Academic Excellence of Abdul Razzaq
I have already mentioned that I didn’t do well in studies in my early days in Petaro. Not that I was bad at studies but it was because of my inability to comprehend what was being taught to me in English. In all the tests which were held periodically, I was invariably in the list of last ten students. Something strange happened as we started off our studies in first year of intermediate science. The first monthly test was held and the result was posted on the college notice board.
I was not very keen to see the result which I already knew that I will be at the bottom as usual. Instead of finding out the results I headed to college library which was my favourite place. I must have been there for some fifteen minutes that I saw my friend (late) Naseer Qazi, kit no 248, Jinnah house, who came running to me.
“Congrats Razzaq; you have stood first”.
“What?” I said, not believing his word.
How could this be possible to jump over sixty boys and grab the top slot? I came running down to personally see the result. With the mixed reaction of surprise and excitement, everybody congratulated me. However, I noticed that my dormitory mate, Ghazanfar Ali, kit no 303, was not comfortable. He said to me that he didn’t believe the result and suspected some error in marks calculation or the computation. He was one of those three students including SP Shahid, kit no 332, Ayub house, and Khalid Aslam, kit no 453, Liaquat house, who would normally be in top three positions.
The next day he went to the office of vice Principal Syed Shaida Azeem, and asked him to have my papers rechecked. This action obviously annoyed me and in the heart of my heart I was also visibly shaken. But when the result was reconfirmed, Ghazanfar had no choice but to congratulate me. I was already upset on his complaint and so I threw a challenge to him, and told him that the game was not over and it had actually just begun. If he thought that the result was manipulated, he should get ready for the next test and that I would beat him hollow again. We were living in the same dormitory. Both of us studied hard to ensure dominance over the other. When the result of next test was announced, I stood first again. SP Shahid and Khalid Aslam congratulated me but Ghazanfar didn’t.
“Get ready for the third test and I bet I will beat you again”, I told him.
And as usual I won again. By now he had realized and had accepted my remarkable progress in academics, and so we became friends again.
Academic Excellence of Abdul Razzaq
From that day on everybody acknowledged that I had remarkably improved in my studies. But how did it happen? I attribute this phenomenal change as a result of my interaction with Col. Coombes when I had fallen ill, which had turned out to be a bliss rather than a curse for me. Col Coombe taught me the basics of English through the game of scrabble which had given me enormous confidence not only in English as a language but in other subjects which were also taught in English. I was a rejuvenated boy now with all handicaps removed. But I must say that I was quite impressed by SP Shahid who not only maintained his consistency in studies by remaining at the top, he had shown excellence in sports and all other spheres of our day-to-day activities.
Fortunately, I was able to stand first (among our class in Petaro) in the intermediate board examination and I was decorated with an award at the time of passing out from cadet college Petaro. It was an honour which I cherish till date. And more so, as I had to work hard and had to climb up the ladder from bottom rung to the top. This honour didn’t come to me handy on a platter.