I Still remember my first day in the school. It was the occasion of Saraswati Puja. (Those who don’t know about Goddess Saraswati can understand her by understanding her Roman counterpart Minerva.) I was five years old and after the puja, I was told to hold the chalk and the same was held by the teacher, my first principal – Raghuvir sir. I wrote the numbers from 1 to 10 in Devnagiri script on the slate and believe me, I was the happiest guy in the school at that time. There was a feeling of accomplishment. I was finally admitted in the school and I could continue as a student, finally! I owe my gratitude for Raghuvir sir, and I will always do. Can we ever forget our first formal teacher?
Other than him, there are many teachers whom I respect very much. Of course, there are also those whom I don’t like at all, but I do respect as much I need to do as a student. When I look back, I am thrilled to remember those days – students gathering and waiting for a teacher to pin-in the Teacher’s Day tickets on their shirt pockets. For the teacher’s fund, students used to offer a little of their pocket money. I remember I began by paying 2 Rs and went on to 5 Rs eventually. I am not sure if this practice is still continuing in the schools because as far as I can see, in my locality and from others what I listen about different localities, there are balloons; there is dance; there is show off; there is singing; there are gifts (and absolutely ludicrous ones for a teacher)… but there are no teachers day tickets; there is not that bond between the teacher and the students; there is not that respect for the teachers; there is not that vision in most of the teachers about their students.
My high school days were those lucky days in which I learnt a lot of things from my highly motivated and able teachers. Krishnandan Babu, Umakant Babu, Rai sir, Suryadev Babu, and Joginder Babu… only the names guide me to slow down in respect because they were the teachers of those days and they meant business. Whatever I am today, a great chunk of that ‘build’ goes to my teachers in the high school who taught me to keep pace with the life and sometimes even move ahead and teach the life what pace to move on… High schools have changed! Teachers have changed and so are the students.
In the college, I was highly fortunate to have the teachers like Dr. D P Singh, Dr. Swarna Prabhat, N K Dar, Dr. R K Paramhansa, and Virendra Babu. HOD and later the Principal of Nalanda College, Dr. D P Singh is the teacher anyone would like to become… one of the best-known figures in India for his grasp on Metaphysical poetry, he is humble and not at all unfriendly with the students. His classes were the classes I would surely love to relive and learn even more but sadly the time goes on… Prabhat Sahab is the teacher who taught me to organise so well and be prepared for the challenges not only in the examination but also in the life. The command and authority with which he teaches are awesome to witness. I am sure any student who has read from him will ever forget him… Virendra Babu is one of those teachers whom you can call the pillar of the department. A little different from others but his innovative style of teaching will remain in the mind of the students forever. He is the person who has introduced me to the philosophical aspects of life and I will forever be grateful for that! In the evenings our sports buddy, Paramhans Babu is the teacher who keeps the department alive. He is energetic and always cheerful. His classes just before the examinations will always be fresh in the minds of the students… all of those who were my batch mates.
And not to forget, my teachers during those three years of the private school life, Sharma sir for the mathematics, Uday sir for the English grammar, Surendra sir for the Hindi, Rudal sir for his discipline… during the government middle school days, I had the chance to be taught by the teachers who were the real masters in handling the students. Randhir Babu for his Sanskrit, Virmani Babu for his mathematics and other life-lessons, Shila Kumari for her Hindi and other motivational lectures, Nidhi ma’am for helping me (even if unconsciously) to express whatever I knew frankly, Devnandan Babu for his affection mostly and then his strict lessons in History and all other subjects… shall I ever forget these people?
To all my teachers, wherever you people are and will be, I will always be grateful to you all for the lessons you have taught me to make me what I am today… from the deepest corridors of my heart – many thanks for being there! I can only expect that teachers who are teaching today could be like you all so that many more students could be even more than what we could become!
Happy Teachers’ Day everyone!