<![CDATA[Abdul Muhammad, Principal Government Higher Secondary School Garam Chashma, passed away in AKU Hospital Karachi after a brief illness and was buried in his home town, Mogh, amidst tears and sobs. He lives behind a widow, four sons and a daughter to mourn his death. May his soul rest in eternal peace. Ameen Late Abdul Muhammad joined the teaching profession as a CT 34 years ago and was to retire in October this year. He became an orphan at the age of four and was brought up by his cousins and uncle. He was a self-made man. Through sheer hard work and dedication he crossed all the hurdles and achieved a place of respect in the teaching community. He was a model teacher who always used positive re-enforcements to develop his students which made him immensely popular among his pupils. He was a social activist who helped build the Pamir and Al-Nasir Education Systems in Garam Chashma and remained on their board of directors during the formative years and consolidated these institutions. His humility, occasional but lively sense of humour and financial support for many poor deserving students and the needy will always be remembered with gratitude. The Pam system is planning to organize a reference in his loving memory.--Islamuddin]]>
One Reply to “Garam Chashma Diary: Abdul Muhammad – an obituary”
Once I asked an erudite lady to tell any of the beautiful stories she really enjoyed and would like to read again. ‘Chandrawati’ (چندراوتی), she replied. Chandrawati was a lovely Hindu girl enrolled in Lady Maclegan College. Famous bureaucrat Qudratullah Shahab was studying in GC Lahore in those days. Every weekend Shahab used to take her to roam around the city. They would sit on the lawn of GC Lahore to revise her lesson. Unfortunately, Chandrawati died untimely from TB during her summer vacations. Shahab sat on the lawn of GC Lahore, and started to write a short story (Chandrawati). The first sentence of the story was; “When I fell in love with Chandrawati, it was the third day that she died…….” His professor while passing nearby asked Shahab, “Hello, roosting alone? Where is your golden girl? Shahab replied with sobs and tears “Sir, she has reverted to the gold mine!”
There is a saying that Love is stronger than death even though it can’t stop death from happening, but no matter how hard death tries it can’t separate people from love. It can’t take away our memories either. In the end, life is stronger than death.
Soft spoken with dignified demeanors, always spreading a unique smile on his face, my beloved teacher Abdul Muhammad, was a delicate person. He would befit to any definition of a great teacher. And he was a man of character. As a bearer of the prophetic profession he would always try to inculcate the best moral values and to transfuse the gist of the lesson into his young students; and always succeeded in doing so.
We will remember him for many of the lovely memories and particularly for his English; Urdu classes which he used to take in our final years in high school. Looking back upon my schools days I feel that the lessons we read in textbooks were not just for passing exams but actually to prepare us about the harsh realities of life and how to lead a meaningful and happy life. ‘Katba’ is a story of a low income clerk who buys an epitaph (a small piece of marble) from a shop of secondhand stuffs and endeavors his whole life to materialize his innocent dream of inscribing his name on epitaph and positioning it in the main entrance of his house. Alas, the poor man succumbed to his unfulfilled dream and died. His son placed the same epitaph on his grave with a little amendment.
Kicha bebas boyan insan akhera,
Chete nasnas boyan insan akhera.
Khyote gete donyae kyagh aretam,
Doni waswas boyan insan akhera…
I cannot forget my teacher for the lifelong lesson, he taught, about sincerity, integrity and commitment with duty. “مالی دیو نام) by Molvi Abdul Haq is a story of a gardener who would never care about if somebody is seeing him or not; but would always remain busy with his own business. As a gardener nothing was more important than his commitment to his duty and his love for his job — beautifying lawn and caring plants and flowers.
‘Sifarish’ by Ahmad Nadeem Qasmi, is a moral story we had read about a coachman (horse-cart driver) and how he was unable to hospitalize his aged father. The crux of the story in the word of the coachman is “Gutna pajamy sai jhank raha ho tou kon bari daita hai babu jee!!!”
These stories are being remembered after decade, of course, as a testimony of the communication skill of my late teacher and an indication of how we would have been enjoying his class.
There is thought provoking movie “Chaos theory”. A flap of butterfly in Japan can cause a tornado in Brazil. This is known as butterfly effect. Butterfly effect is an important phenomenon to understand ‘chaos theory’. In simple words, a small change in one place/stage can have a huge impact in other places/stages. For example, a single tree chopped down somewhere in Chitral Gol might have a huge effect in flooding in Thatta (Sindh) or on a cyclone in Thailand.
Frank Alan, the leading character of the movie — chaos theory — is a professional teacher who lectures on time management and improving efficiency by planning and time scheduling. One day, a change of only ‘ten minutes’ changed his whole life patterns and ideas. Then Frank Alan comes to lecture and asks his professional students an unexpected question; “Well, let me ask you something, is anyone here truly happy? If so… raise your happy hand. Nobody raises their hand. “Then the decisions that you’ve made in your life are crap. You’re a crappy person. Leading a crappy life”
Had I been there, I could give an answer to Frank Alan questions or at least I would count the recipe of a happy life. I have learned this from a wonderful moral poem — The Miller of the Dee — taught by my teacher Abdul Muhammad. Miller of the river Dee (England) was famous for his happy life. Once, King Hall (king of England) came to see the poor Miller to know the secret of his happy life;
The miller smiled and doffed his cap,
“I earn my bread,” quoth he;
“I love my wife, I love my friend,
I love my children three;
I owe no penny I cannot pay,
I thank the river Dee,
That turns the mill that grinds the corn
That feeds my babes and me.”
King Hall had got the clandestine in three words: love for all, jealousy to none and a simple life.
“Good friend,” said Hal, and sighed the while,
“Farewell, and happy be;
Thy mealy cap is worth my crown,
Thy mill my kingdom’s fee;
Such men as thou are England’s boast,
O miller of the Dee!!!
The sudden death of Abdul Muhammad is not less than a shocking blow. When I think of him, all the sweet memories become refreshing: An Urdu textbook in his hand, his pleasant voice comes to my ears; “Aafaq ki manzil sa gaya kon salamat; Asbab luta raah mai yan hr safari ka……… es shair mai ghazal ka badsha Mir Taqi Mir dunya ki besabati ka zikr krty hue kehty hain………”
The very personal comment he would occasionally pass on me, was, “Hey Mehtar, you look like Japanese” then he would laugh. I never knew how to respond him; I wish I could say him in any of such occasions;
“You are my special teacher
I just want you to know
I always had fun in your class
How the time has flown!
Thank you for helping me
To learn all that I know
I will always remember you
even when I’m grown!
Nisar Ahmad Shah,
March, 07, 2013