Wednesday, September 05, 2007

To Sir, with love

Today is Teacher's Day in India, celebrated every year on the birth anniversary of Dr. Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan, former President of India.

I have happy memories of this day when I was in school. The senior students (Class 7 & 8) took classes for the juniors (Class I to VI)! We followed the normal class time table but instead of Verma Sir, Sahu Sir or Das Madam, it would be Swati or Chetan or Sangeeta taking the class! And at the end of the day or was it the next day, at assembly, the best student - teacher would be announced!

Throughout my school days and later, college, university and when I was learning french, I have had many teachers : good, mediocre and frightening! None of them however inspired me to do anything astounding. Despite that, they are part of my personal history.

Sahu Sir, to whom, we collectively professed our love to, and I think scared him out of his wits (most of us where silly gigly third graders); Kovalan Sir, who became an instant hero when he caught the snake (a harmless grass snake that had somehow crept into a class on that summer day, so long ago, in Assam), twirled it round and round and flung it far away; Nadeema Madam my first arabic teacher who gave me such a hard time (I had joined my class after going to the Middle east, in mid term and was having a hard time with the aleph, bet etc); My math professor in Kolkata who made integration and differentiation into an art form (I wish my class would go on for ever, so lucidly and easily he taught us); Michel in Ecole des Roches in Paris - who would do crazy things to keep the entire morning class wide awake and pick up some french and many others whom I can't remember.

They had their lives, their families, their sorrows and happinesses too....but to me and maybe many other students they were simply - teacher. And although not all our memories of school and teachers might be good or memorable, they did to some extent, acutally more than 'some', made a change in our lives.

Therefore, to all of them, I wish, Happy Teacher's day.

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