Published on Monday, April 28, 2014

I was selected for the volleyball and cricket teams of school when I was a student of eighth standard. Malik Sahab was our Games Teacher. He was commonly known as Malik Mia. Malik Sahab had no connection with game of any type in remotest way; but he was our Games Teacher. His only role, I observed, was to ask the Chowkider to open the store-room and give us the necessary games materials when required. Malik Sahab was a clean shaven, without skull cap and pant-shirt wearing fair and good looking gentleman.

Malik Sahab resided in his own big house with a large compound adjacent to my locality. There was a mosque and a pond in front of his house which were used by the faithful of the area. He was a teacher of English. His pen holding grip was very odd. He used to hold pen by right middle finger, ring finger and thumb with an extended index finger pointing towards the students of the class. My father knew him well. But neither visited other's house ever. Before my Board Examination, Malik Sahab gave me free coaching of English in the out house of his residence for about two weeks.

Malik Sahab had two sons and a daughter. The latter was youngest. His eldest son Faruq was an albino. Faruq passed M. Sc with first class in Physics and went to US. The second son Taufiq did his B. Tech from an Indian Institute of Technology in Metallurgy and left for the then West Germany. Both the sons of Malik Sahab were senior to me. In those good old days many good students of my town were not familiar with the idea of going to foreign countries for higher studies.

Sultana, the daughter of Malik Sahab read in a Girls' School near my residence. She was junior to me and not a Hijabi. Sultana was extremely beautiful. I regularly saw Sultana in the road going to school with her friends. Sometimes she visited market area of our town with either of her elder brothers when they were at home. I heard that the in-law's family of Malik Sahab was very rich and located in East Pakistan.

There was no need to write a post with this piece of information. But one day morning, when I was in college, we came to know that Malik Sahab's family had migrated to East Pakistan in the previous night. His two sons were already in US and West Germany respectively. So Malik Sahab, his wife and Sultana left India for East Pakistan. We were totally shocked as there was no apparent reason for migration to another country. Gradually it became clear that Malik Sahab sold his residence to a Hindu from London some days back very secretly. Even his immediate neighbours were ignorant about his plan. Some were angry because his sold residential compound included a mosque also which would automatically go to the hands of the Hindu owner.

I was very sorry and depressed for many months. I was unable to reconcile with the action of Malik Sahab. I was missing Sultana. I surely had a crash on her which I did not understand then. But I loved and respected Malik Sahab also. The incident most likely happened during 1969-70.

The last part of this post is very tragic. Information trickled out of East Pakistan that Malik Sahab's family became victim of a major dacoity and he sustained very serious injuries. Worst part came when Khan Sena in 1971 took away Sultana. I was devastated. My father, from his interaction with others, told that Malik Sahab was not interested to migrate to East Pakistan. But his wife forced him to do so. They wanted a happier life there but disaster was waiting for them. I could not have any information about Faruq and Taufiq. Gradually people of my town forgot Malik Sahab' family. I left my town some forty years back for a very distant place but I shall never forget Malik Sahab and Sultana.

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