Inspiration Vulnerabilities and Learning Stories

Vulnerable to get inspired. I am having the weakness of getting inspired. That’s why my appearance is changed frequently. Inspiration is what has been a source to propel myself ahead.

This was a nice evening. My small home in “Bibi Pakar Mohalla” was surrounded from three sides and we didn’t have any window to the three sides. The home was where I lived since my memory goes back. I was developing myself and advancing. Getting inspired with people around. In the end of road was Don Bosco School facing front crossing (to the opposite side of road). If i walk to left till Shoaib Manzil, crossed Zafar Sb home and there was SIO office. I was privileged to meet some great people from old SIMI when I was kid. I was offered to read “Naqli Shezada”, “Ibn-e-batoota” stories and lot more books. These books served me to develop a strong character. I wonder if coming generation will get enough time to read or not, as they are bombarded with information, innovation and technology. These forces kids of next-gen to use their mind less and being more materialistic in nature.

There were familiar faces. Iqbal was my old good friend. There I met ever cheerful Mujahid. A person I admired in first glance. He was holding “H C Verma”. “Concepts of physics” by “H C Verma” was something like Harry Potter’s flying broom in Darbhanga. Students right from early class 9th starts taming it. I had a natural inspiration to this book. Anyone talking H C Verma was thought as a genius on earth. That beautiful evening there was another person in discussion on a question from Optics, with Mujahid. The critical angle was in discussion. Mujahid’s father was a professor in Physics and he used to take coaching classes. As I developed a liking to K K Jha, so was not interested in any other teacher. Mujahid and the SIO program were a kind of ice breaker. We had similar mindset, so I, Iqbal and Mujahid along with other friends used to have SIO programs every Sunday. Some small competitions for children wing. Meanwhile when I discovered H C Verma’s English more difficult than the numericals (this is what small town kids struggle the most), I started solving “M Karim’s” numericals. Abbujan named me Newton and since childhood I was made to believe myself as a scientist. I developed a natural bias towards Mathematics and Physics. I was on.

One problem with inspiration is that you are hooked most of the times to your beloved inspiration. The time today is resonating fast. I loved Physics, the path. But I forgot, or rather I would say didn’t define an associated objective. Why I am studying this subject so deeply. Do I want to clear IITJEE, do I want to be a doctor, or what. I didn’t have the answer. I loved what I studied and I studied what I loved. A deadlock what happens in a love affair.

There happened other factors also. The love didn’t prove me to be intelligent. I was not an intelligent student. Till 10th class I was very weak in mathematics. I scored below average in Science as well. Things you love most are not where you score most. Love belongs to heart and intelligence belongs to mind. They seldom synchronize. There was a spark but not the light. I felt the tinkling heated pinch of my desires being in a turbulent storm of expectations from my parents and teachers.

“So, well you scored 42 out of 50 in physics. Quite impressive. Ok now tell me, had it been out of 100, what was the percentage?”

I was puzzled. The question was asked by one of the Physics professor of Patna Science College. I was there with Abbujaan to submit admission form. I knew for sure that 70% is not enough for Patna Science College, but I tried.

We Bihari have this attitude. We know we will fail, but we try in the name of luck. We are reasonably highly unreasonable. There was discomfort on Abbu’s face which I noticed. I didn’t answer the question for 1 minute, and professor shouted.

“Is this the candidate you people want admission in Patna Science College?”

We were there to get my photo-state marksheets attested by this professor. I was deeply insulted. Professor was very judgemental in showing instantly me being an insult to the Premium institution. And I was. Any average 8th class student could have answered this. But I was silent. I was not a hero. I was on the brink of bursting into tears. I hold. I was expecting a big lesson from Abbujaan.

Koi baat nahi beta, ye sab hota rahtahai. Mehnat keejiye aura aage nikalye (Don’t worry Son, this all happens, keep doing hard work and get ahead)”. Abbu replied with a smile.

I was not expecting this reply from Abbujaan. I just made him shameful in front of a professor. He controlled his emotion. He loved me and I knew, I felt something strong. I got a reason to come back.

