Goodbye, Mr. Chips

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When my cousin who’s about to complete his University expressed his dislike for James Hilton’s Goodbye Mr.Chips, I became defensive and wasted no time in suggesting that story is not that much boring and while we were busy sharing our thoughts, my uncle who himself read this story in his intermediate course intervened and also showed his lack of interest about the atmosphere in Mr. Chips.

It’s been thirty years that Mr. Chips is a part of intermediate course in my country and for some time a debate is going about removing it from syllabus.

Mr. Chips is a story of a school teacher about which it’s said that Hilton created this character after his father.

Originally written in 1934, the story is adapted into cinemafilms and two television presentations.

When some people are of the view that it should be removed and replaced by some modern tale, my mind takes me back to the time when our teacher would ask one of us to read a chapter from Mr. Chips and later she would translate it in Urdu for us.

At the end of lecture we were asked to prepare notes from guide books.

It was her way of teaching literature and this is the common way in which the novella is taught to our students in colleges.

Eminent Professor Bhem Singh Dihya from India always reminds his students that literature is a study of life and we cannot study Mr.Chips without establishing its connection with life.

In life, we often meet persons like Mr. Chips. They’re ordinary in appearances but they possessed some some special qualities.

Hilton’s character Mr. Chips knew how to teach languages and with this quality, he succeeded in leaving strong impact upon generation of students in his time.

Mr. Chips was a sincere soul and as a teacher, he did hardwork to achieve a high status at a Brookfield school.

How can we say that the world of Mr. Chips has grown old when themes of sincerity and hardwork towards one’s job are still relevant in our society of 2018?

Another criticism which is put forward by the opponents of this story is about love affair of Mr. Chips. They consider Katherine and Chips relation dull and boring.

Unlike modern tale of Twilight series, the love affair of Katherine and Chips was such that there’s lack of show of emotions in it but the reader needs to study the underlying theme in this love story of Katherine and Chips.

Katherine’s influence changed not only chauvinistic attitude of Mr. Chips but also altered him in a way that he became more effective teacher in a class.

How can we consider such kind of love dull when its influence alters personality to that much extent?

It somehow takes me back to 2008 when suicide attacks were common in country.  Once it happened that while we were in class a suicide blast killed dozens of policemen near our University. Confusion erupted among students and phones started to ring immediately. Other teachers informed our Professor but he continued giving his lecture.

Our minds were so occupied with the situation outside that we didn’t grasp a thing from his lecture.

Now, there’s a scene in Hilton’s story where Mr. Chips in the midst of bombing not only kept on teaching Latin but also carried on cracking jokes so to divert the attention of frightened students in his class.

Our teacher on that day in our University class didn’t try to calm us down. He only wanted to complete his lecture and though he succeeded in doing so, he unlike Mr. Chips failed to leave any impact upon his students.

When my cousin is of the view that reading Mr. Chips is a mere waste of time, I’m of the opinion that it’s not the time to say good bye to Mr. Chips. Literature never gets old. It can’t be associated with certain time period and keeping this in view we still can learn a lot from Mr. Chips.

 

 

 

Final adieu..

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That final adieu was painful and yet I tried to forget everything but life without him was hard. In those days when I was depressed, my father encouraged me to take some decision.

I tried again and this time I was successful for once I took freedom from past and future also, I found solace in life.

 


Written for  Three Line Tales, Week 136

A letter from past

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August 10, 1983

My dearest daughter Amanda,

Hope you and your mother will be doing good and summer would have subsided there. It’s also possible that it would be raining and you out of your habit will be taking a shower and playing in rain.

I miss you a lot especially the way you used to get angry with me and your small words, I miss everything.

I know you can’t write now but can ask your mother to sometimes write letters to me.

Ok my love

Lots of prayers and love for you and your mother and don’t forget grandpa loves you.

 

 

 

Glad to have routine in life

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It’s seven in the morning and sitting at my favorite spot in drawing room, I’m thinking that at times it feels good to get back in routine.

There are school going kids at home and it’s my duty to make breakfast and lunch for them but with the extra holiday on Friday, this weekend was quite relaxed, it was a long weekend. Somehow, I got relaxed too and on Sunday I woke up round eight thirty in the morning which for me was quite late.

Getting relax on weekend feels good but after spending some time in laziness, it feels equally good to get back in routine on Monday.

This space in drawing room is my favorite, it’s quite secluded from rest of home and the thing which I like most about it is a clear view of sky from window here. On the other side of street, there are shades of dull winter sun on the front wall of double story home. It’s been more than two hours that sun is up, yet, I’m not able to see shimmer of yellow rays on the familiar tree upon which I observed the effect of early morning sun a month ago.

Perhaps in sky above the winter sun is still busy yawning.

Life feels joyous when we get chance to take a breath outside the monotony of daily routine but there also exist beauty in systematic life. Nature with all its grandeur is a manifestation of this very fact of life.

