Thursday, March 31, 2011

Remembering Madam Rizwana Jaffery

Ma'am Rizwana Jaffery taught me English in Beaconhouse Jhelum in 1999. I was very weak in English. I feared the language. I would start sweating when ever some teacher would ask me to read a passage in English. She painstakingly taught me the language and made me what I am today. I remembered her during all my formative years. I also nurtured a wish to see her again. When I finally returned to my home, I started finding her whereabouts. I succeeded after some effort, but it was an effort worth it.
I wrote a letter to her and mailed it through registered post. The letter came back to me as the recipient has refused to receive it. I knew the reason. The word advocate written on a registered post is always meant to bring some bad and expensive news. I tore open the envelop and resend the letter in ordinary mail. I have just received a call from her. She sounded same as she used to sound some12 years ago. 
She was happy that someone remembered her. She has read the letter before a school meeting and also to her children. Here is the letter.     


Ma’am Rizwana Jaffery,

Many teachers have tried to teach me English during my academic life. Only you succeeded.
I remained a student of yours in Beaconhouse Jhelum in 1999. I was not a bright student then. I was not good in English. And participation in the class was a scary affair for me. I never got rid of these three problems during your tenure in the school, but you, I believe, instilled curiosity in me. That curiousity led to obsessive reading which led to many improvements.
The curiousity eliminated all my fears. I started writing prose and got a evening job in an English newspaper, merely on my language skills. I worked in the Daily Times and later in Express 24/7, before returning to Jhelum after I completed my LLB.
I wanted to thank you for making me what I am today, but no one had any idea about your whereabouts. I even contacted Beaconhouse Jhelum for a couple of times. They were of no help. The curiosity came to my rescue once again. One night when after I had updated my blog, I googled your name. There was a news report about a debate competition, presided over by you. I noted down the name of school and found its address.
I still have, with me, the English book, you used to teach us from. The book has remained a source of inspiration for me throughout my academic life. You have remained my mentor and will always remain so.

She is currently the principal of Beaconhouse Primary Branch, Peshawar Road, Rawalpindi. I went Rawalpindi just to meet her. She was so glad to see me. She served me a nice sumptuous tea and chatted for two hours. It was a day worth it.

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