Desi Back to Desh

Between airports, airplanes and transit lounges

The easiest thing you can do

is to give up on a child. You can do it as a teacher, a sibling, a friend or a care giver. It is so much harder to fight for one.

The reason why I have so much respect for Nasreen Bakar, Sami Mustafa and the team at CAS is that they have always stood up for children and families that may not be able to stand up and fight on their own.

I am obviously biased since three of my children go to CAS. Every single one of them has come through Nasreen’s Bakar’s happy school and our youngest, Taha, right now is exploiting this family history in so many ways that you wouldn’t believe.

Still there are good days and bad days. Day one of school when we found out that Taha had been assigned to Naureen Saqib’s class was a great day. Naureen is the type of teacher I think I had when I joined my playgroup, two odd generations ago. She made every day Amin’s day when we first showed up at CAS, 6 years ago, with our first 4 year old. Two siblings later, she now make every day Taha, Fawzia and my day, when we drop him off at school. The remarkable thing about Naureen is that in some magical way, using some ultra special motherly secret source she does this for the entire tribe of children assigned to her care at the school.

The remarkable thing about CAS is, that while Naureen is the highlight of our day, on every floor there is one (on some more) guardian angels that we can leave Taha without any worries. They tend to specialize in corner classes, classes where you can find sunshine, smiles and Taha. In corridors where Taha has a free reign to roam, explore and discover. In the library where he has been crowned as the Supreme Chancellor and adopted by Akhtar. Four floors and a handful of corridors and you wonder how and where CAS manages to find and retain these teachers and Apa’s (helpers) across the years.

And then there are bad days. Days when Fawzia cries and I worry. Days when they paste the class work for the class on the walls. Days when Akhtar tells me to not worry and that it will all work out. Then we look at Taha and see how far he has come in a year and his first two months at the KG section. With Aneeka, Naureen, Fawzia and Nasreen (for a four year old he spends a lot of voluntary time in the Principal’s room) working with him on a daily basis, he is now drawing lines and coloring and making requests. Every now and then he surprises us with his memory, his retention and reactions. He doesn’t read books, he memorizes them.

The easiest thing you can do is to give up on a child. It is so much harder to fight for one.