The Treasure Within
Question 1: What did Hafeez Contractor have nightmares about?
Answer: Hafeez Contractor was afraid of mathematics. So he used to have nightmares about math examination.
Question 2: What did the Principal say to him, which influenced him deeply?
Answer: The principal said to him how his mother toiled hard to bring him up in spite of his father's death. She further said that he was grown up and should start taking care of himself. That he should start giving top priority to his study instead of sports. Principal’s pep talk influenced him deeply.
Question 3: "... that year I did not step out onto the field." What was he busy doing that year?
Answer: Hafeez was a good sportsperson and participated actively in sporting activities. He loathed his studies. But after principal’s motivating speech he focused on his study and did not step out onto the field.
Question 4: What distraction did Hafeez Contractor create one day?
Answer: Hafeez was always trying to do some funny pranks. One day he played Chor-Sipahi with classmates for one hour distracting everybody from study.
Question 5: Would you have liked to participate in the distraction had you been with him?
Answer: It depends which month of the year it is. If it is not exam time, then such distractions and pranks are welcome once in a blue moon. But if it is exam time then study should be the priority. There is a saying that all work and no play make Jack a dull boy. But too much of everything is bad.
Question 6: Hafeez Contractor wanted to join the police force. Why did not he?
Answer: Hafeez's mother advised him against joining the police force. He was advised to go for graduation instead.
Question 7: In the architect's office Hafeez was advised to drop everything and join architecture. Why?
Answer: In the architect's office somebody was making a technical drawing of a window. Hafeez observed some lacunae in the drawing and convinced that person. Then Hafeez was asked to make a drawing for a house which Hafeez did surprisingly well. They were stunned to see Hafeez's natural talent and advised him to join architecture.
Question 8: What was Mrs. Gupta's advice to Hafeez Contractor? What made her advise him so?
Answer: Mrs. Gupta was impressed by the sketches Hafeez used to make during childhood. She thought Hafeez was good at nothing but sketching, so she advised him to become an architect.
Question 9: How did he help fellow students who lost a button?
Answer: Hafeez used to create a button by sculpting chalks. In boarding school dress code was to be strictly followed for lunch or dinner. He helped his fellow students attend the lunch in spite of losing a button.
Question 10: Which rules did he break as a school boy?
Answer: Life in boarding schools can be tough. It helps develop a more independent child. Hafeez used to break rules of strict discipline in school. He wanted to be his own self. It helped him develop an independent personality.
Question 11: What is Hafeez Contractor's definition of mathematics? How would you want to define mathematics? Do you like the subject?
Answer: Hafeez’s definition of mathematics was about finding solution to a problem by putting various pieces together to create a practical solution to problems related to architecture. For Hafeez it had more to do with instinct rather than with calculations.
Mathematics is the most basic and pure way of finding solution to a problem. Answer to the last part can depend on a particular student.
For Students who like the subject: Mathematics gives a tool to find solution to wide ranging problems. You can find solutions related to everyday life. Additionally you can find solution to complex problems like how to land your Chandrayan at moon and moon only.
For Students who don't like the subject: Mathematics can be very boring because of incomprehensible formulae. The reason may be only one method of teaching for all types of students. If teachers will try to be more creative then may be students like me will be in a better position to befriend mathematics.