For My Papa On His Last Promotion | Meer Saleem

Papa is the youngest of siblings, born in a poor family, of a remote village of district Poonch. He is either first or among the first graduates of our village.

His Childhood

To attend the School as a child, he walked from village Dhara to Mandi Approximately 8 Kms on foot, sometimes bare footed. Once he told us that "it was terrible to walk on hot sand of Baila, on way back from school, in summers and reaching mandi, in the early morning during winters". One chilling winter morning on way to school, he fell into the adjoining river while jumping on its rocks to cross it. After reaching school, his teachers burnt timber to warm him up. Being good at studies, he managed to pass lower classes at an early age. He studied grade 1 and 2 in the same year. His 10th class examination application was rejected, by the principal because of he being an underage. This was a sad news, he broke down and cried for hours in the school premises and finally all his teachers went to principle & requested him not to hold him from appearing in the exams. Eventually he passed the board exams with flying colours. In English, he recalls that he could not answer one question, i.e. English Translation of – "Bar wo jagah hai jaha pagal pan botlu mai becha jata hay ( bar is a place where madness is sold in bottles)".

Meer Saleem with his daughter

Grandmother would never give him any household work, as he would study, most of the time. But once she told him to take a sheep for grazing, and he followed only to be seen as hitting the sheep with stone and repeatedly uttering" if you would not have to graze, I would have been studying.

Subsequently he also graduated, at a much younger age.  Besides being good at studies, he was also one of the finest NCC cadets. Therefore having a C certificate from NCC, he was selected as a Police Inspector in JKP. As soon as the grandfather came to know about this, he got upset and said "I worked hard, so that you could study, and not to bring haraam, by joining police".

Eventually he did not join against the will of his father and waited for next opportunity before he got selected as a teacher in the school education department. When grandfather heard his son has no intentions to join as teacher he said, I never believed Govt will offer even a job of peon to his son and he is refusing to join as teacher. He finally joined as teacher.

His Teachership

Although he did his masters  in Urdu literature, he is excellent in teaching Mathematics. As a father and as a  teacher, he made me fall in love with the Mathematics. It was like a fun to solve the sums, which resulted in making me an electrical engineer today.

I remember my school days, as soon as the teacher finished writing a question on the black board, I would be up with my solution.

He has an excellent IQ and memory.
He inspires his pupils with verses of Iqbal, stories of Sufis sheikhs, and the righteous rulers. I remember a few couplets I heard repeatedly as a kid.

"Mita dey Apni Hastee ko Agher kuch martba Chaiye
ke Dana Khaak mai Mil ker Gul e Gulzar Hota hai 
Khudi ko Kr Buland Itna k Her Taqdeer se Pehle
Khuda bandey se khud pochey Bta teri raza kia hai
Tamanna dard e dil ki ho to ker khidmet fakeeru ki
Nahi milta ye gohar badshahu k khazeenu mai
Nahi tera nasheman Qasr e Sultani k Gumbad per
Tu shahee hai basaira kr pahadu ki chattanu pe
Aye taher e lahuti us rizq se maut achi
Jiss rizq se aati ho perwaz mai kotahi"
For few months while in 6th grade I studied in the same school where papa was teaching. He was our class teacher, having first period of Mathematics, every morning I used to leave home before him, only to find him already standing on the blackboard side of the classroom.

Most of the employed residents of our village left and settled in the town for a better life. However, papa stayed, because he wanted to serve the neighbours and to be a part of their routine life. I have never seen him turning down anyone for any sort of help. I remember once a man came from a far Village- Danna & asked for Rs 5,000, he gave him and before he left Papa asked please let me know your name and which family you belong?

It was shocking that he gave him money without even knowing, who he was.

On a fine morning during college days, I was talking over phone with papa from a PCO along with a friend. Papa dropped the call saying, I am getting late for the school. My friend, whose father is also a teacher, was surprised and he laughed at him, for being so punctual to reach a govt school.

During winter vacations and even in regular school days, he used to teach kids of the village. He also would bring books for them. During earlier days there were very few learned spiritual teachers in the mosques. So Papa would address people on Jumma and Eid, about teachings of Islam, life of prophets and sufis, their integrity and righteousness. As soon as we had enough learned spiritual scholars, he did not insist to hold on to the stages, instead he preferred stepping down.

He played a key role in establishing the first Madarsa in our village that still runs on charity. 
It is in his habit to genuinely & thoroughly enquire about the well being of everyone, known to him.

I remember, as a kid my father used to come home late evening, one such evening when he entered and said Salam- grandfather did not reply. There was pin drop silence, before he said, "if people of city would not sleep my son would never come home". 
He never said even a word of contempt to his father, no matter what. 

We sometimes get irritated while going out with papa, as he greets everyone on our way, unlike us, who sometimes ignore and walk away.

Although being generous at lending money to the one in need, and in giving away in charity, he is extra careful for spending on himself.

Last time Mama & a  brother failed to convince him to buy a suit, on his last promotion as a Zonal Education Officer (ZEO).

Allah is kind and loves the kindness; we too hope to inherit this from papa, to help the weaker among us. 
Our Beloved prophet ( Peace be upon him) Said:
O Aisha, Allah is kind and He loves kindness in all matters (Bukhari, 6528).

About the Author: Meer Saleem is an Engineer working in Saudi Arabia. He belongs to Mandi tehsil of Poonch district. He can be reached at

Note: This article has been written by Meer Saleem, about his Father, Mr Mir Muhammad Mir's journey who has been appointed as a ZEO recently.

Mir Muhammad Mir on being promoted as ZEO

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