My trek towards CSS began the day, my grandfather decided to leave his hometown and migrate to Peshawar. Watching him being wrested by the wicked heart attack in 2002, It didn’t occur to me that he had already done a huge favour to us. THE FAVOUR TO LEAVE HIS HOMETOWN JUST FOR THE FUTURE OF HIS CHILDREN. Sometimes, I really wonder if it were not his judicious decision, would we be still toiling in the mountains of erstwhile tribal areas? Honestly, Yes. It was his timely discretion that today while being the only girl even from our district, I am able to write this tale. Also, It’s another story, that even in Peshawar Pushtoon women in general and women of our tribe in particular, have been deprived of basic education not to speak of higher education.
In times, when education for boys was not affordable, I remember my Grandmother holding our hands to receive admission in a government school. Again a privilege to have such grandparents. If I talk about myself, so I used to be an introvert, mostly bounded to myself. Not interested in people, I found my temptation in books. It will not be an exaggeration to say that I had been an avid reader. I used to steal Urdu magazines, digests and novels from our neighbours, a Book-Thief? Yeah, you could say.
I used to steal Urdu magazines, digests and novels from our neighbours, a Book-Thief? Yeah, you could say.
However, year after year, my fondness for the books swelled, and I came to be reading books that somehow did not fall under my capacity to grasp. Shahabnama, Raja Gidh, Parliament Say Bazar Hussan Tak, Jannat Kay Haseen Manazir, Hayat-e-Sahaba, Haq Nawaz Jhangvi and Moat Ka Manzar, to name a few. Although most of the time I would not fetch the gist, the fact that they were written in Urdu, my fascination did not shrink. Today, if you ask about these books, except Shahbnama and Hayat-e-Sahaba that I re-read lately, you would absolutely find me at a loss. I had them at a really young age.
However, from Primary to govt high school and then to government college, my affection for reading started to witness its decline and at one point, I forgot if I had ever been a reader. Having done with my master in Psychology, I thought to pursue Mphill and then PHD but there was a catch. Like every middle class, even our family had only one bread-earner, my brother. My MSC had cost me one hundred thousand, and I knew my Mphill would amount to even double but I could not overlook the fact that I had two brothers waiting in line to apply for admission to the university. So I gave up and thought to look for another option that could finance my higher education.
Prior to June 2018, I had never heard of the word CSS, so when I learned it, I was already scared to even get on it.
In my head, if I could find a job, managing my finances would be much easier. For that reason, I turned to my uncle (my one and only mentor) to seek guidance on the job of AD MOD. Having attended patiently, he replied with just one statement ” Forget about MOD, I see potentials in you, go for CSS’. THE ONLY STATEMENT THAT WAS GOING TO CHANGE MY LIFE, ALTOGETHER. Until that moment, I had no idea about the bugbear of CSS or how to do it but my uncle asked me to google the term, download the syllabus and begin preparing for it. It was immediately after downloading the syllabus that I discerned the path of an eternal travail.
While going through the syllabus the significance of English dawned upon me. Wait, What? The girl who had failed English-paper in her Bachelor of Arts was to write twelve papers in English? Way before springing my journey, I felt down in the dumps. So I retraced my steps back to my uncle revealing my problem. It was about English and I had always been a student of government institutions, how was I even supposed to think about CSS let alone to appear? My uncle, as routine, calmed me down and told me to heed his two-must suggestions, if I were to ace CSS,
1- Read books to develop ideas,
2- Practice English writing.
It was June 2018, and I knew I had a long way to go.