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.

 

 

 

The Highest point in life!

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Today’s Prompt: Pick up the nearest book and flip to page 29. What’s the first word that jumps off the page? Use this word as your springboard for inspiration.

Dear Life,

I have always dreamed of conquering the “highest summit” and as, a school girl, I used to admire the seniority of the college girls.

For me, the college was superior but when I reached University, I realized that I was still a student and to achieve the high rank in life, I had to put a lot of efforts.

I remember admiring my teachers and then you gave me a chance to teach my Alma mater not once but twice.

Yes, I taught in my school and then in the same college in which I have been taught. That was a prestigious position and that was a great achievement but after some time I realized that that was not my destination. It dawned on me that no matter what, I had to move forward in my life. So, today’s prompt remind me of all those decisions which I have made in my life.

Dear Life, I must admit that with all these opportunities in life, you have always remained kind to me.My typical human nature has never allowed me to remain contented in life. I have a passion to go higher, I have a desire to achieve my dreams and I’m enthusiastic about doing “impossible” in life.

My dear Life, you have taught me to take a step forward not backward.

So, keeping an eye on that “mountain peak”, I’m still moving forward and my thirst for conquering the highest peak in life has not been satiated.

And, here I am making a firm decision that despite all the obstacles I’ll never cease to move forward. I’ll never look back and like a valiant warrior I’ll keep on fighting and the day will come when I’ll ascend that distant “mountain peak”.

Thank you for all the sweet and bitter experiences. I have learned a lot from you.

Yours lovingly

(Image Courtesy: Google Image)

Story of a Rainy Day!

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The blue color sky was looking beautiful. The cold breeze was blowing and I was happy about the pleasant weather. But, I had no idea that that day was soon going to become an eventful day of my life.

On that day, I had a test and I was quickly getting through my notes, when I heard my mother. She was saying to my father to take me to my University.

My father is a relaxed man and it was early in the morning. So, he was naturally reluctant to go.
My mother was getting angry at him and before she could lose her temper, I intervened and proposed that they could take me to the University hostels and from there I and my friends would take rickshaw for our University.

At that timely interruption, my father took a sigh of relief and my mother gave him a harsh look.
At the hostel gates, I found my friends already waiting for me. By that time, I felt drops of water dropped on my face.

I looked above and saw the color of a sky. It was changing. It was a monsoon season and before we could reach rickshaw, the sky got tar black and it started to rain.
We quickly got into the rickshaw and the driver started it. The rain was getting heavier. The cars had turned their wipers on and they were moving with their full headlights.

The merciless clouds had spat out their beads of water and under such ruthless act of clouds, the streets got flooded and unfortunately in one of such street the rickshaw stopped. The driver tried to start his rickshaw, but he got failed.

A lot of time had already been wasted and we started to get worried about our test. I saw outside, the children were enjoying splashing water in a puddle. If it would be another time, I would also enjoy joining them but the time was just slipping away and at, that crucial hour, my mobile phone rang and to my great horror it was my mother.

She asked me whether I had reached my university and when I told her about our condition, she got worried and I heard strange noise on the other side of the phone.

I knew it was my mother getting angry at my father. So, I cut the call and started to pray for some miracle to happen and to my utter surprise; an old man came and offered us his help. I looked at my watch, it was 8:15 and the test was to be started at 8:30. So, without thinking we actually jumped in the car.
He was a kind man who took us to our University and when we saw the University gate, we got relaxed. But, when I stepped out of the car, I saw a pool of water at the entrance. We had no choice but to pass that pool of water.I was wearing my new and favorite shoes and with teary eyes, I stepped into that swimming pool of water.

There was a complete silence in the hall and only the scratching of pens on papers was audible there. Our, squeaky shoes informed everyone about our arrival and we quickly ran towards our seats. I put my shoes off and the water literally poured out of them.

The test went well and when, I came out of the hall, I saw my father was waiting for me.

Later, is a story which clarifies me that the woman still has a power in a house and to tell you a truth, my father never dared to say “No” to my mother again. 🙂

Dear friends, I was so heartbroken that I didn’t give a second look to my shoes. I actually threw them away in a store and to this day, I haven’t watched them. 🙂

A day of horrible experience!

ambulance

 

 

 

 

That roaring sound of sirens still reverberates in my ears. There was a scene of chaos. The ambulance drivers were constantly shouting and asking for space and I stood there quite petrified.

All we knew was that that there was a suicide attack near High court and as a result lots of police men were injured.

The High Court was quite near. So, as soon as the news broke out, all the students started to receive frantic calls from their homes. The classes got dismissed. We were told that buses were not likely to come. So, I and three of my friends decided to take rickshaw.

As I stepped outside from the University premises, I sensed the smell of horror in the air. Cars whizzed past us and everyone seemed to be in a hurry.

Soon, the sirens of ambulances added fear and anxiety to the scene. The paramedics were shouting, “Step aside. Clear the area.”  I can still recall their panic stricken voices. Those shouting human voices were enough to make me terrified.

My palms were sweating and my heart was racing. I could feel the strange sensation in my head and I was not able to comprehend the situation.

Soon, the traffic police came into action .In no time the road got cleared and the traffic was diverted.

An elderly man approached us and warned us that it was not safe for us to remain there. Terrified as we were, we turned back.

The roads were blocked and it was difficult for our parents to reach us. We had no choice but to wait. We remained there till evening when somehow the brother of my friend managed to come.

As, I reached home, my family took a sigh of relief. My mother was especially worried for me. My ordeal of the day finally got ended.

There is no denying the fact that that was a horrific experience and today while writing it down, I can find some great lessons hidden in it.

On that day my teacher was delivering us an important lecture. He was called outside by his colleague and was informed about the situation but he didn’t show any sign of anxiety and carried out with his lecture.

The traffic police man and those ambulance drivers all kept their nerves. They wholeheartedly fulfilled their duties.

On my way back to home, I saw young people standing outside the Hospital. They seemed eager in donating their blood.

Many police men died on that day and lots of them got injured.

Yes, there is a blood and horror in this narration but deep in this tale there exist a story of courage and bravery.  As, from my teacher to that lonely traffic policeman and from that ambulance driver to all those young people, there prevails a story of great sacrifice and courage.

My experience had taught me that they all performed their duty very well.I’d like to salute them all.

 

Thankful heart!

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I remember the time from my university days when I was so exhausted at the end of the day that I used to lumber towards my university bus and when I was about to climb up , I was greeted with the warm and gentle voice of our bus conductor. He used to say, ” Easy Ma’am,Be careful!”.

In fact, he was never tired of reminding us again and again to take our seats.

In the sweltering heat of blazing sun, that man of calm and cool demeanor appeared so satisfied that in those days I used to wonder that how a person could be so happy with that kind of tough job and meagre income.

It’s been six years now and the dust of time has erased many of my memories but that memory of my university bus is ineffaceable. With the passage of time, I have realized that the very secret of happiness of human nature lies in a fact of giving thanks to God for all his blessings.

Dear reader, the chaos in life is capable of creating a mess which gives birth to a confused state of human minds. These men, unaware of their destinations and goals are of no use to society but in the midst of all these disturbing ripples, there appears a ray of hope in the form of ordinary stories of such bus conductors.

Apparently, these common men possess nothing special but deep in their hearts their lies a priceless possession of a “great thankful gem”.

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough”
― Oprah Winfrey

I owe to that bus conductor whose thankful nature has taught me a great lesson of my life.

Have you ever encountered such ordinary people of great thankful heart?