Hafeez Contractor is today India’s leading architect. But he was unhappy and careless at school. He used to have terrible dreams about appearing for a maths examination in which he knew nothing at all. When he reached the third standard, he lost interest in studies. He took interest in games and passed all the school exams by using unfair means.
But, later, one sentence spoken to him by his Principal changed his life. He was in the 11th standard then. The Principal said to Hafeez, "You are a good student, but have little interest in studies. I have taken care of you till today but now I can no longer take care of you. You should study hard."
Hafeez told the interviewer that he wanted to join the army or the police force. But his mother told him to do his graduation first. So he joined Jaihind College in Bombay. There he studied French for seven years without learning anything. He later learnt this language from his cousin, an architect’s wife.
One day Hafeez saw somebody drawing a window detail. He told the man that the window won’t open. He had a bet and he won it. His cousin’s husband asked him to design a house and he did it. He then asked Hafeez to join architecture. And Hafeez got first position in the entrance test in that college of architecture.
He admitted frankly that he was bad at languages. He was also poor in maths. Gifted boys are said to be poor in learning. Hafeez always hated maths. But now as an architect he loves that subject.