Backbencher – A Short Story

Zahid after waking up late in the morning was forced by his mother to get ready for the school. Most often he felt displeased while turning to school. He was habitual of waking up late in the morning and, annoying his parents especially his mother Razia during school time and sitting on the backbench of the classroom along with his two other classmates. Zahid was not good in his studies. His teachers especially his science teacher Tariq Sir often complained about his bad performance and poor learning before his parents. Despite repeated parental advices and teacher’s counselling Zahid never moved to bring any improvement in his learning. He was disliked and abominated by all the teachers of the school especially Tariq Sir for his reckless attitude towards his studies. There were three bright students in Zahid’s class. Mudasir a cobbler’s son who was very punctual and always stood first in the annual exams. He was dear to each teacher of the school. Although he was a poor man’s son but his strong learning capability and his good taste for studies pleased both his parents and teachers. Whenever he felt the shortage of money, books and other stationery items his teachers mostly Tariq Sir helped him through their own pockets. His hardwork and passion for the studies ultimately helped him to become a doctor. Arshid was another efficient student in his class. He was a farmer’s son. His parents were formally unlettered but their desire was to see Arshid a well-educated and well-settled person. Their fragile financial position didn’t allow them to send their lone son to pursue engineering after he was selected through an entrance exam. Arshid’s school teachers and local charitable trust came to his rescue and helped him financially till he completed the course and got a government job too. The third bright student in the class was Yasir. He also belonged to a downtrodden family but his teachers always guided and counselled him in his studies. Like Mudasir and Arshid, Yasir was also loved by the teachers for his good manners and better learning skills. After finishing his schooling Yasir soon got the job in police department. On a rainy cold day Tariq Sir’s mother was unwell. Being a diabetic patient her condition worsened on that particular day. Tariq Sir straightaway carried her to the Govt City Hospital where Mudasir is posted. Mudasir is a well-known endocrinologist and now he is known by the name Dr Mudasir. Tariq Sir first gave his reference to the gate keeper then telephoned Dr Mudasir directly but he was asked to wait at his private clinic. While waiting for three hours from 2pm to 5pm at his clinic the condition of Tariq Sir’s mother further deteriorated and she breathed her last before being seen by Dr Mudasir. It was a shocking and heart-wreching episode for Tariq Sir. The following year Tariq Sir had to build a new house because his earlier one was damaged due to heavy floods. Before starting the construction of the house his spouse asked him to get the engineering consultation. In a hurry Tariq thought of his student and now an engineer Arshid. He went to Arshid’s home and requested for the consultation. For weeks together Arshid neither called back his teacher nor bothered to meet him personally. However it was only after two months that Arshid sent a mediator and demanded an amount of Rs 50000 from his teacher for consultation. While returning back from his duties on a day, Tariq Sir was stopped by traffic cops at the main check point. He had forgotten to take the driving licence and other documents of the vehicle on that day due to some hurry in the morning. Yasir his student was heading the police party. He went straight to him and pleaded his innocence. Yasir instead of giving his teacher a respite fined him for forgetting the documents. On an another occasion Tariq Sir was moving home from a days outing and suddenly he met an accident. He was severely injured and there was none to rescue him. He was lying on the road in a wounded and unconscious state. From a distance a youth came rushing towards the accident venue. He took the injured to hospital in his own car. He was Tariq Sir’s dull student Zahid a shopkeeper now. He bought the medicines and other essentials for his teacher and in the evening time when he was discharged from the hospital, Zahid accompanied him to his residence. After reaching the home when Tariq Sir opened his eyes and asked the youth his name and address, he replied that he was his student Zahid. Tariq Sir, his spouse and his father along with his kids thanked him for this generous act. All the family members were so impressed by the humanistic attitude of Zahid that they decided to marry him with their own daughter and youngest sister of Tariq Sir namely Saima. Note … Characters in the story are only fictitious.

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