Thursday, July 10, 2008

My Ansar Days

Ansar ,my school

I still remember the first day in Ansar ,the day which saw the birth of a redefined education. Ansar began its journey in that new premise (for one year it had been functioning in a building opposite to the present Ansar hospital) rather quiet than now interrupted heavily only on Tuesdays, when the several number of innocent animals wait for their new masters, new pastures or the end of the destiny, which has shrank to name sake and substituted now by the sounds of a busy town, yet another transition of an otherwise lifeless road triggered by a far sighted vision, a dedicated mission come true , also how time slowly swallows,fades,erases some landmarks making it a part of history, that once it existed.

The present chemistry block was my first class room-hope the eastern wing of the facing building is still where the young chemists hold there breath for that single potent drop that unveils the hidden `pink' of the emotionless contents in the conical flask ,
the dense ,shaped, trimmed, single drop , always and only enough, to elevate your activities to perfection,like the last drop of the nightingales blood that turned the rose deep red,
like the last single leaf that instilled the rays of hope in the sinking young lady ,
Where the unpleasant `rotten egg gas' reveals the hidden elements in the test tube,as how the unpleasant incident should illuminate the vague contours of the realities of the life,like the holes in an otherwise intact and dumb cane making the plain wind flowing through it sweet ,we need to visualize what the unpleasant dragged out of us.School life is the time we confronted with many of our firsts in life- first friends, first hatred, first fight, first love, first of different experiences. Much of them we missed or failed to keep in mind. They were but the lessons of life which time begins to teach through teachers, principals, friends, peons, sweepers, bus drivers, through each person we meet. Some like the writings on a blackboard awaiting to be erased at the start of the next class, while some engraved on stone which though forever, fades in course of time, still some like the writing on cactus which becomes more and more brighter day by day. Yes it all depends on what and where we wrote. All signals are transmitted into the space. We just receive the one to which we have tuned. The more bands you tune ,the more you gain. Some attentive while some neglect, just to reach back to the same conclusions after a long journey. But by that time we would have lost many opportunities, many gains….

Noorudheen Sir,Sahibjan Sir,Dr.Abdul Kader Sir,Kunjumuhammed Sir ,Amanullah Sir,Nyamathullah Sir –the principals from the beginning till I left.

Kujammed sir could write with both hands and encouraged us to practice the same so that any unlucky accident incapacitating our active hand on the eve of an exam will not bother us- a valuable instruction which now in my medical practice I ask the seat bound employees to follow so that the job distribution between the two arms help in saving a single hand from the hazards of an entire work load,ofcourse forgetting not to pay courtesy to sir, drew circles with bare hand on blackboard and wrote and illustrated in `The Bloom ',our class manuscript magazine.

Dr.Abdul Qadir sir's paper on eddy currents had gained him great appreciation internationally. He later visited Ansar with a book on Prohet Mohammed (PBUH) written by him in a very simple language .This book was added in our curriculum.Basheer Sir,the first vice principal followed by Nasar Sir,Rasheed Sir,Davis Sir,Sayeed Ahamed Sir .The beginning is always tough with unexpected falls and hidden obstacles. With immense courage and dedication they navigated the crawling Ansar.The latter especially performed both as our teachers and best friends. A deep attachment did exist between us, a rapport that built an unadulterated arena of true love and harmony. Still they hold an elite position in our hearts.

Shajahan Sir was our class teacher. He taught us Hindi although he was a Maths graduate. Time could not erase the faces of Basher Sir teaching Arabic,Nasar Sir- moral studies,Hameed Sir - Malayalam and science, Ummer Sir, Rasheed Sir-social studies, Susan Madam -Biology (Madam ,I think, is the senior most staff in Ansar now ), Mary Cherry- Eng , Nancy Davy , Sahira,Safi, Kamarulaisa Latheef Ramani, Marina Antony- Maths Shaik Naser Ahamed,Abdulla -English, Ubaidullah,Kunjahammed -English,Muralidharan - Malayalam,Narayanan -Hindi ,Sarama - English ,Abdulrahman, Samad, Abdul kareem,Sayed Ahamed, Mohamed kutty,Reena-Physics,Shyama-Chemistry,Davis,Fathima, ,Valsa Justin, Bhavani, Ivy John,Qayyoom,Kurian,Lissiamma,Sharafudheen,Sunny Thoklaq,Abdu,Abdul Kareem –Biology,Moral studies,Mohammedkuty-Chemistry,Sankaran- SUPW,Abdulla ,Shamsudheen-Maths,Reela,Murali,Thankamma ,Shoukath- P. T., Mohammed Ali - Warden ,Vijayakumari ,Rafeeq Ahamed,Sagar– drawing…. (sir and madam suffixed )

Much of the names have slipped my mind.(`when memories heap up, forgetfulness is a blessing', wrote Kalam ,my classmate, in my autograph book.)But the influence each had on our gradual transformation, in laying the foundation, in the making of what we are now, still could be felt, more when someone says,''Oh you are a product of Ansar", silently I hope it reaches your ears, or at least a warmth felt in your inner self, an invisible bonding of eternal love, like the bite of an ant felt more by the mother than the child, be him miles away.

