Beware of Barbarians
Posted by Haris Gulzar on July 13, 2010
One of the reasons I came to Karachi earlier was to attend this re-union of Sunbeams Grammar School, and obviously to see my old buddies. Sunbeams Grammar school is the place I did my 3rd, 4th and 5th grades from and left the school in 1994. The last time I came to this school was in 1998 when I came to see my best friends during recess time. It had been 12 years since I visited this place again.
It probably is unexplainable how I felt to be back to the place I seriously think made me who I am today. This school enabled me to face the world and to stand on my feet. The school itself hadn’t changed much though. I easily recalled my class rooms. The front area where we used to have our Assembly, the long walkways where we used to crowd during recess times. It was just so nostalgic. I even met the head mistress of the school and I’m not sure if she recognized me or not but the way she greeted me was friendly enough to make me feel she recalled my face. Our sports teacher, as soon as he saw me, said he remembered my face but didn’t remember my name. My friend took me to a couple of teachers as well but unfortunately I couldn’t recognize them.
We were also shown a picture story of Sir Aleem and Sir Nusrat, our English and Mathematics teachers respectively. They both had passed away. I do remember Sir Nusrat but Can’t forget Sir Aleem at all. He was probably the strongest pillar of Sunbeams. As someone mentioned there, he was just like a coconut, harder from outside but softer from inside. His loud voice saying “Keep quiet everyone” would just make all of us shiver. 1994 it was when I was in class 5, our class was making a lot of noise when Sir Aleem came to our class, asked each of us to stand and make a line and march towards the assembly area. The boys were made to knot their ties on their foreheads, and a board was put in front of us that read “Beware of Barbarians”. I’d probably never ever forget that day, not because we were scolded and punished, but because the person who punished us is not amongst us today. If it matters me saying this, I really miss Sir Aleem.
One of my seniors, who was from my brothers batch saw me and immediately recognized me. I mean, it sort of amazed me as well, but he had good memory. A few students who couldn’t attend the re-union had sent emails that were read out loud on stage. Another friend of mine had commented about Sunbeams that it is a garden without a rose, and I just can’t agree more with this statement. Sunbeams Grammar School is no doubt a garden, something that spreads beauty, but is without a rose, the most beautiful of all flowers. That’s what Sir Aleem was to Sunbeams Grammar School. Another friend read out the following lines that he wrote at that very moment.
“Whenever on a cold winter afternoon, nostalgia hits me, Sweet memories of Sunbeams will cuddle me just for a while, and tears will come along to support my smile”.
This Sunday night was a night filled with memories. Memories that mean a lot more when you’re with your best buddies and recalling old days, and its even greater when your friends also recall the same event as accurately as you do. I wouldn’t have actually come to this reunion had my friend not motivated me enough, and now I just love my friend to have told me about this event and to motivate me to attend it. I just wish I didn’t have to leave my school that early. I just wish I stayed in contact with my teachers and obviously my school. I just wish…