Guitarist Maher Khan
Courtesy : Maher Khan
I was a student of South Breeze School, which used to be a tiny two-storied building with a finite number of students in the beginning; half of whom I knew personally and the remaining half I knew by face. That was fun as opposed to a bigger school with numerous kids loitering around everywhere with no space to breathe! South Breeze was my second home and I guess it is safe to say that a lot of us have been mothered there, with the exception of a few non-father figures! The College of Wooster (Wooster, Ohio) would follow right after my brief appearance at Mastermind for high school.
I remember it was South Breeze's Foundation Day and I was nearing the end of 9th grade. My friend Adeeb and I had a plan (that would permanently change our lives) to form a band and play in front of the entire school. Adeeb assigned himself as the drummer, my brother Saber would be on the bass guitar, and another friend on the keyboards. By then, I had already started playing the guitar but add to that, I was to provide our big performance with some very questionable vocals! Now, all this might sound very generic to the average reader here these days but back in the day, it was a big deal. In fact, we were the first musical band in South Breeze history! Yay! The best moment was during our actual performance where everyone sang along to our set. Regardless of the generation gap between the students and the teachers, everyone loved the set-list and that meant the world to us!
Unlike in schools, universities have dormitories and houses only for students, indicating a far greater degree of freedom for the students, not only in terms of mischief, but also to open a student's mind towards thinking liberally. This is what university has taught me, especially having attended a liberal arts college abroad.
It was during my O-level exams when I began to notice people mentioning my name and my band, which by then, was sailing under the 'Nemesis' tag. I guess I would consider that time as my emergence period. As I have mentioned earlier, we were our school's first band. However, two of our music teachers (Ms Rabbany and Ms Jalal) directed me towards my love for music. I was amongst a handful of kids in our class who became instant favourites for these teachers.
My friends and I were dedicated class bunkers and regulars at mid-day class breaks. We bunked for no reason other than hanging out and just talking nonsense as we weren't allowed to leave the school premises until the final bell. Nowadays, I see all the school kids sliding past and getting out of their school buildings and hanging out. That makes us feel like a bunch of losers!
From all the experience that I have gained during my school years, I have one suggestion, which I would like to particularly address to all readers who are still students: know better than to be afraid of all the bullies and unmindful teachers who bring about any low self-esteem. If you let them affect you, then you just might be left scarred and demoralised for the rest of your life and forever be afraid to step up and say what you want to say. Never be afraid, stand up for your right because you have the right to do so. All these are strong words that we can all use to empower and protect ourselves from every wrong that exists and surrounds us timelessly. At the end of the day, the Almighty knows best!