Salaam, Everybody,

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By the Grace of ALLAH we have been together for a whole year. I started with posts about teaching English. People didn’t seem much interested in that series of posts.

In April I switched over to the autobiographical note. Gradually people started taking interest in my brief narratives. By now the readership of my English posts averages around 50 a day. Quite encouraging, by Pakistani standards at least.

My purpose is to give you a small dose of good English everyday. Shall I keep it up ? Any suggestions for improvement, if you feel I should continue ?  2 January 2017

THANKS, THANKS, THANKS all around !!!!

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I never knew so many people were interested in my English posts. Your hearty response to my last night’s post is a real BIG SURPRISE for me. It seems my pains were not in vain. 
Yes, InshaALLAH, I’ll keep up writing for you. Some of you have offered suggestions. I have noted the suggestions and will try to accommodate them as much as possible. Some people have asked me to “teach”. Well, I’m already doing exactly that, you see. Each post adds something to your knowledge of vocabulary, phrase and sentence structure. That is all you need to know to speak and write good English. 
As suggested by a friend I shall sometimes ask you questions about the people and events that I have mentioned in my previous posts. 
For late arrivals, who haven’t seen my previous posts, tomorrow I’ll name a link. A website named Mianwali Mianwalians is uploading my previous English posts. For that I’m thankful to Mr Sher Bahadur Khan Niazi, the owner of that website. 3 January 2017

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Leaving Gordon College just a couple of months before the Intermediate Examination was a sad set-back in my academic career. More were to follow.

To please my dying mother, I had to marry in a hurry. And so I did. But the greatest misfortune was still to come. Mother passed away as I was mid-way through the examination. I gave up the examination. It took me quite some time to recover from the shock, for my Ammi was the whole world for me. – 4 January 2017

I appeared in the examination next year. Government College, Mianwali (present Governmemt College for Women) was my examination centre. I stayed in the canal colony with my brother’s friend, Fateh Khan Salar.

One Sunday evening, coming back to Mianwali by the Multan-bound train, the two middle fingers of my right hand were badly crushed, as a passenger getting off at Pai Khel station pulled the door shut. 
Bhai Fateh Khan rushed me to the hospital. The doctor dressed the injured hand with Iodex bandage. 
In those days there were no quick-fix pain-killers. So the slow healing Iodex ointment was all I could get. I had a sleepless night, writhing and groaning with pain.5 January 2017

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In spite of the persistent pain in my right hand, I didn’t like to skip my paper next morning. In those days there was no concession to appear in the Supplementary Examination. A student failing in one compulsory or elective subject had to repeat all the papers in the next annual examination.

So I decided to write my paper with the left hand. It was Civics paper, and I was quite well-prepared for it. But trying to write with the left hand didn’t work. I just couldn’t write.

With tears in my eyes, I looked at the mangled right hand. I tried to hold the pen, but found it impossible to grip the pen. The tears now flowing down my cheeks, I stood up, handed over the blank paper to the teacher on duty, and rushed out of the examination hall.

Thus I lost another year of my academic progress. 
The only support that saved me from a collapse was my faith in ALLAH. – 6 January 2017

ISLAMABAD, January 6, 2017

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My son, Prof Muhammad Akram Ali Malik,
The 4-Day Conference was inaugurated by the Prime Minister of Pakistan on January 5, 2017. 
The President of Pakistan will preside over the last session on January 8, 2017
It is the fourth international literary conference in Pakistan. The
third was held in 1988, 29 years back. – 7 January 2017

And so it took me 4 years to pass the Intermediate Examination. Soon after that I got my first teaching job as a temporary English teacher at Government High School, Daudkhel. By the Grace of ALLAH I did very well in that capacity. I soon became popular as a competent English teacher.

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Two years later I passed the BA Examination. By that time I had decided to make teaching my permanent career, I,therefore, got admission to the BEd class at Central Training College, Lahore.

I have already told you quite a lot about my performance at Central Training College in my previous post. So my coming posts will be about some of my other experiences and observations..  7 January 2017

Now don’t be surprised if I tell you I too have been in love. Yes, I have been ardently in love with two, not one. My beloveds (you may be disappointed to know) are music and tea.

When I was in Gordon College I spent most of my spare time at Cafe Zam Zam, a neat little tea shop at the back of the college. The shop served not just tea. The owner, Maskeen Khan, had a superb collection of film songs which he kept playing one by one on his gramophone.

