When I was a boy I always had this creepy feeling that someone stood guard on me all the time. Two to three times a week, my mother would ask me and my sisters to produce our school bags for inspection. She would examine the bag as soon as we returned home from school. The existence of any unfamiliar item prompted an inquiry. I remember once she found a pencil sharpener which she did not recognise as mine so she asked me about it. I explained that I had acquired it from a friend in exchange for a rubber and a ruler. The next day she visited my school to check on my story which was confirmed by my friend.
In January this year, I had the honour of meeting Air-Marshal (r) Asghar Khan at his residence in Islamabad. We got talking about old days and he narrated an incident which again provides much food for thought. He said he was on a round of the Pakistan Air Force Model School. His sons Omer Asghar (May Allah bless his soul) and Ali Asghar studied at the school and my mother also used to teach there. Everyone stood up as he entered the classroom where my mother was teaching. After a while, she asked the students to sit down. From the corner of the classroom a boy rushed to occupy his seat only to be rebuffed by the teacher, “Omer return to the corner and keep standing as you have been punished”.
The air marshal told me that he turned around and walked away from the class. End of the story. These are but a couple of instances from the past that I wish to share with the readers. How times have changed.