First Dose Of Scrabble

Scrabble Word Finder

Learning Scrabble

Scrabble Word Finder

It is not impossible but it is quite hard for a young boy of fifteen, to be away from his family for a longer period of time extending beyond six months. That was even harder particularly during early sixties when the source of communication was almost negligible and was to the extent of only letters delivered through conventional system of post offices.  It was in 1964 that I fell ill and had high temperature which was getting unmanageable.  The head of college dispensary, Doctor Jan Muhammad Abbasi, diagnosed it as mumps with swollen throat.  He also advised that since this was a contagious disease which could be communicated to others through human contact, I should be admitted in dispensary. Here I was kept in isolation ward.  The pain was severe. Isolation ward made it still worse.

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I couldn’t cry loudly but I had tears in my eyes not knowing what was going to happen to me and I wished my parents would have been here to console at the time of my distress. On that evening I was surprised to see Col. Coombes in my room.  He had brought some candies and biscuits for me. Gently caressing me, he said:

“I was told by the doctor that you were ill so I have come all the way to see you and wish you a quick recovery. Also I have instructed the doctor and his team to look after you.”

Scrabble Word Finder

I noticed that he was talking very slowly and using simple English words and was making sure that I was getting along with him. My thoughts were that perhaps he was doing it so because he knew that I had difficulty in understanding him during my interview for college admission.

“I want to go home. Please call my parents to take me home”. I said to him with tears in my eyes.

He embraced me and tried to cool me down:

“Don’t worry about anything.  I will call your parents also but you can treat me like your father in their absence. Will make sure that you get the best treatment. I have also instructed the mess manager for extra diet of your choice.  I will personally come to see you daily. And take my word. I will do everything that will make you comfortable here.”

I had never thought that an Englishman could be so affectionate.  His words relieved me of my anxiety and my worries and I tried to compose myself like a good boy.

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Scrabble in Pakistan

He took out a scrabble board from his bag and put it on my bed.

“How about playing a game of scrabble with me? This is a game of making words through seven tiles that you will pick randomly from the bag containing a total of hundred tiles.  It’s a fun. I will teach you how to play, and let’s start.”

I had never heard of this scrabble game but I was so excited with the very thought that I would be playing with none other than the principal of college himself. As we commenced the game, he made a word from out of his tiles. He told me its meaning and its variables. Each time he would make a word, he would explain to me in detail about its grammar and its usage.

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Starting Scrabble in Pakistan

Before leaving, Col. Coombes told me that he would come to see me daily until I was fit to be discharged from the dispensary.  He had infused so much of interest in the game of scrabble that I would wait for the entire day to meet him in the evening. By now I had recovered from my ailment and at the same time I was also enjoying the company of Col. Coombes. Suddenly I recollected his odd question that he had asked at the time of my interview. And out of curiosity I thought of reminding him.

Scrabble Word Finder

“Sir! I don’t know whether you remember it or not, but you had asked me a question during my interview for admission whether we had buffalos back in our home, and whether we were in the business of selling milk. Ever since then, I have been wondering as to what induced you to make such a query from me”

He took some time to recollect that incident and the moment he recalled it; he had a typical big laugh.

“Yes, my son. I noticed that you were different from others. Your sparkling eyes were an indication that you were sharp and ambitious.  But your costume and your style suggested to me that you had a rural background and you were coming from a village, and hence it prompted me to ask this odd question.”

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Old Memories of Interview

He was right. I was different from others. My hairs were soaked with mustard oil to a degree that oil was dripping from my head. I had applied thick black kajal in my eyes. And these were the things which were considered as a fashion in our village whereas these were orthodox traditions in urbanized culture.

Pakistan Scrabble Association

I stayed in the dispensary for about ten days and I was completely changed in those ten days. I will just mention two major changes here. The first one was that I had learnt the basics of English language so much in those ten days which I couldn’t have learnt in a year. Secondly, now I was able to understand the accent of English spoken by an Englishman. This remarkably improved my understanding of all subjects and I was able to regain my top position which I had always held, before coming to Petaro.

The second change that my sickness and my hospitalization brought in me, was my interest in the game of scrabble. This scrabble game fascinated me. Col. Coombes had presented me a new set of scrabble board and tiles on the day I was discharged from dispensary. I found lot of friends in Latif house to play this game in leisure time. Col. Coombes taught me this game and induced so much of interest in it that I was hooked to this game for the rest of my life.

Pakistan Scrabble Association

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