The Naughty MITHOO of Muslim High School, Said Pur Road, Rawalpindi

By Col (Retd) Tariq Masood, 44 Long Course (USA)

Editor’s Note: Col Tariq Masood is from a Punjab Regt. He is also a Homeopathic doctor. He has settled in USA since 2001.

Tariq Masood, Col (44 PMA), USA

Tariq Masood

The Class of 1965 from Muslim High School, Said Pur Road, Rawalpindi consisted of about 350 students. I do not remember the exact figures. It had 5 different sections (A, B, C, D and AA). It was funny that the school administration never thought of going beyond D. It should have been Section E but they kept AA, because there was no emphasis on English. So even the teachers never wanted to put pressure on students’ minds for teaching English.They never realized that AA was a bigger pressure, because in no English book AA was written. I always wondered this AA must have been the exclusive discovery of Muslim High School.

MITHOO was a character in Section A, that was my section too. I am sure none of us remembers his full name now, not even at that time. Even the teachers used to call him MITHOO. His face was just like a parrot, cheeks pressed inside and prominent

A real Mithoo.

A real Mithoo.

nose jutting out which resembled the beak of a parrot. MITHOO’S eyes were also like a parrot which would look 180 degree and hair standing upward. I am sure when he was born, his parents must have been very happy seeing this handsome child and unanimously the whole family decided to give him the name of MITHOO. He was a limit in making fun of other people and taking Panga in the class and the whole class used to get punishment most of the time in Murgha position.

MITHOO used to make paper aeroplanes and hit the teachers while they were writing on the blackboard with their backs towards the class. He was so perfect shot that when it would hit the teacher, he would shudder for a while and after turning back would ask,” Who did it?”

The esprit de corps demanded not to reveal the culprit and the entire class used to be taken out in the ground and made Murgha and the whole school witnessed this scene. There are many stories about MITHOO that I can write a book, but here I will give you only one Shararat (mischief) of MITHOO.

Once Second Head Master Mr. Hadayat Ullah was relaxing on a chair after writing “Masla Fisaghores” (Pythagoras) on the blackboard. He was more than 75 years old at that time. He went to deep sleep and kept on sleeping while the period time was over and the bell was struck. When MITHOO saw this, he went out and shouted that Master Hadayat Ullah has died. He started ringing the school bell continuously and the whole school dispersed and everybody went home thinking that the Chutti (holiday) has been declared.

If you are familiar with the school bells, it would start with One Bell for first period and Two Bells for 2nd period and so on. The continuous ringing of bell means Chutti and there were not too many holidays, only the National holidays or if some teacher died.

When Master Hadayat Ullah heard this commotion, he also woke up from deep sleep. He was amazed as to why a Chutti was declared just after the second period and the whole school had been dispersed. He rushed out of the classroom to find out the details. When he reached the office of Principal (Mr. Tirmizy), he found that some student had done this prank. A discreet investigation was carried out which revealed that it was MITHOO who did it. The entire class got the collective punishment next day in the morning sermon and special punishment was awarded to MITHOO, but the whole school was so very happy that there is a chance for one more Holiday, because Master Hadayat Ullah can die any day. But he did not die as long as we were in the school. Later after his retirement he died at the age of 85 in Lahore.

Surprisingly, Muslim High School produced amazing people from Class of 1965. Some well-known personalities are Malik Riaz of Beharia Town (the only self made Billionaire), Khalid Siddique Tirmizy who is presently President Punjab Bank (He was previously the President of  Faisal Bank in Pakistan), Gen Waheed Akhtar from Signals, Col Waheed ur Rehman, Maqbool Sheikh (Director NADRA), Dr. Amjad (Another millionaire of Eden Town Lahore), Behzad Mehmood (GM Pakistan Railways), Late Dr. Aftab (Medical Specialist), Dr. Anwar ul Haq, Dr. Muhammad Akram (Principal Allama Iqbal Medical College, Lahore) and one senior Ameer of Tableeghi Jammat, Shahid Abbas (Director Finance in World Bank), Rehan Azhar (PTV actor who later went to Hollywood), Professor Tariq Bhatti, Achha “Qasai” (Butcher), Shamshad Barber, Anayati Driver, Chhanna Jaali Doctor and many more.

Related Pages:
Nostalgic Articles about Rawalpindi 
Rawalpindi Blog 

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  1. Kanwar Ghulam Mustafa says:

    Very good old memories of Muslim High School. Recently we attended 100 Years Celebration of Muslim High School. I met some old personalities of this great institution, including Master Hameed, the Chemistry teacher and Master Umer Hayat. I took some good photos of the event.
    Kanwar Gulam Mustafa
    Director General
    Pakistan Telecommunications Company

  2. M. Usama Siddiqui says:

    I love my school, my roots are still there.

