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[An extract from the writer's autobiography]
It was the September of 1980 in Insan School. The rainy season had gone. The rainstorm had stopped, there have been no mud on the tracks. An staff assembly was occurring in the big corridor. Dr. Syed Hasan was full charged. He was looking very extreme. He didnt make any wit in the assembly neither he responded to any joke raised by the lecturers. They thought that something had might happened to him. He was recalling his journey to Kishanganj from the commence, as it was his dependancy. He said that this institution will grow as an self sustaining University. It can be a model for the country. He said that he has the plan to established an Educational Township in which there can be various Colleges and they all will run under Insan University. The lecturers were amazed to listen him. He said that new people can be part of and they'll certainly be more competent than you. They will have more education more wisdom more salaries. He said that he is a determined man, nothing can stand on his way. His purpose is clear. He is never has been a puzzled grownup.
Aafaqe the peon was serving tea to the staff. He gave me a cup of tea, I gazed at him. He smiled in response. He knows that I need more a cup. I full the tea and waited for him. He was in other row serving the tea. In his one hand he was holding empty cups and a Kettle in the other. I waited but he didnt come, I assume that he might forgot. Sudden I heard Dr. Syed Hasan raised his voice. He said:
COLEGE KHOL DIA GAYA HAI [ The College is now declared open].
AAP MIEN SE JO CHAHE APPLY KARSAKTA HAI , KIS KA HOGA NAHEN HOGA YEH COMMITTEE PHAISLA KAREGI [ Anyone who is illegible between you can apply, but he can be selected or no longer, this is subject to decision of the Committee.]
MAZAHIR BHAI KA COLLEGE MEIN HO GAYA HAI [Mazahir Bhai has been promoted to College.]
The staffs who were no longer eligible for the post of Lecturer ship were filled with the feeling of inferiority. Those who were Post Graduates, they were puzzled what to do. They thought that if they are no longer selected then how can they dare to survive between the many scholars. They will certainly feel humiliation. I had an identical idea. Luckily I got a choice letter for admission from Delhi University throughout One Year Post Graduate Diploma in Urdu Translation. This was a new direction, started in the University of Delhi for which I had applied earlier. Now I was of the mind that if I are no longer selected as a Lecturer I will leave the School and proceed for Delhi. I intend to work Part Time in Delhi and get admission in the Translation Course. So eventually I determined to apply for the Post of Lecturer in Urdu.
Within per week I received the call letter for interview. The interview was no longer simply an interview. It was an interview camp broaden all the way by way of the total week. There were many items. 1. Reporting and Registration. 2. Campus Tour three. Cultural Programme 4. Teaching Performance 5. Written test 5. Games. 6. VIP Meet 7. Final Interview.
I took one week leave from the School and be part of the group of candidates who came for interview. As other candidates I was also given a badge to tag with my shirt CANDIDATE was written over it in ambitious letters. A coloured ribbon was also tagged with it.
Everyone was puzzled about me, the lecturers failed to guess what would be the result. Some were of the mind that Equbal Sahab cannot compete the test. My jealous enemies [ Shahab Saharwardi and co] were anxious to know form where the rest candidates for Urdu has come? They became happy when they came to know that Mrs. Ruhi Enaam, a famous quick story writer and a Novelist from Calcutta is a candidate for the post of lecturer in Urdu. I was also a chunk fearful, but I know that Ruhi Enaam was a famous quick story writer of the Urdu Monthly KHATOON E MASHRIQE and KHATOON E MASHRIQE is a magazine which was never accepted and admired by the litterateurs rather than it was famous between commonplace Urdu readers who have cost-effective tastes of literature..
When we full our registration and Campus tour, we were asked to stage a cultural programme. The evening was pleasant. The big corridor was full of 1200 scholars, between guests there have been women, girls, guests and VIPs of Kishanganj. It was obligatory for all of the candidates to take part. Among us there have been Malika Rehana and Malika Ferhana they were sisters who had come from Patna. Malika Rehana was a candidate for Lecturer in History and her younger sister for Hindi. They both were sensible, ambitious, active and intelligent. They both won the interview and worked at Insan College for years. The younger sister Malika Ferhana left the College after her marriage and lived with her husband somewhere in Dhanbad. She also got a coaching job in a faculty in Dhanbad. The elder sister Malika Rehana spent more than 16 years in the school. She had a dispute with her husband over Insan College. Her husband essential her to leave the job but she said no, and as a result their relation broke and her husband never came to Insan College neither Malika Rehana ever tried to meet him. But there was no longer any formal divorce between the two. Later I came to know that her husband joined Tableegi Jamat .
