This post is dedicated to all teachers. Being a teacher is the noblest profession on all. And it is specially dedicated to my favourite teacher, to whom I will be grateful throughout my life.

We were a noisy class, Class 6B, it was after all the first day, after school had reopened  following summer vacation. And it was her first day too, at school with us. She walked into our class, looking strict, and with the ‘zero tolerance for misbehavior’ look. She was our Class teacher! We were like, Oh No! Who is this? And looks like we are going to be in serious trouble this year… She introduced herself, “I am Mrs. Pant. I am your class teacher for this year. I am going to teach you English and Hindi.” We were like,” Oh No!! One subject was ok, but looks like she’s going to spend the whole day with us!!” How were we going to spend one year with this formidable looking person? But little did we know that beneath the tough looking exterior was a heart 💓 so big that it not only accomodated us, but many many others who came under her care over the years…

So it was…Ma’am spent at least 3 periods out of 9, with us every day. She was from North India, Nainital. And we were almost in the very tip of South India. She was different from us, and she was also different from all the teachers we had known so far. She wasn’t just interested in improving our language, she was interested in us. On one hand, she encouraged us to improve our talking skills by asking us to interact in English only, on the other hand she encouraged us to read outside our own textbooks to improve our vocabulary. Not only that, she didn’t treat us as outgrown children or silly teenagers but as young responsible people who were capable of thinking on our own. She always listened to whatever problems we had, even if was some silly fight with our friends. She never never laughed at the silliness of our problems. (Coming to think of it now, I wonder how Ma’am actually listened to our silly problems those days!) And she always found a workable solution.

Our school was a strict one, our Principal being a strict disciplinarian. We used to call our school “Central Jail” for all the restrictions they imposed on us. We hadn’t even gone for a school trip or a day out with friends. So when we told ma’am about our longing, she made our dream come true by arranging a one day trip for us. We had so much fun!

Ma’am wanted us to think out of the box, she always encouraged us to ask questions. She even brought out the idea of a magazine, and we did a handwritten magazine with poems and stories we had written ourselves! Those years spent with ma’am still stand out in my memory…

I lost touch with ma’am when I finished my schooling, and then last year, I was able to get in touch with her again. And she still remembered me, after having taught scores of children… It was such a joy to talk to her, we talked about the turns our lives had taken, books, philosophy, so much stuff… Ma’am is still the same loving warm person and what surprised me was that she had enrolled herself into a new online course! That too a subject which she wasn’t too familiar with… Talk of fighting spirit… 

Today we had a little chat, and she told me she’s going to join a company, for which she has to train for some days, from a teacher she is back to being a student. I was like Wow! Here I am wondering if I am too old to pick up a new skill and ma’am doesn’t give it too much thought. She just goes for it! When I tell her she is an inspiration, she tells me this, “It’s all God’s grace only. When circumstances force us to take up a challenge, we have to face them. And am thankful to God that all my faculties are intact and in good shape…”

Ma’am…you are and will always be my inspiration 😍😍…and I  grateful to God that your hands have played a role into moulding this misshapen mound of clay into the person I am today… Ma’am …you have not only taught me English, you have also taught me the art of living…

As I end my post here, am expressing my gratitude to all the teachers in my life, for its by the grace of the valuable lessons you all have given me, that I am making this journey called life…

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Divya Pai

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