This morning when my alarm went off at five forty five, I was reluctant to leave the bed and lying under my warm blanket, I was doing nothing but was busy killing time when I heard the sweet melody of little black sparrow outside window of my room.

Now, the windows of the house located on the back of my home have some space on their outer ledges which this bird has intelligently used for its living. It won’t care for Sunday or Monday, for the bird is an early riser. This morning hearing its sweet melodious sound made me embarrassed, I thought if a bird can wakes up this early than why can’t I.

Today, I’m feeling good getting back in routine. I’m happy to wake up early in morning. I’m pretty sure this is going to leave positive effect on my mood this day.

Well, for me routine is good. Do you feel the same for yourself?

My travel story

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In my childhood when roads were not good the journey towards my native city was long. In those days Motorway was not constructed and eight to ten hours of journey through grand trunk or GT road (South Asia’s oldest and longest major roads) left my parents exhausted. On the other hand we children remained energetic for the mere idea of meeting with cousins and uncles kept us excited.

With time lot has been changed but my nostalgic feelings towards my city and late grandma’s house remained same.

It’s been some time that we wanted to take break from our monotonous hectic routines and this past week when our parents decided to arrange a trip to Attock, I and my sisters got excited.

It was early in the morning when we started our journey.

Province of Punjab is known for it green fields and as we were travelling between its two cities, we saw many beautiful scenes.

After every ten to twenty kilometers, I very much liked to stop and wanted to capture pictures of every scene but my mother reminded me that it would slow down our speed for at home the lunch was ready and every one was anxiously waiting for us.

In golden gleam of October sun, the road ahead was shining. I saw many villages where farmers were busy working in their fields while their cattle were enjoying eating food.

I saw workers along the road were busy in painting tree trunks white. At that time I didn’t understand but later I came to know they were doing this to protect tree bark from splitting and cracking.

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While the car was travelling on Motorway, I captured this image. White painted trees are visible in this picture.

After four hours we left Motorway and covered rest of the distance through GT road.

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I like this canopy of green leaves. The road ahead was looking neat.
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Sitting in front of car my mother kept on reminding me that my phone was not good to capture images but when I saw these horses and couldn’t resist capturing this picture.

This year on August 6, while writing a post on my blog,  I unconsciously mentioned my desire to observe reflection of sunlight in sea and this past week when I visited Attock river, I captured this effect of sunlight in water.

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I was happy and amazed for this picture is very near to the picture I saw somewhere on internet.

My favorite moment of family gathering is moment of picnic. We were some thirty people who went to river Attock and to river Haro on two different days.

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On that bright day the sun was shining. In the pictures the river looks calm but due to its unpredictable level it was dangerous to go near.

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On that day, I didn’t wear my joggers and in order to cross this mountain of sand, I took off my sandals. Sand was warm but I enjoyed my walk.

This is an old Attock bridge that was built in 1883 during English rule in subcontinent. The upper level of bridge is still in use for train movement. It’s been some time that the lower level of bridge is not in use for heavy traffic but still motorbikes and cycles from nearby villages use this bridge.

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While we were getting ready for picnic, we heard the sound of tain. I immediately got hold of my phone and tried to make small video on my phone.

What you give is what you get. We waved hands at the passengers in train. They looked grateful and waved back at us.

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Sitting on a rock, I particularly enjoyed feeling the sensation of cold water on my feet.

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While looking at the foamy waves of water, I silently thanked God for making the world beautiful.

Attock Fort is an important historical place which was built during Akbar reign from 1581 to 1583.

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In this picture the outer wall of Attock fort is visible. It’s been a long time that visitors are not allowed to go inside.

It’s been some time that I read somewhere that a person who don’t know about his family roots is not confident in practical life. I have myself experienced that whenever I get a chance to meet with my extended family, I feel myself fresh and more confident.

I’m grateful to God Almighty for this blessing of beautiful blood relations in my life.

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Lost and found

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It’s been three weeks in new home and today my sister after getting tired of continuously requesting everyone to find her diaries finally decided to take her own responsibility and got succeeded.

My sister is in ninth grade and it’s been a long time that she’s in a habit of writing her favorite quotes and thoughts in her diary. In these past days when everyone was busy and no one was ready to help her, I could feel restlessness on her face.

Now, she being younger at home always counts on us to solve her problems. As she’s getting older, we’re trying to make it sure that she takes her own responsibility and today I took a sigh of relief when she found her diaries in a drawer placed in store. She can also lose her temper easily. I tried hard to make her clear that while shifting when some thirty five boxes are involve, such minor incidents can happen but she was not ready to listen anything and was of the view that in any case it was I who put them there and forget about them.

Well, all’s well that ends well and while writing it; I’m also silently praying that she could also learn to press her uniform.

