Desi Back to Desh

Between airports, airplanes and transit lounges

Sami Mustafa – one

1983…I went to a Parsi school. There it is out there and out of my system. It gave me a solid footing as an individual and put me in care of teachers who changed my life. I found friends who have stayed with me in thick and thin and to whom I still turn to when I am down and out. I remember being happy, at time mean, at times ugly. They remember nicer shades of my personality, memories that even I have forgotten. I still look back at strolls through 150 year old corridors, getting on G-3 to head back home from Regal Chowk and Dina M. Mistri, our principal, asking me if I was really sure this is what my religion stood for.

BVS Parsi High School, on main Abdullah Haroon Road, right next to the electronic market and bang in the middle of the madness that is Saddar, made me the person I am today.

I wanted nothing less for Amin…

2003…Fast forward 20 years and the simple wish of a father to bring the best out in his son is easier said than done. All the teachers that I knew made their mark on our destinies and moved on to the school that Allah Mian keeps in the heavens above for them. Mrs. Khan, Sir Azizullah, Hashmi Sahib, Sir Hussain, Mr. Khan… there is not even a single familiar face at the graceful stone structure on Abdullah Haroon that was witness to my first fist fight, my first heartbreak, my white prefect uniform…

Fawzia and I go around town doing a round of schools. KGS is out. I have so many biases and prejudices against that school that it is not even funny; there is only so much that Dina M. Mistri could fix in my four short years at her school. We see Foundation, Head Start, Army Public, St Pats and then one morning we walk into Center for Advance Studies, CAS, KG section.

A small bunglow in Rohail Khand society, ivy creepers on the garage door, 12 children in a corner dancing away with the wind, a creative movement teacher with an odd mix of pride, bliss and care on his loving face and the child inside my heart is instantly at peace. I want to go to school here, a little voice whispers…

This was four years ago. Four years with Sami Mustafa and his school and I am sure, I have found the Dina M. Mistri of my generation. The only thing missing is Mrs. Mistri’ cane but the love, the openness and the care I remember from BVS are all around me. Amin is happy, confident, at times a bit reckless like his father, surrounded by his friends, learning and growing. He already has had his first heartbreak and survived. This is his school…









One Response to “Sami Mustafa – one”

  • Jehan says:

    Hey Jawwad, you make me want to go back to school again! Seriously though, this post of yours brought back so many memories of my own school days – teachers who inspired, classmates who were compatriots in crime, memorable debates, working long hours on the school magazine, taking part in plays and all in all learning from every rich experience that the school provided. It is those early days that are responsible for who we become later on in life – yup the blame lies with them! :-)

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