Rajeev sir once asked us what we meant by development - whether it was a hundred bulb glowing in a few peoples' house or one bulb glowing in everybody's house. This was yet another line of thought, rather a new one that opened the door of a new world. Simple in his attitudes still he upholds his teachings.Prof.Nyamathullah (principal) left Ansar leaving behind a legacy, which slowly and steadily seeped into our hearts unknowingly capturing a special place in our hearts. We have even banned his exams.Sayyed Ahamed sir was the editor of the `Scroll', a name which he told me is pregnant with meaning. But for the unexpected intrusions at the final stage, we would have with us a more perfect Scroll. Day and night just Scroll in his mind, I was lucky to feel the pulse of its making though I had left Ansar- such was the bonding.

The bonding which Sankaran sir had with mother earth, turning the barren Ansar hills into greenery, illuminated by the tomatoes like chubby cheeks, bordered by the red amaranthus,the real raw strokes of Van Gogh's Cornfield . Kuppuswami, an unsung hero ,like the numerous in history who shaped rocks, marbles, metals to be named Pyramids,Tajmahal, Eiffel tower by others,-turning the soil upside down, ourselves twice in a week-Sankaran sir, a retired BDO was appointed to teach us agriculture as part of SUPW.Later I felt we were lucky to hold spades before using keyboards, sprouted in fire never withers in sunshine, to feel the fragrance emitted by the fusion of dry soil and water, the essence of mankind.

Story telling is an art.Kunhammed sir used to narrate the stories of Shakes spear.The names ,places, events, the sequence, the uninterrupted flow -The tiny streams originating in the Unseen heights ,more and more joining its course, swelling it ,caressing the bank and making soft impacts,oh budiya jise bache kehte the nani…….Jagjit Singh's Oh Kagaz ki Kashti…. the story the old lady tells to the innocent flawless hearts.Samad Sir's speech, moral lessons, the pin drop silence, awakening and enlightening,Moosa Moulavi's speech-articulate,precise and well demarcated, Rasheed Sir's speech asking us to speak in the medium of instruction,Shakeeb sir , a thin figure, with a shine in the eyes, taught us physics. Once when I approached Shakeeb sir with my physics practical rough record writing ten values starting in decimal, he told those were accurate. Then prefixing a zero each before all the ten decimals said, now they are perfect, go in for perfection.
Narayanan sir, at many times used to talk about politics, regarding the Rajan murder etc.That used to be rare conversations –sometimes deflecting from a prefabricated channel.
Mathew Paul sir had introduced many `news' at that time. He was our class teacher.' The Bloom', the first class manuscript magazine, came out during this time. Kunjahammed sir, principal, used to write and draw in the magazine. Our language also improved a lot. The great interest he showed in teaching us phonetics by conducting classes in the late evenings for which we day scholars used to wait , in staging magic shows in the well coordinated class co- curricular period, in organizing parties at the end of each academic year (later this was banned when it took the form of extravaganza more than serving the purpose) demands appreciation. All were a genuine attempt to teach us that there was always a unique manner, a professional way to get things done .Dedication always keeps us alive, untiring, making each breath fresh, each moment new, each new dream real.

Amongst the many books in library, you will find "Bulbul" a fat manuscript magazine, the first school magazine.Rafeeq Sir did all the drawings in it. But only later when in the media we saw him receiving awards did we know that he was a poet too.

That the demise of someone would let us know the gravity of the vacuum that a disappeared love would cause was first realized when Fayaz Aboobacker left us,his cricket conversation still incomplete. He drew the first furrow of tears below our eyes which ever since then moistened once a while then finally dried when shedding that little drops of water too turned useless. Sorry Siraj, no tears left for you, but we carry your smile to continue keeping everyone happy, a promise kept. Be it on the expense of our hardships and sacrifices, let us, squeezing our comb to let out the honey, rubbing our strings to let out the music, melting ourselves to spread the light of peace."You came to this world crying, live so that, you leave this world smiling others crying around you." Rasheed sir's lines in my autograph book.

