SRINAGAR: Aarey badal, kale badal, aawo zara joom ki ….
In hindsight, this Urdu nazm in the primary class textbook will look like one of the ordinary poems that students mug up in schools. However, Zubair Ahmad, 36, a teacher at Government Middle School, Fremoh in Anantnag district made it immortal when he sang it before the students.
Popularly called `singing sir’, Zubair sang this nazm in such a manner that every other student of the school could not hold back. Fellow teachers took out mobile cameras and recorded the singing. By evening the nazm was viral. It notched lakhs of views, shares, and comments making Zubair a truly singing sir on social media too.
“Usually Saturday afternoon is reserved for activities. I decided to make it more meaningful last week. I decided to sing this nazm. I called my students and we rehearsed for some time. They also picked up lines quickly. We started reciting this nazm and it went beyond our expectation,” Zubair told The Kashmir Monitor.
With 13 years of experience, Zubair is a much sought-after teacher in this remote area. Earlier, he was posted at Government Middle School, Vailoo, which is one of the few institutes in the remote area. Inhabited by a financially weak section of society, he was holding community classes free of cost for tribal students. Such was his popularity that some students used to trek 15 kilometers daily to attend classes.
“I have been recently transferred to this school. I love my students. They too are very reciprocating. They want to absorb as much as knowledge. I use the playway method to teach which enthuses my students,” he said.
What makes Zubair stand out from the rest of his tribe is that he spends some part of his salary on students so that they do not feel deprived.
In his earlier school, he used to treat his students with chocolates, cookies, chips, and other items once a week. It was because he wanted to give them a sense of belonging since they come from impoverished families. They did not have the means to spend on these things, so he spent a small amount of his salary on these things
“Teaching is a noble profession. I want to share as much knowledge with my students. I have seen ups and downs in my life, so I can relate. I want to give the best of education to my kids who are like my own children,” he said.