Were you a naughty child in your childhood?
Yes, I was, but my naughtiness did not have an evil aspect – it was not destructive in nature. Whenever we had a teacher, I wanted to kill time, as I didn’t want the teacher to teach us – so other students asked me to distract him. I was very playful and liked laughter – it wasn’t about showing any disrespect towards the teacher. I think today that naughty innocence has gone away. We have made childhood so serious and all about achievement
How would you rate yourself as a student?
As a student, I began taking my life seriously only very late in my scholastic life. I was inspired by my teacher Ismail Katrata, who was also my mentor. He made me believe in myself. I was always very playful, unlike my cousins, who were very hardworking. I always say that a teacher should not be a ‘sage on the stage’ but rather a ‘guide on the side’ – my teacher took me to the side without humiliating me, he sat with me and said: “Edris, believe in yourself! You have the ability, and I am here to support you!” When my teacher boosted my self-confidence, it became the tipping point for me, Alhumdullilah. When I realized that I have the ability, I understood that I just needed to be more focused and took my studies very seriously.
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