We had started participating in competitions in our neighborhoods. Shabab Qasim's Namboodiri, Shaji's Charlie chaplin bagged prizes in many fancy dress competitions. Our girls used to take part in sports competitions outside in the beginning for one or two years and then it was not allowed. The dress code (Churidar set) that they followed became a topic of hot discussion-words and deeds going hand in hand. I would proudly say that in no time we could establish an identity of our own.

We used to face severe scarcity for water in the beginnings. Sometimes the hostellers were taken to the nearby pond for taking bath, diving and swimming-this also happened.In the beginning,(I think for three years) Sky blue and white was the colour of our uniform and girls wore a dress similar to that of a nun. Till tenth the school was mixed.On the right of the entrance ,in a small temporary shed we offered prayer.Jumua prayers were offered in the neighboring mosques-Ottapilavu, Korattikara, Akkikavu – the entire students divided into small groups and taken in school vans- we wished to be taken to Korattikara mosque, because that imam used to be the first to finish.

As we were the first batch, we were not able to write board exams in our school. The first centre was the Holy Trinity School in Kanjikode ,Palghat.Rasheed Sir (principal now, he was our social studies teacher) accompanied us. Nearly 16 days we stayed there. That was the first and last time we had to go out for writing an exam. Still when I see the ITI written in white bold letters on a hill in Kanjikode, the memories come back .Abul Kalam, Anwar Sha ,Najmudheen, Abdul Jabbar, Faisal,Khaleel ,Muneer Hassan, Shadiya Moidu, Surayya, Sajitha Sulaiman, Nadiya, Ruksana-the first batch. I hope everyone still bears the vivid memories of those gone innocent days.
"You will join the college after this ,still another after that, but believe me ,finally you will realize that these days were the most beautiful of all'' Marina madam told this in one of her last Maths classes amidst model exam preparations.With no prejudices , no competitions of survival, and the mind immature in reflecting the exact selves, where innocence weighed more- madam is correct.

In our send off party, we wanted to organize a small orchestra. When asked permission ,Abul Jalal Moulavi ,our chairman, said "Go until this (drawing an invisible line with his finger till the edge of the table),not beyond ." The invisible line and border which later rescued us from many great falls .Through and through a gentleman. The changed horizon owes him a lot.

Before parting, in a piece of paper with his stamp size photo stuck in a corner,Haneef wrote for me these words, "A single wave cannot quench the thirst of an entire shore,Nor can a single cloud bring about a rainy season,Nor a call of a cuckoo, an entire spring,But that can't leave us idle,For any long journey begins with a single step,Any great change happened through a single manAnd let you and me try to become that single man."Let us try to be these single men.

Sharafudheen Sir taught us Arabic. Master of an excellent penmanship ,flooded with thoughts ,but shared less may be due to the immature us to be shared with, in his last speech told ;"the dying sun is reddening our horizonsbut the rising sun yours ,you should grow and grow like a banyan tree,spreading far and wide in the limitless spacebut held to the earth firm,sitting in some corner of the world we will watch your progress ."Sir, we are now spread also in the cyber world. A sincere effort of a group of Ansarites to see everyone always under the same umbrella.

Time may find new faces, names, characters, incidents to convey these morals, teachings, understandings- the universal truths. For, eternal are they.The speed alone changes.…………………….Some like the writings on a blackboard awaiting to be erased at the start of the next class, while some engraved on stone which though forever, fades in course of time, still some like the writing on cactus which becomes more and more brighter day by day.


Vivek K Nidhi said...

what a great memory sir,
I still remember the day at school assembly, As school leader after assembly accidently you said "School Disperse".!!..Oops then you corrected it.

Anyways great Blog!!

ezhuthachan said...

Congratulations for your first blog.

And indeed a great start!

I am yet to be there.


shafeekasees said...


വാഴക്കോടന്‍ ‍// vazhakodan said...

Hi Rasheed,
How are you? I think you don't have much time to spare on blog. Any way happy to see your blog!

with love,

Majeed vazhakode, better known as vazhakodan :)

Salil Ibrahim said...

Dear Rasheedka,
Beautiful language..elegant style...It's a feast of amazing memories.Thank you very much for your efforts to keep it live and I believe it's truly worth it.

Mary Cherry said...

My Dear Sunny,
Great thought, great zeal and no doubt you've created a great feel!! So nostalgic!!
Its indeed a great tribute as far as I am concerned..You've been in the hearts of each and every teacher,each and every soul connected to the great Alma Mater!! You've been so good a student!! The best of BEST WISHES!!!

Mary Cherry Miss..


Hats off sir...awsome memory...i have got only a vague picture about my school days..where you potrait an entire school days with your beautiful words... Keep writing...