I used to be a very good sportsman. I had been the senior champion for so many years and I also was the cricket captain. I used to play every game, but that year I did not step out onto the field.

     I would go for prayers and all I would do was eat and study. I normally used to copy and pass, but I realised that once I was in SSC, I could not do that.

     When I got a second class, 50 per cent, in my SSC my Principal said, “Son, consider yourself as having got a distinction!” This is my memory of my school days.

     I did lots of other things. See, as far as my things are concerned, I can’t remember. I forget things very easily. To remember, I have to see things as a photograph. I read a book and I can remember the matter as a photograph but not through my mind. That is how it works.
Apart from learning, Hafeez had several sporting interests. He was a great athlete. He had also been the senior champion for many years. He was also the captain of the cricket team and enjoyed playing cricket. Hafeez used to participate in all of the school's sporting events every year. However, after hearing his Principal's advice, he decided to prove himself. So he thought of studying, and he did not get onto the field that year. It meant that he had followed his Principal's instructions and showed an interest in academics rather than sports.
Hafeez was the captain of the cricket team

After that, Hafeez's daily routine started to change. He used to attend the morning prayers in school, and he would eat adequately and study well. Usually, in the exam, Hafeez used to copy from his friends, and once he reached his senior secondary, he realised that whatever he did was wrong and he should not copy from others. In general, copying is not a good habit. One should try their best to succeed, and copying did not give a piece of good knowledge. Finally, Hafeez realised his mistakes, and he started to study hard.

Usually, hard work never fails. The best example of that was Hafeez. Earlier, Hafeez had copied in all the exams. After his conversation with the Principal, he started to work hard. It gave him a good improvement in his studies. He passed his twelfth standard with fifty percent of marks. When he achieved second class in his board exam, the Principal told him to think that he had got distinction. Here, Hafeez got the second class, and the Principal asked him to feel as if he got first class. The reason behind his statement was Hafeez had worked hard to achieve, and he had achieved the second class. But the thing was that he had obeyed the words of his Principal and tried his best. So it was considered to be a worthy one. So the Principal said to him, “Son, consider yourself as having got a distinction!”

Hafeez shared his experience to Bela how he had scored fifty percent of marks in his board exams. He told her that he had done a lot of things to remember the concepts. He had the habit of forgetting things quickly and mainly forgetting the things which he had studied earlier. It was difficult for him to memorise the text in his course material as he would forget them quickly. To keep things in his mind, he saw them as photographs. He would read a book and remember it in the form of images but not through his mind. Here, "not through his mind" meant that he would not mug up the concepts; he would visually learn the concepts. That’s how it worked for him.
Hafeez would remember his concepts in the form of pictures
Meanings of the difficult words:
SportsmanA man who takes part in a sport, especially as a professional
Champion A person who had defeated all the opposite teams in a competition, especially in sports
CaptainThe leader of a sports team
PhotographAn image of a person, object, or view that is produced by using a camera and film
National Council of Educational Research and Training (2008). It so happened. The Treasure Within (pp. 25-33). Published at the Publication Division by the Secretary, National Council of Educational Research and Training, Sri Aurobindo Marg, New Delhi.