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Sunday, 19 June 2011

My mom-teacher: Mrs Sheema Zakir

Ustaad waaldain jesay hotay hain. We've heard this phrase since our first day of school. But, weird as it is, we always negated this fact till we graduated out of high school.

Teachers would scold us in front of crowds regardless of our 'izzat', subliminally teaching us an important lesson of never repeating the mistake again. It would not be because 'he/she is OUT TO GET ME'. They would not give extra marks to us to make us study hard. Not because, 'Marks detay huay jaan jati hai shayad!'. They would complain about our indisciplined attitude to the authorities to make us a more disciplined shehri by the end of the day. Not because, 'number barhwanay hain admin k saath'.

This is a popular approach used by teachers but Mrs Sheema Zakir was a different teacher all over. I use 'was' only to emphasise that she used to teach us. Mrs Sheema Zakir is a completely different definition of a teacher altogether.

In the last class with her back in grade VIII, she sat with the entire class and like a mother, told us about the life ahead of us. She said, 'Dunya ka kuch nahi pata, you all are my daughters and i would want you all as happy as i would want my beti to be'. Mrs Sheema was a mother to all. Together and individually.

When i first failed my chemistry house test, she wrote "see me" on my paper. Being a timid student, i ignored the "see me" just because of the thought that she might call and give me a good scolding about how a 'teacher can call parents and all'. I avoided her eyes the whole day. I avoided going by her office on the "other" side of the floor and took the alternative staircase. But she knew all along. She let me play around. Then took me out of the class.

"Khizra i see you have been avoiding me"
Now, this was a bomb dropping on my head. Being only 14 years old, i did not know how to respond and SERIOUSLY had no plan B story prepared.

So, i merely stared at her.

She took my hand and told me to accompany her to the office. "Meri to band bajay gi" was all i could think of. Aik to fail hui, uper say bhagti phir rahi hun. Mama parsi JAIL mein i study, not some other school. I kept on cursing my decision of avoiding her. And even with her hand holding mine, mujhe tension k current lagray thay.

I followed. We reached her office and she told me to sit down. Beth to mein gai, but nazrain wo k uper na hon. sharminda thee. To my surprise, instead of sitting in the mighty *teacher's chair*, she pulled another student chair and sat in it.

And then she talked to me. Not the teacher-torture talk. But the mother talk. She asked me what main issues i have with the subject. I answered her meekly, k 'miss ye ye falana thamkana masla hai'. She said, "Khizra, right now i'm your friend, Talk to me like you would talk to your friends." My eyes lit up. I thought i might hear a joke and was waiting for a punch line. When after a full minute of silence, she still had the same motherly smile, so i let go.

Phir to jo meri train start hui, ruknay ka naam hi na lay.

I failed my chemistry test in the beginning of grade VIII, when we did all those weird topics, acids, bases and salts.

I told her, k miss, 'chemistry to samaj hi ni ati'. She said 'its okay, its okay not to understand chemistry, everyone is not a lover of that subject, but i want you to excel in whatever you love. And Khizra, you need to figure that out soon.'

Uss time i was very dumb. Bongi they say. But Miss Sheema ki aik do talks nay muje very purposeful banaya. Miss sheema aint some any chemistry teacher. She was hum sub ki mom. She listened to our non stop chats, involving teacher ki buraiyan, aik dusre ki backbiting, Miss Mavalwala k baray mein, Anything. She would always listen. She was the best best mom-teacher we all had at Mama Parsi. And trust me, even I [born-hater-of-chemistry] liked to visit the awful-smelling chemistry lab every now and then to have a chit chat just because of her. Oh and also the new female-assistant.

This is my small story of how she left an impact on my life.

I want you All to pray for Mrs Sheema Zakir. She is admitted in AKUH. Please Pray for her.

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