  3. Syed M Imran says:

    Thanks for sharing this glorious institution memories. I am a proud alumni of this fine and great education establishment. I was also class fellow of Rashid Titmizi and Chaudry Imtiaz. This gives me immense feeling of pride to state that Mr. Niaz Ahmad Tirmizi had my fees ‘maaf’ because my father had passed away and from this humble beginning I went on to get my MBA from New York and has been working as a vice president at Wall Street investment banks like Deutsche Bank and Merrill Lynch.
    All was due to educational base built by great Tirmizi and Mukhtar sahebs, I try to carry their torch of education and ran for Board of Education election in Jersey City, New Jersey and after being elected served as Vice Chairman board of education for 4 year.
    Through this forum I move the resolution that the name of the school should change to Syed Niaz Tirmizi High School.

  4. Faisal Tirmizi says:

    Syed Niaz Ahmed Tirmizi was the founding Head Master of the Muslim High School. Before independence he was the Head Master of Islamiya High School Ferozepur Cantt. He educated generations of Pindiwaals. Some of his prominent students were Sheikh Manzur Elahi, Secretary Cabinet; Lt Gen Mahmood, Surgeon General; Malik Riaz and of course my father Syed Mustanir Ahmed Tirmizi. Syed Niaz Ahmed Tirmizi passed away on Nov 9, 1983 but one of his younger son, Syed Rizwan Tirmizi, General Manager Holiday Inn still live in our ancestral home

  5. Zahid Abbas, Canada says:

    Shahid Abbas was Director Finance Police Foundation and I don’t think he ever worked for the World Bank.

    • Saeed Ashraf Qureshi says:

      Yes, thanks for correction – I have been in World Bank Islamabad Office but I have never seen the guy named mentioned above.

      I would like to also correct the history that Mr. Hidayat Ullah (second head master) died in winter 1967 at his residence of mohallah Muslim High School Rawalpindi not in Lahore.

  6. Nostalgic article about Muslim High School # 1 (also known as Khalsa School). It really took me back to good old days. I was in this prestigious school during 1971/72. The school had a very old big banyan (bohr) tree in its lawn and our daily assembly was held under that mysterious tree. Mr. Tirmzi (RIP) was a very great and disciplined administrator. During his time MHS No.1 was among distinguished institutions. There was Section E in 10th grade and I was in that precious section full of lafanga students except a few.

    Unfortunately Mr. Tirmzi left the school during Bhutto era. It was one of the best schools in Pindi. Your character Mithoo reminds me of Sadaqat. We had an old teacher Subedar Sahib. During his period Sadaqat must daily take permission and go to toilet. Our class room window was facing the huge ground back of the school and Sadaqat will just go around that huge window and make funny sounds while Subedar Sahib writing on blackboard. Then when he turn back and ask in his funny Pothohari “who did this” no one will open his mouth all just keep silent and later punished by Subedar Sahib.

    There was another teacher Ayaz Sahib. Chhutti time we use to ride on his running cycle carrier without his permission and he use to scold us. But Jahangir Sahib and Math Teacher (I forgot his name) were both very strict and all were scared of them, no jokes during their periods. Any of you guys; Baber, Sadaqat Kiyani, Tauseef, Sulaiman, Zafar, if read this, please do contact to revive old memories.

  7. Maj (R) Iftikhar Ali Shah, FF (2nd SSC) says:

    Sir, do you remember master Jhota? Also share some memories of Gordon College Jubliee Hall and FSc special class.

    • If I remember his name was Mr. Jatta, there were some more like Master Koochi, Thailla, Sufi, Chacha, English Master Mukhtar, Hadayat Ullah (Second Head Master) master Hanif, Zaidi and many more and each one was a character of his own kind. Shall write about them sometimes.

      • Saeed Ashraf Qureshi says:

        Hi, Col Sb. I think, you are shahid’s brother – Simla waley. You joined the pak army with sohail parwaz and qamarul islam shahid (died last year).

        Master Jata name is abdul aleem (math teacher), Koochi (Mr. Hamid), Thailla (Master Toufail), Chacha Khurshid, Ghafoor Sb. Master Mukhtar died in accident in US ages ago.

  8. Col (R) Tariq Masood, USA says:

    Dear Readers,

    In 2001 first time ever I collected my school time buddies and had first ever Get-together in Arty Mess Rawalpindi (Old Pindi Club). A good number came down to attended it. Now it is a routine matter to have Get-together. I lost track of MITHOO but still remember couple of other characters, which I am going to write about.

