Sunday, March 13, 2011

The teacher said...

Sometimes small things matter the most and even a few lines catch one's attention and make a point for the readers to ponder over. A few days back, I came across poetry of Mustafa Zaidi - a bureaucrat who had a sensitive heart. A man who felt things and had the courage to say even if it was to hurt him professionally.

Going through his last compilation of poetry, Koh-e-Nida, I came across something that stopped me right there and then. It was something that he wrote in 1969 and I just wondered how relevant it was even today. The small poem captioned "Teacher" is about the youth which even today find no jobs after completing their education and come back home every evening dis-hearted and dejected.

The plain translation of this poem goes something like this, wherein a teacher is addressing his students. The teacher says, “Oh my sons!! Do not see what you know, but see whom do you know.” Meaning by that It is not one’s qualification and intelligence that matters, it is one’s knowing of someone who can get him a job, even if the applicant is a fake and without any knowledge or qualification. 

And when I look around, and I find people with fake degrees making it to the institutions which are highly revered, my heart bleeds. Even my younger son remarked, "Was our state of affairs same even four decades ago?" And let me say I was speechless. I could not tell him that we are even worse than what we were in 1969.

Would we ever change?

Related Reading: Mustafa Zaidi - a literate poet (JahoJalal)


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