Monday, November 19, 2007

My Candle: Two

Yeah. u guessed it.. not just films are made in sequels..!! for those of u who are reading this post first..i suggest you go read the previous post if you want to make sense of what's written here.. and for the others who have read the previous post and stil reading this..i love ur guts!!!

A really long time i know, but had quite a few things to take care of, loads happening in my life.I know it dosent make sense saying that i dint get the time to write 10 words but trust me when i say that i meant it.

A simple oath before i proceed on with this one: All my other posts had the usage of corrupted english language with 'u' replacing 'you' and so forth. I realised it dosen't really emphasis anything for the post nor does it help my english, henceforth i, Deepthi Rajagopal, hereby solemly decline the usage of the 'chat english' and to strictly adhere to the pure english norms.

With that, moving onto my most favourite teacher of all times: Vishalam Teacher.For most of you from St Thomas school or Holy Angels school in Trivandrum, this will be a familiar name.It's been years since she retired but i am sure her name is still fondly remembered by one and all.

She was my Physics tuition teacher for tenth grade. It so happened that she was my Dad's relative and when we got together for a family get-together, the talk of teaching came up and my folks felt that i really needed the push to get that subject into my head(I really hated that subject!!!).Well so back again to tuition rooms. I was the only student, so maam gave the flexibility to come for it whenever i wanted to.Her house was at a walking distance from our apartment complex and unknowingly i started enjoying the brisk walks in the evenings on alternate days in a week. And more than ever i started enjoying going for the classes.Let alone the fact that she used to feed my hungry mouth with mouth watering bakery items and fruits, she made me open my eyes to the world around me.We talked about a lot of general things in the world and invaribly she managed to associate all of those with physics i needed to pass my exams. Right outside her house was a school for the blind. Evenings, when we sat by the large door sized windows, she always made it a point to make sure that the blinds were pulled when it was time for the students to head home.Seeing the anxious parents waiting for their children and seeing the kids walk out escorted with stick in hand and expressing their joy on realising that they have made it right into the arms of their mothers was a sight worth watching. In that silent moment of realisation, me and maam watched with fluttering hearts the kids actions. Her unsaid words when she looked at my face after that was 'Realise how lucky you are..Make the most of it.' She always encouraged me to achieve something in life cause we were the lukcy few blessed ones who had no shortcomings and could afford to do something for the world to make it a better place.Sadly, even though i wanted to heed her words, i fell into the regular line of people who study to earn a living and busy themselves in trying to make their lives better. I have ended up as an ordinary software engineer with nothing in my name other than a salary account and loads of such that some other rich person gets richer!Well time is still young and i will definetly make my contribution to this world maam..the way you wanted your students to.

As i write this post, my eyes fill with tears and my heart goes out for this brave teacher who has spread such a circle of light in my life none other can ever tread or even try to lessen, when i see her suffer from the physical beast which has engulfed her. The maam i used to see standing by her doorstep to welcome me with a brightly lit smile is now trying to give that smile even when the cancer is slowly spreading through her body and the pain trying to overcome the smile.I have never felt so bad in my life the way i felt when i went to meet her two months ago and see her all weak and tired. I have never in my life prayed so profusely to god about anything else the way i prayed that he rids her of the pain she is suffering from and to give back my lively enchanting maam.. Inspite of all her illness she kept claiming she wanted to take tuition and have the kids around her despite the fact that she could barely manage to sit up and talk. For the first time in my life i envied the kids who are lucky to be having tuitions from her now and i wished i could still be in my tenth grade.. but at the same time i pitied the kids for what they were missing.. the real teacher..the real guide..the real light.. i felt lucky to be among the privilaged few who had the good fortune of being her student when she was her vibrant self..

'I salute you o lovely candle for all the light and warmth you spread in my life.. i shall preserve these till the day i bid farewell to this world.. you laid the path for me to tread my life.. you showed me what it is to be human.. you made me realise all the good fortune that god had blessed me with.. you made me realise how lucky i was to be born the way i am.. Thank you maam...You are always there in my heart and my prayers...

