We all are aware of the term “Nawaab”. If we do not wear our slippers by ourselves and look for our younger siblings to pick up the pair and place it just under our feet, we hear our mothers yelling, “You are becoming nawab these days, lazy fellow.”

When I joined Junior School in Class III, for a few days it was very peaceful and life was fascinating as I witnessed most of the events for the first time in my life. As the days passed by, life became more prepossessing. I woke up in the morning, and took my Brush and Paste Incharge was waiting to put paste on my brush. And then I brushed my teeth, and was instructed to move to bathroom where I was supposed to sit and a bearer or two (whom we called Sir) poured water on me and giving me bath. After taking bath, Amma ji (we addressed to Ayah) applied hair oil on my hair and then after dressing up Boroline Incharge distributed Boroline to everyone. In dining hall, tables were well set and I just had to eat my meals. And again at night same kind of treatment. This was the regular routine and made me feel no less than ‘Nawab’.Later on, I came to know that Class V had more powers and they were a kind of rulers of this small empire called ‘Junior School’. They would get their shoes polished by Juniors and most special feeling was that during games time they can play any game they want, where as other classes were given less equipments and kit. So they were the real “Nawaabs”. Even me, along with my classmates started dreaming of becoming “Nawaabs”. Finally, that moment came when we entered Class V and truly we enjoyed and lived our lives like “Nawaabs”.

But, then a time came when we had to move to Boys’ School, what we heard of Boys’ School was scary for us and we knew very well that we won’t be “Nawaabs” anymore but we were excited to get freedom. We felt that Junior School life was restricted and in Boys’ School, we were free to do what we wished. Life at Boys’ School was tough for the first three years, but as soon as we stepped in Class IX it again became amazing. Life of “Nawaab” started coming back and with every year a feather is added in our “Nawaabiyat” and these virtual feathers were no less than badges on our shoulders’ strips. Many a times we had heated exchange with bearers in Dining Hall and sometimes not listening to the teachers, they used to repeat the same line over and again. That line was, “You will understand the value of our love and care once you pass out from OG”. I, personally, never understood the meaning of this sentence while my stay at OG. When I entered Class XII and was given the responsibility of the School Vice Captain, School Cricket Captain and Patel House Captain, I felt now I am the “Nawaab” of this 252 acres. Enjoyed my life to the fullest. How quickly year passed, and now time came to step out of OG. I felt sad thinking that I won’t get friends and same environment which I got for a decade.

I moved to Delhi for further studies, and the test of my life started. Within a period of two months, I was down with food poisoning. That was the moment when that sentence echoed in chorus, “You will understand the value of our love and care once you pass out from OG.” I felt like crying and wanted to go back to OG and remain there forever. And in next few days, I understood the meaning of that sentence more precisely when the Doctor advised me strictly to eat ‘Home-made Food’. I didn’t know cooking, life became more difficult. Another most difficult task was washing clothes, as in OG every single thing, even socks and undergarments was washed by ‘Dhobi’. With the passing of everyday, meaning of that sentence was being added and redefined. Finally, I realised that the Last Day at OG was no less than court-martialling of our “Nawaab” badges and then we again become servants of our lives.

– Modassir Mushtaque


This piece was shared by Modassir Mushtaque (School Vice Captain, Patel House Captain & School Cricket Captain, Session 2009-10) on March 30, 2018.

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