MOST of the times we read and talk all the stuff that is against our sweet homeland. Here, I tell you a true story that is to thank Pakistan.

I was born in a very poor family in 1952 in Mirpurkhas district. My maternal uncles were educated up to the final class (i.e., equal to Class VII).

That inspired my mother to send me to school. At my village, ‘Dengan Bhurgri’, the birthplace of Raees Ghulam Muhammad Khan Bhurgri (the first graduate of Sindh), I studied up to Class VI. The great and selfess teachers taught very well. I studied from Class VI to Class X at Tando Jam Muhammad.

To earn for my studies, I started working when I was in Class V. The first wage was 25 paisa for a half day. It increased to Rs15, Rs50, Rs125 and finally to Rs200 a month in 1975.

Domestic circumstances compelled me to marry at the age of 20. I could not continue my engineering classes after HSC (Pre - Engineering) because of financial constraints. I did many odd jobs -- at a restaurant, a fruit shop, a paan - bedi shop, a shoe shop, a cotton factory, a flour mill and at a trading company.

In January 1975 I took a bold step of quitting the job that meant losing Rs200 a month and sought admission in M.A. English literature at the University of Sindh. It all became possible because of Mr Fayaz Ahmad -- my best friend -- who gave me Rs200 a month for two years. His salary was only 350 and he was married too.

I studied 14 hours a day at the university hostel because there was no room for any sluggishness. I did my MA and got second position.

The great Principal, the late Capatin Shukuruddin, and the late Prof. Tariq Mustafa Khan selected me for the post of lecture in English in 1977 on merit.

I taught English at Cadet College, Petaro, for 35 years, and retired as Vice Principal this year.

The boy who earned Rs25 a day in 1962 was receiving Rs133,000 a month in 2012. Now, I am receiving a pension of Rs55,000 a month.

My head bows down to God Almighty, all the time.

Thank you, my dear Pakistan. Thank you, Cadet College, Petaro. Thanks to all those who helped me, especially Mr Fayaz and my late mother.

The moral of the story is: never be without hope, never be discouraged. Just keep working hard with a total faith. Time does not remain the same. Stop talking and writing against Pakistan.

We have, recently, been declared the 16th happiest country in the world while India is 32nd and the US is 105th.

We do have our problems but it is we who have to rise above the self and steer the ship out of the troubled waters to the island of safety, happiness and prosperity. Just keep the faith. Things have changed for the better -- you must try further to make more good changes to make Pakistan great and strong.

PROF. JETHA NAND RAHI Hyderabad

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