Q. What did Hafeez Contractor have nightmares about?
Ans. A nightmare is a bad dream or haunting fear. Hafeez had nightmares about mathematics examination.
Q. What did the Principal say to him, which influenced him deeply?
Ans. The Principal told Hafeez that he was a good student but he never studied. His mother had worked hard to bring him up. It was the time now to rise to the occasion and study.
Q. “……………. that year I did not step out into the field.” What was he busy doing that year?
Ans. He was busy studying books that year.
Q. What ‘distraction’ did Hafeez Contractor create one day?
Ans. For one whole hour he along with his friends played ‘Chorpolice’.
Q. Would you have liked to participate in the ‘distraction’ had you been with him?
Ans. I would have avoided such distraction for fear of the teacher. Moreover, it was completely a wastage of time.
Q. Hafeez Contractor wanted to join the police force. Why didn’t he?
Ans. Hafeez wanted to join the police force, but his mother advised him to do his graduation first. So he joined Jaihind College in Mumbai.
Q. In the architect’s office, Hafeez Contractor was advised to drop everything and join architecture. Why?
Ans. It happened quite by chance. One day he saw somebody drawing a window design. He pointed out that the drawing was wrong, and the window would not open. And he was proved right. His cousin’s husband was surprised. He asked him to design a house and he did that. After that he told Hafeez to leave everything and join architecture.
Q. What was Mrs. Gupta’s advise to Hafeez Contractor?
Ans. When he was in the second or third standard, one of his teachers Mrs Gupta saw his sketches and advised him to become an architect when he grew up.
Q. What made her advise him so?
Ans. She advised him so on seeing his fine sketches.
Q. How did he help fellow students who had lost a button?
Ans. When a fellow student lost a button while playing or fighting, Hafeez would cut a button for him from chalk, using a blade.
Q. Which rules did he break as a school boy?
Ans. As a school boy, he never studied, until his 11th class. He always copied to pass the examination.
Q. What is Hafeez Contractor’s definition of Mathematics?
Ans. According to Hafeez Contractor, Maths is a combination of putting designs, construction, psychology and sociology together and making sketch from all that.
Q. How would you want to define Mathematics? Do you like the subject?
Ans. Mathematics is the best branch of science, but it is a bit difficult to be good in this subject. Howover, I like this subject.
Q. It is likely that someone who is original and intelligent does not do very well at school? Should such a learner be called a failure? If not, why not?
Ans. A learner who is original and intelligent may appear to be a failure at school, but the chances of his doing well in later life are bright.
Q. Who, in your view, is an ‘unusual’ learner?
Ans. An unusual learner can be a genius in any subject. He will be different from the rest.
Q. What can schools do to draw out the best in unusual learners? Suggest whatever seems reasonable to you.
Ans. School should stop treating all the learners as ordinary. They should not follow old mechanical methods of teaching. They should try to discover the hidden talent in each learner and encourage him to do his best developing it.