Molvi Saab Escapades: Inspired by Dream34

If you’re a Muslim desi (South Asian) chances are you’ve been paired with a molvi saab (preacher man/ Quran instructor) in your childhood. Now, it would be unfair to generalize about this 'entity' since there are some extremely humble souls who do it for free and for the sake of passing along the Word of God (i.e. the woman who eventually taught me to read the Quran).

But then there is the population that take on this job simply because they can’t do anything else. For them it’s all about the pay, a meal, and the occasional nap. Somewhere in between their snoozing they manage to impart a thappar (slap) and if you’re really lucky an occasional lesson in their thickest local accent possible. (It’s not ‘swaad zwad’ but ‘saad and daud!’ as we’re reminded by our Arab connections). Of course, some blame goes to us as well, for erm.. resisting authority.

I’ve lost count of how many molvi saab I had but here are some of my favorite:

1. This particular molvi saab liked food. He liked it a lot. So as soon as he entered the living room, he would place his order. While the food was warmed up, we were allowed the extra 10 minutes to climb our favorite Mango Tree. Once the food was ready, we would cover our legs with towels (his solution for our summer shorts) (I was 6) and sit with him while he masticated his bones and burped in our face. The one who got him a meat dish was excused from reading and instead sat their like a king pointing and laughing in our faces. We would read the same page everyday (because he never taught us anything) until two weeks later, when he was FIRED.

2. This one was a jolly old man who was actually very nice but for some reason he liked to sleep. He would dose off in every session which gave us the incentive to skip pages and eventually entire suras. His memory wasn’t all that well either so I guess he never figured out how we went from the second sipara to the twentieth sipara in two weeks. He too was FIRED.

3. Now this is my mother’s generation: (they were a lot worse). Their molvi saab was actually a decent blind man. My mother and her cousins would change their voices, pretending to be the housekeeper, telling him the kids were away. Then they would take his hand and help him cross the street. (so Sad)

I eventually found the right molvi saa(hiba), a woman actually. A woman of great strength and child-bearing skills. She had 10 kids (most of them Hafiz (knew Quran from memory)) and knew all of our tricks, since all 10 of her kids had potty mouths (I learned most of my curse words from them) and had tried every possible trick on her. She was clever enough to use incentives: allowing the first one finished with her lesson to play with her two bratty Siamese cats and sometimes in the backyard. She didn’t come to our house; we had to walk to her house, properly dressed and on time. She didn’t accept money or gifts. Instead, she found her tribe a social outlet with our company.

(I'd like to add Dream34's stories, once he sends them to me, cough)
haha. some things you ought to know about my molvi sahib

1) he had a mole on his forehead which is why i thought he was called molewee sahib
2) he would poke is pen on my forehead to make me look like him
3) he used to get mad at me for saying 'seen' instead of 'sheen' (since when could gujrati's tell tell the difference?)
4) he used to blow on his juice to make it colder
5) he rang our doorbell 15 times
6) he was known to dump first, teach later at others' house
7) he scolded people at the mosque for wearing 'sort sleeves sirts'
he got fired by my dadi.
9) he got deported from my country.
10) his lookalikes lurk every now and then at the butcher shops in toronto.