Name: Sultana Shaheen Moidu
Occupation: Teacher, consultant for setting up pre-schools & training teachers
Connection with Kelly:
Kelly and Shaheen met via a common friend, Mrs. Kuljit Singh. Kuljit took Kelly once to the YMCA ladies in the very beginning Kelly arrived in Hyderabad. Kelly and Shaheen got along well and stayed in touch.
My dreams came true because I think ahead and also dream a lot.
In my live, all my dreams came true.
My mum gave me the name Sultana what means princess. I gave myself the name Shaheen. This is in the Urdu language connected with an imaginary bird. If it flies over your head, you become a queen. I’m also inspired by a lot of poems from Allama Iqbal who famous in Urdu literature.
My new name was directly associated with my dream in live. I wanted to become a queen. I wanted to become educated, learn English, I did this. I also started my own school, I taught and I published 6 books.
My dreams came true because I think ahead but also dream a lot. I put myself in the future. I also worked hard and was very persistent. Success comes with planning.
I did not have any knowledge how to write a book but I just did it and actually earned also money on it. I wrote’ Story of my life’, ‘A Woman of Courage’, ‘Memorable years at Pre-school Shahin Niketan’, ‘Life with a precious daughter’, ‘A portrait of my son’, ‘A tender dairy of a grandmother’, ‘My thoughts, my feelings, my dreams, my Aspiration’.
I have a son and a daughter. My son is a doctor and my daughter is a professor in psychology. They both live in America. I’m a very positive woman with a lot of friends. But when I feel lonely I go for 8 days to an entertainment program in a hotel from the army in Secunderabad. My children have their own lives, times have changed. I live on my own but I have now Facetime and Whats App which did not exist yet when my husband was in the army.
I worked hard for my dreams. My life was not easy. I was married at the age of 16 but became a widow at 36. My husband died at 45. He had been in the army and fought on the borders with China and Pakistan. It touched him a lot and he died from a heart attack shortly after he went for an early retirement (in the army that was allowed for everybody he was involved in border wars). When he died, I was a penny less widow. So, I decided to start working. I worked first in a cloth shop. There smart ladies walked in, want to see everything but did not buy. I stopped that job and started as a receptionist. But there I was annoyed with the flirtatious behaviour of the customers. It became clearer and clearer what my mission was. I wanted to educate girls so that they have a good life.
When my husband was still there, I wrote him a lot of letters when he was away with the army force. Then I already knew I love writing. He always said when he came home, in the house you made everything, including our children. I was alone to give birth to my daughter and son. They saw their dad only one month a year. They sometimes called him their summer uncle and for us it was eternal honeymoon for us.
After 2 years you got a family station in the army. There I taught in the Welfare centre of the army wife’s crafts like toy making, knitting, sewing, baking, gardening,…To learn this, no education was needed. I was the supervisor and even won a price from the government when I was running this centre. Whit this experience I got an entrance letter for the Princess Esin Woman’s Educational Centre in Hyderabad to follow a course to be recognized as a teacher. I got the 5000 rupees fee for this study as a gift. Short afterwards I started my own pre-school in my mums house. I love to pass time in a constructive way with Children. Shivali, the granddaughter of a good friend of mine was one of the first kids I taught in the pre-school when she was 2,5 years old. I taught them stuff in an experimental way e.g. soft is the way your skin feels, a nest for a bird, I teach with a story, art or game. Kids start learning the day they are born. I was their hero. I taught them like they were my own kids. I had them until they were 5 years old. Then they had to pass an exam to go to primary school. My kids passed those exams always very well. My school was also very accessible. It was not free education for all but for example the kids of servants had to pay less and I helped to dress them up nicely. The admission in my school cost 50 rupees (67 €c) and the fees were 35 rupees (47 €c). When I got older I handed over the school to my daughter. When she left to America, I sold it and put the money in a the ‘Shaheen educational Trust’. That money I use until now to give girls access to an education as a nurse or a teacher. 4 years back I had a high tea with 50 ex-students. I enjoyed it so much to see them back
I live here now in Faire Lake apartments for 40 years. All the greenery you see is my work. One tree gives oxygen for 4 people. I started with planting one Jasmin. There is a water problem in the city. So we safe all the water and I have a student watering all the plants. I love flowers and plants and they keep the environment clean. If I’m not there anymore, then the trees will still be there.
I initiated the ‘Sunshiners’ in my house, a group of senior ladies that come together to have fun and coffee once a month.
I have 1000 Hindu friends, I’m a practicing Muslim and I’m born with Jesus. Humanity is my first religion. I like the practice, not the preaching.
I’m very satisfied with my life. My last dream is if I pass, I get a big condolence and people have a nice time remembering me. They don’t have to cry for me, nor take sorrow, love each other for my sake! My exit should be like one of our presidents Abdul Kalam. He had a simple live and gave a lot, when he started earning more money he started sharing more.
My army spirit keeps on fighting and I still have the discipline of that time in the army.
What makes me happy?
I’m happy with what I have and very grateful to god. I live and let live, I have no demands or expectations because that can make you very unhappy. Love should always be there, without expectations.
I love visit of my children and ex-students.
I love my friends, my hobbies, my books, my house, my servants and stories.
There is a saying in Urdu ‘Don’t snatch somebody’s happiness to make yourself happy. Don’t give yourself life that gives a burden to others.
Shaheen is an example for Kelly in how you can make your dreams come true in life. Shaheen loves still very much the connection with her friends and family. This was important at every step in her life.
What is your feeling after reading this story?
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