“When he was about nine, he was put in a primary school, where he had to compete with his classmates at the time of examination.
He was disappointed to find that other boys defeated him, securing more marks than he did. He,who had always looked upon himself as superior to other boys at play, found that he could not bethe first in his class. On the one hand, he had to abandon his play for so many hours a day toattend school, and on the other hand these hours at school did not yield to him the honour of being the topmost pupil. He developed a childish aversion for books and school, to the horror of my father, who was anxious to give his son a sound education in order to enable him to join hisown business after he had passed his matriculation examination. My mother, who had a blind faith in the destiny of her son, frequently saying, “My Mohammad Ali is going to be a big man; hewill be very clever; better than the other. boys”, found her dreams tumbling down to the ground.Mother cajoled him to be regular at school and to give serious attention to his studies, saying thatway alone he would rise in life and be a big man, standing head and shoulders above the others.
Inspite of grave provocation, father was patient with him, asking him why it was that he did not devote sufficient time to his books. “Father”, said little Mohammad Ali, “I don’t like to go to school.”
“What would you like to do, then?”
“Father, I would like to sit with you in office, and learn to do business.”
“But you are too young for that, Mohammad Ali.”
“I would do better in your office than at school.”
My father was a tactful person, and he tried to tempt him, saying, “Mohammad Ali, in my officethere is strict discipline. You will have to go with me to office early in the morning at eight, returnfor lunch from two to four, and then again to office from four to nine in the night.”
“I will do that, father.”
“But that will give you no time at all for play.” “I don’t mind.”
Within about two months, he was fed up with office work, and he one day surprised my father,”Father, I don’t like office work”.
“What would you do then, Mohammad Ali?”
“I would like to go back to school.
“My father was very happy, but he tried to conceal his pleasure by maintaining an unruffled appearance.
“You see, my boy”, he said, “there are only two ways of learning in life.”
“What are they, father.”
“One is to trust the wisdom of your elders and their superior knowledge; to accept their advice;and to do exactly as they suggest.” “And what is the other way, father?”
“The other way is to go your own way, and to learn by making mistakes; to learn by hard knocksand kicks in life.
“The boy Mohammad Ali listened attentively. This incident explains the characteristic of the Quaid,who upto the last days of his life preferred to go his own way.
The extract is taken from:
Book- ‘My Brother’.
Chapter -From Kathiawar to Karachi.
Author – Fatima Jinnah.