He was just back from his Germany trip and like any 21 year old he was happy as hell for the all cost paid trip !
Its was his project on low cost water purifier .It was selected by UN for sponsorship and that how shanty went to Germany.I was happy for the progress he made .Felt contented for hours of lecture i used to give shanty on his engg project and studies .
“Dada , Germany is awesome” , I felt very proud when shanty told me this .
it reminded of his similar statement , “Dada , Wake up … we need to start the class” !
Giving tuition wasn’t really a fun thing to do while in 9th class .
But it was nice feeling to be able to earn 200 bucks at that age . That’s exactly how much I was paid for teaching my 2 pupils . Maths , language and DI that’s what i would teach . Call it mini version of CAT .We had to pass that exam for qualifying to govt scholarship . My having stood in merit for that in 4th class made me an obvious candidate for giving guidance to juniors in town.
Shantanu wasn’t actually a junior seeking advise from me . He was a bright student in his class , his father knew it . It was him who convinced me to give tuition to shanty .
And what a class it was …….. a 15 year old kid teaching two 8 year olds 🙂 . Not that i was a bad teacher but there would be times where the age factor would show up . At times they would quarrel with me over the punishment I gave . Other times there would be them .. my 2 students standing near my bed at 7 am and trying to wake me up for the class to begin ! Of course Iwould start with the subject even without brushing my teeth .
And it showed ….. shantunu got the merit too . I was glad and so was his father . I was already possessive over shantanu by then and i would debate with his dad on why Shantanu should stay in town and not join Navoday school .
Mr patahk passed away the month after . And Novoday which was an option became necessity for Shantanu .
Yassen was a man of fine taste . Lean body , sharp features , jet back hairs and an overwhelming sense of humor added to his charm . I would often loose sense of time when he would open his pitara of stories … Stories of common man , at times stories from Islamic legends and most often it would be caricature and mimicry of people around us . He loved to mock unpolished ,cocky ways of vidharbhian villagers .
It used to go on for hours and that was our first introduction to startling mix of oratory and stand up comedy . I now realize how deftly he did mix facts with imagery , Shakespearean quotes and shades of his secular sufi Islamic philosophy . Its this last specialty that made me at home at his house in India of babri masjid/1992 . What used to attract us most were times when , he engrossed in his wizardry would forget our ages and go “adult” in his language . That was fun ,although some of my “good boy” friends used to find that irritating , i used to adore him for that frankness . Except may be the frequent clearing of through he would do .
We used to advise him many cures for that . From gulping cumin seed drink to Benedryl to homeopathy , he tried them all and almost become an expert in it . Occasionally he too would express sadness over it .
It was his dream to do a public show of his comedy story telling . He wanted to enthrall all of the town and villageers around … in that one show he would do . It was quite uncommon for an English teacher in Urdu school . But that was yaseen ,he was the most proficient and fluent person in English in my town n around and my English teacher .
Funny thing is I learnt more Urdu at his home than English . Not that I would understood Ghalib and Amir khusro at that age but my progress had already happened to being literate in Urdu and do poems in it . “I want you to elect Urdu instead of Marathi in your board exams , I want to prove it to the world that its not language of Muslims but every Indian ” , he used to tell me often. Aleef , Be , Te … i went ..
It inspired me ! I had nearly convinced my parents for that and was looking forward to get in to 9th class to see that dream fulfill the year next .
And what a decision that was , my first big decision in life then .. It thrilled me as i left my town for my long summer vacation at my relatives in UP . ……… It was like doing something big or it felt like that in that age .
I would practice urdu every day there and was elated when i could demonstrate me reading all the signboard in amina bazar of lucknow . So much fun it was being in a diff sate and having diff skill … Urdu !!
Back home Raza sir was diagnosed throat cancer . People tried their best ..but He succumb to it immediately …
i could never fulfill his dream of passing 10th with urdu elective…….. while the legacy of poetry continues ..
………… Shanty is doing his final year Engineering now . Lean body , sharp features , jet back hairs and an cute sense of humor adds to his charm ….
Life goes on .. and so does the story of a student .. death and success..