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After the college hours I would sometimes walk to Gowalmandi across the Leih Bridge (نالہ لئی کا پل) and stop at a corner tea stall named Muzammil Hotel. The place was my favourite haunt for the superb quality of tea. Baba, the proprietor of the hotel was also a folk singer. I sometimes found him singing with the help of his harmonium. 9  January 2017

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On Sundays I would leave my home on Murree Road around 10 am, and turn right at Committee Chowk. Walking along Trunk Bazar I would reach Fawwara Chowk. Thence I would turn left onto the City Saddar Road, and go across Seerhiyan Wala Pul (سیڑھیاں والا پل) near the railway station. On the other side of the bridge there was a small tea shop at a corner of the Railway Road. I visited that shop specially to listen to film Shireen Farhad’s nostalgic song
گذرا ھؤا زمانہ آتا نہیں دوبارہ ، حافظ خدا تمہارا —- لتا منگیشکر
This seemed to be the owner’s favourite song as well, for the gramophone in the shop was constantly playing it. After two or three runs of that song I would take my way back home.10  January 2017

Salaam, Everybody,

My way back home from Railway Road was not the same as my way thither. At Fawwara Chowk I would go straight ahead into Raja Bazaar, the biggest shopping center in Pindi at that time.
Not much in length, Raja Bazaar was the widest bazaar in Pakistan, almost twice as wide as Lahore’s Anarkali. It never looked crowded.

Vehicles were not allowed to enter the bazaar. To speak the truth (amazing though it may seem), there were not many vehicles in Pindi of those days. The number of cars, I’m sure, was hardly more than 50. I know that because I lived in a house near Committee Chowk on Murree Road. The windows of our first floor house gave on to the Murree Road. So I spent most of my time at home watching the traffic. The traffic was so sparse you could easliy walk across the road at any time. 11 January 2017

Salaam, Everybody.


Now you can see all my English as well as Urdu posts consolidated under the single link given below:


The link gives you access to my
English posts from April, 2016 to January, 2017
Urdu posts from February, 2016 to November, 2016
Madam Prof Nusrat Niazi’s book about my life and works is also available at this link.

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We owe this facility to Mr Sher Bahadur Khan Niazi, creator and manager of  –12 January 2017

Salaam, Everybody,

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I worked as a teacher in Government High School, Daudkhel for about 4 years. I had only two classes a day. I taught English to Class Six and Class Eight.

Most of the teachers in the school had been my teachers when I was a student of that school a few years back. It was, therefore, embarrassing for me to sit with them as an equal. By nature too I was a shy young man, so I avoided their presence, though they all gave me due regard as a colleague.
In the classes I was master of myself. My command of the language enabled me teach with confidence. My teachers were happy to know that.  
13 January 2017

Salaam, Everybody,

My elder brother, Malik Muhammad Anwar Ali, was my first boss. He was Headmaster of Government High School, Daudkhel. He was a role model for teachers. He taught English to Class Ten. He never missed his class. He always reached the school well in time. He was a democratic administrator. He consulted his staff in policy matters, and welcomed nice suggestions. I was too junior to be a part of his advisory council. Anyway, he was pleased with my performance as a teacher.He remained Headmaster of that school for 30 years. –14  January 2017

Salaam, Everybody,

After getting admission to BEd class, I had to resign from my job at Government High School, Daudkhel. My students gave me a tearful farewell. The students of Class Nine were particularly sentimental, because I had been teaching them since they were in Class Six. There were about 40 students in that class. I got heaps of letters from them in Central Training College, Lahore. Some of the students wrote to me in English.

I still miss my days as a teacher in Daudkhel. It was there that I realized my worth as a teacher, and chose teaching as my permanent career. 16  January 2017

Me, January 17, 2017

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Salaam, Everybody,

When the BEd result came out, I started looking around for a job. A friend told me that the school in Makerwal needed an English Teacher. He offered to accompany me to Makerwal, and introduce me to the Headmaster. I thankfully accepted the offer. We reached Makerwal the same evening.

The Headmaster, Mr Shafiqur Rahman Minhas, welcomed me.
He spoke to the administrator, and got me appointed the same day.  
17January 2017

Salaam, Everybody,

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Makerwal is famous for coal mines. It is situated in the northwest of Kamar Mushani in Mianwali District. The school is situated in the housing colony for employees of coal mines. The Senior Mining Engineer used to be the administrator of the mines and the colony. The school was managed by the Mines Welfare Department under the Government of Punjab.

My appointment was a temporary job for two months. At the expiry of this period I was to be selected for permanent appointment through an interview at the office of the Secretary, Minerals Department.

There were also a few other candidates besides me, but I got selected. My stay at that school was, however, not long. I worked there for just four months, till I got a permanent job in the Education Department as Headmaster at Government Middle School, Thathi. 18 January 2017

Salaam, Everybody,

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I preferred the job at the school in Thathi because it was better paid than my job at Makerwal. Here I was paid Rs 220/- per month.
Now, please stop smiling. Rs 220/- in those days was quite a reasonable amount of money. A rupee could get you 4 cups of tea at any roadside tea stall or so-called hotel. Sugar was 4 rupees a kilo. Similarly everything else was available at easily affordable price.

Thathi school was a newly upgraded middle school. Earlier, it was a primary school. I was its first Headmaster after up-gradation.

(Picture by my ex-student, Zaka Ullah)-19 January 2017

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