    I am scratching my head to find more entertaining pleasent events in life.

    May Allah Bless You and your families with all the happiness in life Ameen.

    I am a practicing homeopath in USA, the only Pakistani Homeopath member of of American Council of Homeopathy. The first one to have the homeopath website in USA. You can see my Ads in various Newspapers, specially ‘Urdu Times’, USA.

    Col (R) Dr. T M Sheikh
    001 865 216 8786

  9. Maj (R) Khalid Saeed Shah (2nd SSC) says:

    Sir, nice article . Kindly write next episode relating to Great Mitthoo.

  10. Rafique Ahmed Khan, Dubai says:

    A very good addition to the informative articles regarding Rawalpindi.

  11. Sir, superb article. I used to live in B 709, Satellite Town and studied in Central Govt Model School, 37 C, Satellite Town near Chandni Chowk. I did my matriculation in 1967. We often used to go on bikes to Muslim High School Saidpur Road and on to Banni and Raja Bazar. I used to love to eat chapli kebabs and gajraila. I can remember Kali Tanky at Saidpur Road. Sweet memories.

    • Col (R) Tariq Masood, USA says:

      Dear Sajid Baig,
      Brother, I lived in H. No. 1324, B Block, on Kali Tanki Road and used to go for walk to A Block and C Block across Chandni Chowk, where elite used to live in big bungalows. :)

  12. Thank you so much for sharing your interesting school experiences.

  13. Mehmud Ahmed, Canada says:

    Someone has written a book tracing the history of Parachas and I bought it
    some years ago in Toronto. Its title was “Chicken Stand” which originally
    intrigued me. On reading I found that ‘Chicken Stand” was the literal translation
    of the penance Col Tariq Masood has described as “Murgha”, the usual
    punishment given out by primary and middle school teachers in Pakistan
    and northern India. And this is what the author of Chicken Stand suffered
    in school, mostly for his failure to memorize the tables (Paharray) and English
    spellings from his small time Railway Station Master father while returning
    from school as he had to stop at Rail Station to hitch a ride home. Often it
    happened in full view of the passenger train audience that stopped for a
    few minutes there daily. The English rendering does not illustrate the true
    meaning but the Urdu word “Murgha” also fails to convey its nature or
    the agony it causes. It was still milder than the British Public School’s tradition
    of canning the delinquents on their ‘tender parts’. Col Tariq has named a
    few of his contemporaries who gained prominence but is silent about Mithoo.
    Probably he lost track of him.

    In the pre-Islamabad days the Saidpur Road used to connect Pindi with
    Barri Imam where the annual Urs and ‘mela’ always attracted people
    from far off places. I spent most of my pre-Partition period in the former
    Frontier Province and I remember hearing in ‘Chai Khanas’ and ‘Chapli
    Kabab’ shops stories of ‘pilgrims’ from Kohat. Someone who must have
    seen that ‘Urs’ and ‘Mela’ should write about it.

  14. Azam Gill, France (2nd SSC) says:

    Thank you for sharing this unusual angle of approach from your personal memories, and taking the time to ensure its quality.

  15. Hasan Jawaid, USA (1st SSC) says:

    Very interesting and entertaining. Please do write more of Mithoo. Not to undermine the fact that medium (language) makes learning easier in the long run besides providing visibility but without talents it stands no chance. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that many students from villages including those who attended open-air classes or those who went through extreme hardships in their early ages have gone on to attend prestigious universities all over the world and have done very well in their lives.

  16. Sir, nice article. Where is naughty Mithoo now?

    • Imtiaz Choudhari says:

      Dear Editor

      I am thrilled by the wonderful opportunity you provided to read the articles and comments about the great Muslim High School that put the foundation of my education from first grade to tenth grade. Mostly all my brothers graduated from that school. I still enjoy the successful time I spent in that school, Honorable school Head Master Syed Niaz Ahmad Tirmizi managed the school very well. He used to make sure that all the students are getting proper education and concerned teachers were doing their duties effectively. I still remember those moments of morning assembly where all the classes from 6th grade to 10th grade get together in an organized way; the assembly used to start with the recitation from the Quran, then in a great graceful way Tirmizi Sahaib used to make the announcements or addressed the important issues and give the directions plus lost and found belongings were distributed. Afterwards school band plays Pakistani National anthem and then with the band musical tune all classes march to their classrooms. I had honor to have his son Syed Rashid Tirmizi my class fellow in the same school who had Master in Economics from Govt. Degree College and now-a-days managing his own business successfully in Sadar, Rawalpindi. We are still friend and connected with each other through e-mail, phone and personal visit. I have Master of Science in Education from USA and After School Program Director.

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