Friday, May 9, 2014

School Days

Since the day I started going to school  till I passed Primary school my teacher was Late Sh Mazhar Ali, a best friend of my fathers. He would call for me at school time and I used to walk holding his finger till the school gate. There he would order me go to your class and I was free. 
It was a Government school where my father was also a teacher. Late Mazhar Ali taught us from 1st standard to 5th standard. 5th standard used to be a board exam in which all 33 students passed. Farukh, Ganga, Narayan, Jagdish Soni and I are the few I remember. We all were very happy to go to middle school. When we reached there one by one we were refused admission by the High School Principal Mr Sundar Lal Chourey. That evening my father was talking to Mazhar Ali and I was instructed by Sh Mazhar Ali to inform all the boys to come to his house with their Transfer Certificate sharp at 0700 AM tomorrow.
That morning Late Sh Mazhar Ali became our leader. He was in front of us holding all the Transfer Certificates in his hand. We were asked to stand outside Principal's office. Jhabbu Dada, School Peon, couldn't believe what was happening. He looked at us and then at Mazhar Ali. Mazhar Ali didn't ask him about the presence of the Principal in his office he simply went straight in.
We started hearing their voices going louder and louder and louder.
Mazhar Ali a lean man in his early 40's came out of the office, took us out of the school gate and said you all will say Zindabad Zindabad.
Imagine the scene. We 33 students, all about 10-11 years of age standing behind Mazhar Ali in semi circle shouting Zindabad Zindabad. 
This Inqilab Zindabad kept on going for about half an hour then Mazhar Ali turned to us and said we are sitting here till you all get the admission. By now hundred or so people were standing behind us watching this agitation.
We all sat there till school time finished at 1130.
I remember very well that on that day my father, Mr Mazhar Ali, Mr Rashid Khan and Mr Tripathi (Two teachers from Middle School ) had a meeting at my house and all were of opinion that Principal has to allow the admission to every student who has a legal certificate in his hand.
Same thing started next morning at 0700 AM. Now there were more people as spectators than the day before. 
Rashid Khan and Tripathy were standing next to Mazhar Ali. Probably they were on half day leave.
After 0930 again we started Zindabad Zindabad. Soon we were asked to come in and Mr Fazal Khan our new Class Teacher, started writing our name on register.
Think of those 33 students who were never liked by the Principal. We passed our High School under that Principal only and Mr Mazhar Ali was our leader all the time.
Principal's thinking was that all 33 students can not pass the exam. There must have been some mega cheating in exam. This attitude of principal hurt Mazhar Ali very badly and he decided to take it on and won.
That was the first agitation that we all joined and it made a mega impact on our lives. I was talking to some of my old friends today and they all agreed. Some of them cried on phone and complimented me in Bhopali. We heard each others voice after 40-45 years. Narayan Singh was the best who was an in charge Principal for some 10-12 yrs in a High School, said, I remembers it every day I go to school and I see every student like us on that day. Good on him.