Upon reaching the home, I was crying when all were sleeping. I made a pledge. I prayed to Allah. I started mathematics again. C M Sc College, year 1998-99. Five tuitions a day. Going shop to help Abba. Getting shop goods transported from transport office to our tower chowk shop. Focus on Mathematics and Physics. Memorizing biology. I was playing hard. I solved Maths and Physics mostly on our tower chowk crockery shop. Dusty clothes, patched pants, dealing customers, biology taxonomy in mind, my notebook in “Jhola (clothed bag) made by Ammi”, returning home in night on my Vespa scooter memorizing the whole day lesson. Getting satisfied. In night turning “Kerosene Lamp” on since I forgot some terms again. Catching the memories flying fast. Calculus, Algebra, Trigo, Coordinate and my Sir J L Chowdhary, Physics by charismatic master mind K K Jha, English by K K Sinha, Biology by R P Sinha, Chemistry by H N Mishra. Help from Iqbal and Mujahid and other friends. I remember enthusiastic Ghulam Rabbani as well in SIO.

I learned a lot in the year 1998-99. Morning started with Soothing beautiful Azaan. In 5 AM, Going to Physics Tution, while crossing Naka5, the rhythm of Hanuman Chalisa in background “Jai JaiJai, g   y   a  n   gursa a  agar, jai kapeesh tri lok ujagar …”, a day with college, tuitions and my shop “Darbhanga Glass House”. Azaan in Maghrib. Occasional Namaz, I was not punctual then. Home with daily sabzi in night from “Gudri Bazar”, I lived multiple lives, and I enjoyed it.

Shakeel Anjum AMU Aligarh

It started with Vaishali express, my first time alone journey to Aligarh; for AMU class 11th entrance.

As i entered the room, it was silent. Fan humming. Books everywhere, Shakeel Bhai was in sleep, with nice clothings, shoes laced properly. I was in hurry to go back Muslim Musafirkhana, what my father instructed me to do so. That was the only place i knew in Aligarh, as i was there in 1998.

“So, why you want to stay at Musafirkhana?” asked Shakeel bhai, with tenderness. I said i do not know any other place in Aligarh. He smiled at my innocence and asked me to be with him. I readily accepted as this allowed me to save money for accomodation. Adil accompanied me. Little i knew about Shakeel bhai that he is in B.Tech 2nd year. I was quite impressed with him. The kind of affection, help, he showed was very genuine.

In morning breakfast outside saifi hotel lawn. Adil, me, Arshad (Milton), were having aaloo paratha with the chutney. We talked about so many things. I was very shy, never had an eye contact with him. I was at good place. The undisclosed guidance was something i will never forget.

Evening classes and quadratic equations. This was more inspiration than the learning. I was in the spell of Physics and Mathematics. I never saw someone like Shakeel Bhai, so knowledgeable, so kind, so polite.

“Your brother looks exactly like you”, asked one of the student of MBBS entrance examination. I went on to clarify, i was not the relative, but Shakeel Bhai stopped in between as he knew what i was up to. “He is my brother”, he said with smile. I felt proud, very close to someone, i started making my role model.

Saifi Hostel, room number 62. Each morning was different. It start with the student’s noise, shaving, breakfast, library reading room, endless chats, evening class. The charm of Shakeel bhai was, what made me feel like i am not alone, he cares.

I started following his footsteps. I wanted to be like him, his style, smile, voice. He was very genuine one.

=============================== 10 Years Later ============================

He was on his bed, very weak. As i said Salam, he waved his hands with the same passion and greeted. With oxygen mask, this was hard to recognise the sinking eyes, the same glitter. I felt crying. Why this happens to good people? Why Good People perish more? He was like Angel, what made him to be like that.

I came home with sorrow. I prayed in Esha Salah for Shakeel Bhai’s good health.

This was not over few months, i heared he expired. Inna-lillahe-wa-inna-alihe-rajeoon. May Allah bring peace to his soul, and get him in Jannat-ul-firdose. He was a great man indeed. In centuries, i think people like him come. This is very rare for this unfortunate coming generation to meet people like Shakeel Bhai.

For his little Son Taha : Dear Son, your father was like no one else. He was a man of his caliber. He was a hero, a true hero, who took pain for others. He never made any person feel alone around him. I do not know the internal family circumstances, but i felt, he became alone at the end. May be he didnt get the family support. Each time i remember his face, i sink deep, in memories, where he still lives with me. You must feel proud, as i feel. I am not in his direct relation, but he is more than any other relatives to me. I wish you to be like him.