In Pakistan two of the most difficult professions were always under-paid: teaching and writing. Nowadays teachers (especially tuition teachers) are highly paid. In my apartment block, there is a man who lives in a penthouse on the fifteenth floor (the rent of which is about Rs. 400,000 p.m.). He is so much in demand that aside from his regular job (in a prestigious college), he teaches students who live twenty kilometers away. He even has armed guards when he moves around, so he must be very rich.

Then there is this young chap of 25 or so who teaches maths to children of my relatives and neighbors. He has his own car and dictates the time and day when he can come to teach. He even goes abroad for vacations once or twice a year.

I used to teach in NED Engineering College and would be paid Rs. 25 per lecture. In my spare time, children of neighbors and relatives would come to my house to solve math problems (I did it for free). It was widely believed by Memons that only losers took up teaching.

Members of other communities (particularly Urdu speakers) of course regarded teachers with respect. I remember how a Customs officer changed his attitude when he discovered that I had once been a lecturer in a prestigious institution. Until then, he had treated me like he did all other businessmen, thinking that I was a tax evader. Another time a retired officer in the oil industry was amazed when he was told that I had given his son (my assistant) time off to study for exams, as his son was also a student of mine.

Memons too have taken advantage of the boom in teaching, but instead of becoming lecturers they have opened tuition centers where they employ others to teach. Among them is the son of a distant relative of mine who gave up his job to open a tuition center. Another Memon has spent a fortune for his sons to become partners of Anis Hussain, the man who prepared many students for IBA and other colleges.