My Candle: One

You know what's the best description of a candle that i have come across? It's this one:

"A candle burns itself out while giving light to others" and do you what else fascinates me about this one phrase? Its the fact that this one applies to more than a candle and u know what that is? guess....... no clue? keep guessin.....still no luck..ok here goes.. a teacher.. aint that the most beautiful thought ever for a teacher??well this post of mine is dedicated to all the candles who marked a circle of light in my life in their own sweet way. ok ok ..i know not every teacher gets the credit of being a candle in our life..i am not generalising anything.. i can talk on my life experience..aww come on... i am done with schools and colleges for this lifetime so i am eligible for voicing my opinions and coming to conclusions.

My teacher at kindergarten. Usha maam at TVS school madurai.. i just have a faint memory of her.. but i dont know what..but i still can never forget her name or the fact that i really adored her.. i was hardly 3 or 4 years of age when i was in her class..i cant even really remember her face.. but shes been one of the few teachers i have always adored in my life...

Now to school...teachers at school.. mmm i never gave them more thought.. they were never burning themselves to give me light..they were burning to get themselves paid.. atleast i never came across a teacher i wanted so badly to be like..until i had the good fortune of having omana teacher teaching me..

coming from tamilnadu i was hopeless at malayalam..cudnt even write a single word of it. i had taken hindi at my previous schools in TN so the realisation that i had to learn malayalam and actually take exams in it to pass to my next grades was pretty shocking for me and even more shockin for my folks who were totally lost when it comes to teachin mother tried her hand in teachin me but it always ended in me and her fightin and me gettin my head banged with watever she cud get in her hands.. and since my father adored me to be his "papa"(meanin baby in tamil)..he decided to refrain from tryin to teach me so that v wud still b sharing the loving bond.. well so moral of story.. need tuition for malayalam.. in 3'rd std(can u blive that???) i was so against it..i mean come on..i was hardly 8 yrs of age..and to be spending one or two hrs in another class after comin back from school while the rest of my friends enjoyed their evenings was too much for my lil mind.

Many persuaions later and after badly flunkin all the malayalam papers in my 3rd grade and with the threat that unless i clear malayalam for my final exams i wud b detained in the same grade i put down my ego and conceeded to have my freedom for two hours given up. We were in an apartment complex with like five floors in all and each floor having 10 houses ..pretty huge i know.. :).. Omana teacher was in the fifth floor.. on my first day i dragged myself to the house..tuk the stairs from the second floor..delaying myself that much more..reached my destination.. promised to get this over with asap and rang the bell.. aunty's maid opens the door.. i have seen aunty once or twice before.. a quiet spoken lady with the face of an angel.. she was teachin in a local school.. and i always wondered what she was like with her students..was she the angel she luked like or was she different.. well well i told myself that i wud find out very soon... her maid tells me aunty is in the kitchen and that i can go sit in the room.. off i push myself to go and seat myself obediently in a chair by the side of a huge table filled with books and papers and pens and pencils and inkpot and rulers and cane chairs in the side of the room.

More voices..i turn around.. who else.. but my friends in the apartment itself. two of them.. i was they come here too..they are as surprised seeing me there as i was to see them..three 8 yrs meeting in a tuition place.. u can imagine.. the guy amongst us shows us how he learnt to make a paper robot that day in class.. v were watchin him make it when in walked our next tuition mate..a student from aunty's school..a chubby guy with big huge specs.. i was the stransger there for him..the other two promptly introduced me to him.. at tht moment aunty walks in..shes happy to see that v have all made friends with each other..i was takin out my books to start learnin... in walks aunty's maid with four big glasses of steamin hot drinks and cookies in a plate.. man..i was never this glad.. she starts teachin..v start eating. but i learnt more that day than i have learnt in my school the whole year..

she was the most interestin teacher i have ever come across... the most patient teacher.. she understood us kids..she encouraged us in our classes.. yet she managed to get across the subject..i started loving malayalam.. i started loving the way she narrated the malayalam poems we had in our textbooks..even today i can recite the poem of a caterpillar which turned into a beautiful butterfly and flew out..poem in page 13 of std 3 malayalam textbook. CBSE board. Days passed...aunty's house was like our heaven for us.. v used to go to her kitchen..she always had something or the other pickled in was a delicacy for date whenever i see a salt pickled mango or 'lovelolika' i think of u aunty.. my classes with u.. the poems..the essays.. the speeches. the fun.. the smile on ur face.We were too young .. she knew it.. she became our age to teach us..

and for the finale.. i scored full marks for my final exams in malayalam.. filmi ending.i know.. but true.. from that day i loved the language and i realised how one teacher can change a student's like or dislike for somethin.