After a year, may be two I succeeded in carving out my idol. I found him all of a sudden, and then my aesthetic senses started to work. I wrote poetry so fluently that I felt dazzled myself how I did it. So I had a collection of hundreds of pages, Ghazals, Nazams, Free verses, you name it.
Now I desperately wanted to publish my books, but could do nothing. I was so much disappointed that I took that bundle of Diaries, wrapped in a cloth, tied a heavy boulder to it and threw it in the River Swat
Life was so fast. Before I could feel the change, we were a week away from my Intermediate Exam. My record in the preceding exam of First Year was enviable to all. I topped the class in History, Civics and topped the full class of 300 plus (Science & Humanities) in English. For the Annual Day function, preparations were made in the main hall of the College. Crown Prince Miangul Aurangzeb of Swat State was to be the chief guest.
On due date, he arrived exactly at the schedule time. The Principal and academic staff received him in the portico. He entered the hall among tremendous applause and took his seat on the stage. After recitation from the Holy Book, and Principal’s annual report, the prize distribution started. Most of the parents were also present.
I was called for collecting my prize of standing first in the three subjects already mentioned. I went three times after each announcement. On my 3rd call, he said with a benign smile, to give chance to someone else too.
I received two books namely Pickwick Papers by Charles Dicken, The Woodlanders by Thomas Hardy, pen, some souvenirs and certificates.
The Crown Prince delivered his closing speech and then we all have refreshments in College lawn. That was the only time I gave my father real joy. otherwise, I am ashamed to confess, I always caused him trouble. I was a spoiled child in the family. Baba, Please forgive me.!!!
Just two days before the Exam, I fell seriously ill. Saidu Hospital was on a five minute distance from my home and I was carried there. Dr.Najeeb was then incharge. He immediately shifted me to general ward and my treatment was started. The advance diagnostic system was not yet invented and the available test were carried out, declaring I am suffering from food poisoning. I had a nonstop spell of motions for two days and everyone thought me gone.
On the Exam date, I insisted to be carried to the College Hall. I was confident I can get through if I can have an hour undisturbed. So on my persisting entreaties I was carried in a Tonga. The Superintendent kindly agreed to allow me leave the Hall whenever I wanted to. So after an hour, I handed over the paper and went back to my bed in the Hospital.
This is how I went through my Annual Exam. After a fortnight, I was able to leave the Hospital. When the result was declared, I hardly got passed marks.
All my dreams of becoming a CSP officer, a Professor or a Private Secretary to the Ruler were shattered into pieces. I wanted to take my life, but I was too much afraid of death.
My father encouraged me to take it easy but I knew the disappointment he was trying to hide from me. I have failed him, his aspirations and hopes and wishes of seeing me on the top. A year before my chum and neighbor, Asfandyar had topped the University and that was the goal set by my father for me. But alas, everything turned to ashes.

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