We were in 7th standard when Hashmet saheb summoned us & directed to acquire more land for the purpose.
There was huge piece of land extended up to the boundary of Dr.Zakir Hussain Tomb, this land was placed higher in level as compared to original baaghbani.
Filled with unwanted shrubs, ground covers,creepers, pebbles & boulders.
Hide out of snakes,lizards,boa & other insects.
In first sight it was a daunting task for all of us, however, without hesitation we accept the directives of our teacher & made our minds to level the place.
we worked there for almost ten days, during the period & after the school timings.
12-13 years old, about 15 boys...all sweating,cut marks on leg & face due to thorns,blisters in hand due to excessive holding of spade, shovel & pick axe, torn white shirt, faces covered in dust.
Looking at each other, all exhausted after finishing the last corner like we have won a battle.
Next morning Hashmet saheb, came along with Naseem saheb & other teachers for inspection, they looked at the place, all clean & levelled.
Other teachers extolled us except Hashmet saheb.
He said, you have come the half way only.
Other half way is to fertile, ploughing & sawing...so, what you are waiting for?
Another three days, another hard work & the job done.
Finally the day has arrived when he praised us, with a smile on his face.
As a gift he told us to plant Eucalyptus tree on the boundary of baaghbani.
He also told us that in coming days & years when you come here & see those tress, you will always remember your gift, your baaghbani,Baba din, your tireless efforts & golden days associated with this campus.
We excited & planted those trees, watered them till 8th standard & then they have grown of their own.
Life found its way.
My eucalyptus once eaten by a cow, i was sad that it is dead now, but it wasn't the case, after few days, it has given two off shoots.
In 2002 i saw them intact.....tall trees, flourishing & looking at sky at infinity with roots deep in the ground.
I got emotional, because Hashmet Saheb was 100% right in what he said many years back.
If we compare those Eucalyptus with our life.....it has similarities.
Without the fertile land of jamia millia islamia, gardeners like hashmet saheb, aisha madam, bilquees madam,naseem saheb, rasheed saheb,mehboob saheb,akhlaque saheb, farooq saheb, khalid saifullah saheb, baba din, mushtaq bhai,asrar saheb & many more, we cant reach to the hieghts in our respective lives wehere we are standing today.
How can some one have an institution like JAMIA MILLIA ISLAMIA?