It has been precisely 15 years since I last put foot in my school premises, and I really regret that. Each time I would be in Vasai and decide to go, some or the other excuse came in the way. Sometimes it was college, and then it went on to be marriage and children. But the reality is that I was not sure whether I have anything to show to my teachers.
You see, as a kid going to school in a relatively less known St. Anthony’s Convent School in a relatively lesser known Vasai Koliwada, I didn’t know much about the world. All I knew was that my teachers were the most gifted lot I had ever met. They knew just about everything. I was totally in awe of them and their prowess. That feeling still lingers in my heart, and I am ashamed that as a grown up, I have nothing to show. All these years, I waited to ‘become’ someone so that my teachers felt proud about me. I haven’t got there yet.
But sometimes, out of the blue, I meet some of my old teachers. I met Ms. Khadija one day at Vasai Railway station. I went up to her, afraid she wouldn’t recognize me. Imagine my surprise when she hugged me, really hugged me tight! That was the best feeling in the whole world. She was my class teacher in the first standard. She will always be the teacher closest to my heart. If you ever read this Ms. Khadija, I may have been too young to register everything you taught me in detail, but I remember the way you taught. I remember the love and affection in your eyes when you looked at me. I remember how you called my mother to school, for complaining about my things being untidy, and yet told her not to yell at me, as I was a good girl 🙂 If there is such a thing, you were the first person other than my parents that I loved. I love you now, and always will 🙂 I miss you.
Ms. Janki Iyer, no one EVER again taught me science the way you did. Somehow after you taught, I never needed to go back to the textbooks. It was that lucid. I went to a dental college, and I wished that teachers there taught the way you did. You were the best, BEST teacher ever.
Ms. Priscilla if I can blog well today, if my emotions flow well on paper the way they do in my mind, I have only you to thank. You made English interesting. You gave me the thirst for words. You gave me the means to express. You gave me my identity. I owe my entire being to you.
Ms. Girija, why is it that maths was never the same after I left school? I sincerely believe it was you. You made it seem so easy! You were the reason I sailed through my most toughest subject.
Ms. Irene, you caught the turmoil within me when no one else noticed. I was going through a tough time, and no one NO ONE saw it. You saw it and you helped me gain confidence in myself. You were the reason why I performed well in the last three years of school.
Mr. Diego Lobo, when I wrote that essay about the stray dog (in Hindi) you were the one who told me that my grammar was all wrong, but my imagination was superlative. You were the first person who ever recognized that I had a flair for writing. You were the first person that ever gave that notion to me that I could write!
My tution teacher Ms. Irene, you challenged me, pushed my limits and made me achieve what I didn’t think was possible for me. You believed in me when even I didn’t believe in myself. You are always in my heart. Always.
Principal Sr. Rosy Fernandes. I still love you with all my heart. You were and are the epitome of everything that is good in this world. Stern but gentle, firm but loving. Strict disciplinarian and yet caring nurturer at heart. I long to meet you again.
All my teachers who ever taught me, I salute you from the bottom of my heart. It isn’t easy teaching a cracked nut like me.
I may not remember everything I learned back in school. But all my teachers taught me to be a good person. I may not have academic or professional achievements to show, but I certainly am a better person because you shaped my life.
Happy Teachers’ Day! May God bless you always!