On this Teacher’s Day my friend suggested, let all of us in our 60s, just remember our teachers from our Alma Mater THE NEW ERA HIGH SCHOOL, in Mumbai, India & write about them. My first reaction was “Excellent idea”. It seemed so easy to me as whenever I think about my school life, it runs in front of my eyes & back of my memory like a 3 hour Bollywood movie. But when I actually picked up the pen, i realized it’s such a stupendous task. Which teacher to remember & whom to ignore!!! Oh, I can write a full Ramayan or Bhagwat Geeta on it.
Do I remember, if I cried or not on the very first day of school, leaving the comforts of my own home, cozy-always inviting lap of my Mom or strong shoulders of my Dad? Coming to think of it, may be I did not cry as my school was my second home; a Home away from Home. My teachers were my second set of parents who cajoled me, loved me, encouraged & appreciated me & also scolded & gave me a chance to correct myself for my mistakes.
My teachers not only gave me bookish knowledge but also taught me to be kind, to care & help others, to love, never to give up, make friends, to always keep the student in me alive, be responsible, face the challenges & adversity of life bravely & with a smile & Lastly, whatever is the outcome, always speak the truth.
Here I specially want to mention my 2nd grade teacher Maltiben Dalal who always reminded me of my Mom; big round red bindi, neatly tied bun, specs, sari worn in gujarati style & full of warmth & love towards each & everyone.
My language teachers, maths teachers, science or history teachers or sports teachers saw to it that I excel in every given subject. Come to think of it, were they really my teachers or my parents, who only can have such expectations from their own kids!!!
To the world my teachers were just teachers teaching in a school, but for me they were the heros. They thought I was smarter than actually I was & so I definitely was.
My teachers held my hand, opened my mind & touched my heart. And lastly when I graduated from the school, the Best parting Gift they gave me was to Believe in myself & my ability.
* Harsha Mehta
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