Some of the candidates came to me for tips, I advised them to perform a Qawwali Program for which I was the main performer . I bear in mind, between the many applicants ,there was a Pundit Ji who was known to intone Harmonium. Among us there have been Abdus Samad a candidate for Economics, Buland Akhtar Hashmi , a candidate for Psychology, Abul Hasan, a candidate for English. I was in the role of a Qawwaal. I wore a Kurta Pajama I selected a Persian Gahazal of Amir Khusroo.
NAMI DAANAM CHE MANZIL BOOD SHAB JAAEY KE MAN BUDAM [I dont know which place it was last night where I was] BAHAR SU RAQS E BISMIL BOOD SHAB JAEY KR MAN BUDAM [Everywhere it was the dance of the people who were half murdered] KHUDA KHUD MEER E MAJLIS BOOD ANNDAR LAMAKAN KHSRU [ The God himself was the Chair Person of the stage at noneplace MOHAMMAD SHMME MAHFIL BOOD SHABJAAEY KE MAN BUDAM [Mohammad SAW was the light of the stage last night where I was ] NAMI DAANAM CHE MANZIL BOOD
It was my first experience that I was performing a Qawwali programme in entrance a important audience. I was in full zoom I was performing simply like an expert Qauwal. The programme was over. When I came down from the stage every one cheered me. After lunch in the night when we were passing by way of the hostel NAMI DANAM CHE MANZIL BOOD was heard all over the world. Next morning for the Insan School it was the morning of NAMI DAANAM . Next morning when I came in sight of the scholars they rejoicefully started singing NAMI DANAM CHE MANZIL BOOD SHAB JAAEY KE MAN BOODAM.
The written test covered English,the subject applied for and General Knowledge. After written test the candidates completed games. I took part in Volleyball, as I had been 3rd line player of Volleyball. Then we went for VIP meet for their confidential remarks. Some of the VIPs I bear in mind were DR.Shayam Lal Saha, Dr. Qamrul Hoda, and Dr. Mohan Lal Jain. We met seven or eight VIPs of Kishanganj, they all put confidential remarks on our profiles.
One day inside the Selection-Camp the candidates were asked to undergo coaching performance tests. The high schools higher publications were arranged for them. The scholars had been asked to provide their remarks on the candidates. Each one of them have had maximum five points to grant. As a candidate for Lectureship I had also to pass by way of performance test. I looked very extreme. Two of the senior lecturers were also sitting in the back row. They also have had to put remarks on the performance. It was the ninth class, my favourite class. Some of the scholars of this class I bear in mind Afaqe Akhtar [running as a Doctor in USA] Asim Azfer [ Lecturer in Physics in USA] Nikhat Nasreen [Reader in Deptt of Education AMU Aligarh] Sirajuddin [ Material Manager :Saudi Arabia] Iqbal Sami [ Manager : Saudi Arabia] Jawwadul Haque [Lodhan] , Mumtaz Alam[ Kishanganj] Gesu Syed Hafeez[ Daughter of Dr.Syed Hasan] Yasmeen Begum[Kishanganj, Atia Bano[ Kishanganj] Mohammad Salim [ Biraat Nagar: Nepal].
When I was asked for coaching performance test, Mr. Ruhi Enaam the candidate for Lecturer in Urdu was still in the class. She was coaching an essay GUZRA HUA ZMANA written by Sir Syed Ahmed Khan. There was pin drop silence in the class. First time the scholars of class tenth experienced a female teacher in the class. And I was the subsequent candidate for coaching performance. This was my own class to which I have been coaching Urdu since 19 months. Now it was up to the scholars to decide my fate. The badge as an indication for the candidates was hanging on left aspect of my chest. When I listen the tender female voice coaching Urdu in my class and saw a pin drop silence, I was desperate. Now it was perplexing to retreat.
I entered in the class and took a glance. The scholars looked extreme. In the entrance row there have been girl scholars. It was a important test for the scholars that a 19months historic teacher of their class is appearing in an identical class for coaching performance. They should decide what should they do? I cannot tell anybody what were my feelings. Suddenly an idea came to my mind. I dont took any lesson of the book to teach rather than by way of questioning manner I started to discuss with them on the definition of literature and its scope.