Yes, I’m the one at home whom she thinks is responsible of pressing her uniform 🙂

A note in diary

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My dreams of getting married to a prince charming got shattered the day when my quiet nature husband entered in my life. I was young and in those early days of my marriage being lively, I was expecting him to show same kind of emotions but when he didn’t speak much, it made me angry. In those moments of my severe anger, he would simply smile and preferred to read books in his library.

With the passage of time; I started developing feelings of hatred for his books. To this day, I can’t believe how could I thought in that way but on that morning when I entered in library with the aim to hide his books, I saw his diary was placed on desk. I knew it was wrong but curiosity engulfed my mind and with the strange feelings of discovering an unknown land, I started reading his diary.

Previous night, he was writing

“Anna, my love of life is young and naïve. I don’t know what sort of love is this but I like her more when she fights with me. I don’t know how to express but I love her a lot…”

As my lips curled in a smile, a tear fell from my eye.

It’s been a while and today I know life is not a fairy-tale. Brian is still a man of quite nature but I don’t complain much for I know if he cares about me then he sure loves me.


This post is in response to Sunday Photo Fiction – October 9th 2016 by Sunday Fiction

 

Granny: my Fairy godmother

On hearing that she looked like a pink rose, Granny would smile her trade-mark smile.

She loved to remain active and when other women spend their time in gossiping, Granny preferred to remain in kitchen.

Those were some interesting circumstances in which our first interaction took place.  After two weeks of my marriage, my husband called me from office and told me that he was bringing some guests for dinner. I was inexperienced in cooking and on receiving that news, I started crying. Granny lived next to my house, and on hearing me crying like a child, she at once took responsibility of preparing dinner for me.

I remember, everything in her home was clean and it won’t be an exaggeration if I’ll write that her kitchen was sparkling. I saw her pantry and comparing it with my own at home, I felt ashamed of myself. Milk, spices, nuts and boxes were placed in such an order that even a blind person could find them easily. On that day, I not only learned how to cook but I also learned the importance of keeping things in order.

It’s been a while and these days when Granny is ill, I’m not only sending her flowers but also sending her this picture of my pantry.

I know, on receiving these gifts she would smile her trade-mark smile.


This post is in response to FFfAW Challenge – Week of October 11, 2016 by Priceless JoyThanks Maria for providing this beautiful image.

Selfless- service

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Ours was a group in class, who never showed interest in studies and the day our teacher’s daughter died, imagining a day-off from Mathematics we took a sigh of relief but when we were busy in chatting and enjoying ourselves, the classroom door opened and the weary face of our teacher appeared.

On that day he was coming straight from graveyard and when one of his colleagues asked him to take a leave; he broke into tears and said,

“Perhaps this act of mine would make God happy and He’ll make home for my daughter in Paradise.”


(Above story is an inspiration from a real life event which I read in a book of a civil servant.)

This post is in response to Three Line Tales, Week Thirty-Six by SONYA. Picture for this week’s challenge is provided by  Mike Wilson.

 

A fun filled day

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There’s a scene in a Home Alone movie where the family members after getting late from their flight were shown running on airport. Today, we were not on airport but when mother was worried about cooking food and I and my sister needed to get shoes; on entering mart in order to save time, we all three were mentally prepared for running.

It was twelve in the noon when we left home for market. Father wanted to have food prepared for some colleagues in his office and to make some special dish, mother needed to get chicken and vegetables for kitchen.

The shoe shop was on the way to mart and though, time was short, I and my sister also accompanied mother. First my sister bought some canvas shoes for her college. Now, she’s never satisfied and takes long in choosing shoes and when after spending some twenty minutes she finally chose her shoes, I and my mother took a sigh of relief.

Later, on entering mart we grab hold of trolley and noticing the presence of people, we dropped the idea of running and opted for brisk walking.

At one moment, when I and my mother were moving trolley, I asked my sister to lend a hand but she being a medical student refused saying that it seemed as if some orderlies are moving stretcher in hospital.

Nonetheless, I admired her foresightedness.

In normal circumstances mother like a stroll in park prefer to spend some time in observing things in mart but today when the clock was ticking fast, we all three took hold of bags and started putting vegetables in them.

The scene was something like this, I was asking, “Where’re cucumbers?” and my sister getting panicked was saying, “I can’t find coriander!” and then we both helping each other running to get our desired vegetables.

Today, it felt as if the counter boy was not willing to work and escalators appeared as if they were not moving at all.

Back at home, I helped my mother and when the clock struck two p.m. the food was ready to serve.

With lots of running, it was a day full of fun and excitement and right now when I’m recalling the events of this day, I’m convinced that we need not to waste our time in searching for happiness, for these are little moments and unexpected events that can bring laughter in our lives.

(I and my sister preferred different shoe shops and on the way back home, I also got shoes for myself 🙂  )