Ziaul Islam Siddiqui - Lecturer, Physics

By Humayoun Jawaid Ahmed (C70)

All of us had the pleasure of having Ziaul Islam Siddiqui Saheb as our Physics lecturer during our first year at NED. He was a short and slim man, always dressed in black sherwani, pajamas and a Jinnah cap. He wore thick glasses. He was a good teacher and kept the class entertained.

He was mostly known as 'ZIS', his initials. He had the tendency to go off on tangents every now and then. His monologs on these non-Physics topics mostly dealt with religious or moral issues. There was a day in late 1966, when he was delivering the lecture in one of the upstairs class rooms in the building with the chimney stack. He went off the track and started talking about the merits of 'ghusl' by taking a shower instead of bathing in a tub. His point was: "agar tum paani maen laeto gae, toh ek jagah ki ghilazat saaray jism maen phael jaye gi". As he said the words he sort of sashayed just a touch and waved his hand holding the book toward his back as if pointing to the origin of the 'ghilazat'. We all listened quietly, but Oostur Raza (M70) - always the wise guy - raised his hand. ZIS Saheb paused, and Oostur said: "Sir, did you read the news that Walt Disney died yesterday?". There was no response from Siddiqui Saheb but he forgot about 'ghusl' and resumed teaching Physics.

ZIS Saheb was part of a group of conservative staff members who had not quite bought into the idea of admitting girls into the College. He never expressed his opposition in any way on campus but we did hear that he had articulated his views about this issue in circles outside the College.