I asked them I am going to say something about literature. Can anybody of you tell me what is literature? They answered in various way. Then I tried to talk something beyond their standard. I used heard words as the Lecturers do in Colleges. Slowly I gained self assurance and as it is my dependancy I created humor. How the time passed I dont bear in mind. When I full my coaching the total class screamed with joy, a loud sound of clapping raised from the class.They said in one voice loudly:
HO GAYA HO GAYA HO GAYA
Even the senior lecturers Mr. Mozahirul Hasan and Mr. Abdul Ahad , who were the observers on this performance test were unable to get their smile back. The scholars gave me maximum marks. Dr. Syed Hasan was also observing the total situation. Next day the final interview was scheduled.
The final interview for the post of Lecturers in various subjects is occurring. The candidates are wandering near the Head Office. Experts for the comparable subjects has been invited from the nearby Marwari College. In the main workplace Malika Ferhana [Malika Farhan] Malika Rehana [ History] Buland Akhtar Hasmi[Psychlogy] Ruhi Enaam [Urdu] Mohammad Ameen [ Persian] were exhibit. Malika Farhana asked me some questions she expected to be asked in the interview. I bear in mind ,she asked me the difference between Drama and Novel. I told her some points in objective way, she was happy to know the reply.
In the mean time my biggest foe in the campus Shahab Shaharwardi entered in the room. He was attentive to Ruhi Enaam. He asked about her. He took her published Novels and Short Stories in his hand and started reading some lines loudly. He started praising her that she is a renowned personality of Urdu. Shahab Saharwardi never felt shame that the final interview is occurring and he is trying to create inferior feelings in his spouse who is also a candidate for Urdu. Minutes before calling for interview I was shocked by his pastime. Roohi Enaam was called first. In the interview board Prof. Izhar Alam Head of the Deptt of Urdu Marwari College was sitting as an expert . Dr. Qmarul Hoda was also one of the members.
I came to know later that Dr.Qmarul Hoda asked Roohi Emaam: Who are the big fiction writers in Urdu these days Instead of asking some big names she said: As regards concerning the big fiction writers of Urdu in the exhibit times, I only know myself Madam.. ! .the doors of your apartment are widely opened from all sides Dr. Qamarul Hoda answered.
Now it was my term for the interview. I was also asked few questions . Prof Izhar Alam asked me the meaning of a couplet of Allama Iqbal over which I was thinking since two weeks. He asked: There is couplet of Allama Iqbal
MERI NAWWAYE PARISHAN KO SHAIRI NA SAMAJH KE MAIN HOON MAHRAME RAAJ E DAROON E MAIE KAHANA . so what is the meaning of MAHRAME RAAZE DAROON E MAI KHANA?
MHRAME RAAZE DROON E MAIKHANA se muraaad wo qoowaten aour asrar haien jo is kaienaat ki naqlo harkat our is ki tarteeb o tanzeem mien muharrik ki haisiyat rakhte haien I replied. Then I was asked to go. I spent very few minutes before the board.
After few days I received the appointment letter signed by Dr. Syed Hasan to be part of the Insan College as a lecturer in Urdu Department. I was alone in the Urdu Department. The days were joyful those days. We feel proud to work in an institution whose fame was widened all over the world India.
Dr. Syed Hasan was also happy with the new group of Lecturers. He often use to come to the College and discuss with us. He often take our orientation programme. I bear in mind Mr. Abul Hasan who was an M.Phil in English Literature from Jawahar Lar Nehru University was the lecturer In-Charge. Later many folks took the charge of the workplace of the College. By rotation, once I also got a bet to be the In-Charge of the College for some period.
The College was started in the School segment but soon it was shifted to a new Campus. Where the residence, play ground and the Dining Hall were all at one placed in one campus, surrounded by paddy fields.. Huts made of bamboos and straws. As an experiment Dr. Syed Hasan told us for self cooking. We were cooking ourselves. It was a new experience. All the lecturers were mostly unmarried, with the exception of few. After duty hours we do no longer have any work with the exception of to read, sit and talk. The market was far, if we go to market we should carry a torch with us elsewise we cannot walk in darkness. There was no electrification. We use lamps with Kerosene oil. I have many sweat and bitter memories which occur to us in those days.
I find out myself much keen towards cosmology. I have had extreme thoughts in my mind for the mystery of Universe. Those day the Earth, the Moon , the Skies, the Sun, the Animals and Birds, oceans, and plants were appearing to me like great wonders. All the time these appearances were haunting me, in my bed,in my class room, at market places and all over the world it came to me and shacked me. [ Continued.]