|Professor of English and Senior House Master (1960-1971)
Sqn.Ldr.(R) A.A. Shaikh
|By Kazi Zulkader Siddiqui
Sqn.Ldr.(R) Abbas Akhtar Shaikh (popularly known as A.A. Shaikh) joined the college in 1960. He retired from the college in 1971. He was professor of English and Senior House Master.
He was born on 2 December 1916 and was married to Mrs. Surayya Abbas on 11 October 1948. They have three children. One of his daughters Mrs. Shahida Zaheer was married to (late) Maj.Gen.(R) Z.I. Abbasi who was the fifth adjutant of the college from 1966-1969.
Sqn. Ldr. A.A. Shaikh – may Allah have mercy on his soul – died of tongue cancer back in 1986.
Shaikh Sahib was the Senior House Master of the College, and was next in rank only to the Vice Principal Mr. S.S. Azim. He also used to teach us English.
Shaikh Sahib left Petaro rather early – in 1971. After leaving Petaro, he became Controller of Examinations at Karachi University, a post he held until his last days.
Shaikh Sahib was one of the most unique of all our teachers. He had a great sense of humour in a very serious style. Therefore the students would enjoy his class very much. Let me give you one incident. Shaikh Sahib used to laugh very loudly – just like he spoke very loudly. Many a time, his jokes would not be understood by the students, but the students would make it a point to laugh as loudly as Shaikh Sahib did. Once we were in class and Shaikh Sahib cracked a joke, and the entire class guffawed in the loudest of laughs. Azim Sahib (the Vice Principal) was on his regular rounds to check the classes. Hearing this loud noise, he immediately walked in and in and in 5 seconds expressed his disgust in the fastest speech ever (he used to speak so fast that many times we wouldn’t understand what he said). Then as Azim Sahib walked out, Shaikh Sahib laughed aloud, and all the class laughed in chorus with an even louder laugh. Azim Sahib didn’t bother to come back.
When Shaikh Sahib spoke, he always had an “a” after every phrase while he thought of what to say next. So for example, he would say “You…aa…… what are you…..aa ….. doing?” etc. Because of these aaaaa’s, he was referred to as Shaikhaaaa the mighty.
Despite all these laughs, Shaikh Sahib was one of the most upright and disciplined of our teachers and officers. He used to exercise every morning rigorously, and emphasized discipline.
In this autograph, Shaikh Sahib wrote about a malaise that had already stricken Pakistani society at that time in the 1960s. We had already demonstrated that as a nation we did not have the character that is required to become a great people. We were devoid of honesty, and corruption had entered our homes at different levels.
Little did Shaikh Sahib know that rather than moving in the right direction, we would continue to build on this lack of character, and make the hillock of corruption into mountains of corruption. Every successive generation and leader seemed to try and exceed the limits reached by the previous one in corruption.