“What does Oscar Wilde want to convey in this line, Sir?” pops a question from one of the 127 windows on the computer screen of Obaidur Rahman Nadwi (44), English teacher at Dar-ul Uloom Nadwatul Ulama, Lucknow, one of the most recognised madrasas in the country.
Nadwi, in white kurta and topi, with the English textbook in his left hand, explains with expressive actions of his right hand, as if he is teaching in a classroom. Today’s module is on Oscar Wilde’s short story The Selfish Giant.
The question comes from Mohammad Faheem (24), who hasn’t switched on his video. Sitting in Hardoi, about 100 km from the madrasa, he, like 126 other students, is attending his Alia Rabia (BA final year) classes. By the time Nadwi gives his answer, other students have started chattering. Nadwi scolds them: “One at a time, please.” And the class goes on.