मेरे प्रिय students

For once, I have timed my post correctly. Although it could have been a week earlier, but I was too excited to put together my thoughts.

In our school days, we all have written essays on ‘My favourite teacher’ in English as well as Hindi. Interestingly our ‘favourite teacher’ changed with change in the subject and they say children are innocent, बच्चे मन के सच्चे , etc.

Today, I want to write about two of my favourite students. They are not favourites, because they were outstanding in their achievements. but becuse of their nature, the type of human beings that they are. Incidentally, I did not choose one each from boys and girls.

Meghna Singhee was my student for junior college. I just did not like her in the first instance. She ‘appeared’ to be a carefree girl with an attitude. What went against her was that she was the Principal’s pet and had the liberty to talk to the Principal as if she was her friend. All this, when not only the students, their parents as well as the general public, specially residents of the area were scared of the Principal. I was thankful that she did not study my subject. After about two weeks of the academic session in progress, she expressed her desire to study Economics. Since the school did not offer Economics, there was no teacher for the subject. The Principal asked me if I could teach Economics. Since I could, I said yes. How would I know that I had to teach Meghna!

Since, I could not find one book, which had all the subject matter in it, I would consult some books, make my own notes and teach. Meghna used to come for games (she was a perfect all rounder) in the morning before school. So invariably she was tired and hungry when she came to the class room. Since, she was the only student for the subject, I had to teach at her pace. I would stay up late in the night, making my notes for about two days of teaching. And this Meghna! She would say, “Miss, I am sleepy let me read the notes, otherwise I’ll fall asleep while you are explaining”. I asked her as to how will she understand if I didn’t explain. She assured me that she would ask for explanation, as and when she needed. I was surprised seeing her read so fast and she would not even stop for any explanation. Now, that was too much! Her arguement was that since the notes were so comprehensive, she was able to follow everything. Of course, her statement smelt of flattery. I asked her a few questions, which she answered correctly. Not to be defeated by a ‘mere Meghna’, I started making more notes, so that she was not able to finish them in a day. But her speed of comprehending the notes was more than my speed of making the notes. Later some more students joined Economics class (Thank God!) and we had to slow down our speed. But Meghna was impatient with my speed. She would put her head down on the table while I was teaching. Now tell me, which teacher will tolerate this! On being reprimanded, she rattled out whatever I had taught. I was stunned. For the first time I admired that girl. Earlier, since I disliked her , I only saw or tried to look for her negative side. And now when I started admiring her, I realised she was a carefree, down to earth person. I have yet to come across a more compassionate student. Then I saw her using her charm to support her classmates in front of the teachers and the Principal. She was amazing. Always ready to help anyone who required it. She passed out school in two years and went to college. We lost touch but I always remembered her. My students in the years to come were told about her. Most of the students I taught after she passed out, know about her. She was a complete student, taking part in all the co-curricular activities and did fairly well in academics also. She was the school Head Girl for three consecutive years. Never heard of such a distinction. In her last year of schooling, the Head Boy left the school and she shouldered all the responsibilities on her own with a grin on her face. Yes, grin not smile. She is constantly grinning. And now, I find her grin soothing and contagious. After about 12 years I found her on Facebook. Thank God! Her grin is intact. She is married and happy. God bless her.

Ashish Thakare     His name raised eyebrows. He  also, was my Economics student, like Meghna. And the similarity ends there. Instead of grinning like Meghna, he would laugh aloud. Since he joined Junior College after passing out from an outstation school, everything in the school was new to him. He would question everything in the school and we would have arguements over several policies of school. He was staying on his own in Pune, since his father was serving in Kolhapur and so, was quite independent. He found our concern for student’s behaviour or their mannerisms as ‘interfering’. Of course later, he understood our intentions. In fact, he admitted it also. This is something, I have always appreciated in him. He is an honest and straight forward person. So much so, that once he politely refused a teacher when he was asked to tell lies. Later, he confided in me, and wanted to know, if he was right. Of course he was. Since he would have had to go against his principles to oblige the teacher. It is amazing, that he  was clear about his principles and goals since the time, he came into class 9.  He wanted to be an IAS officer. And going towards his goal, he chose Humanities, even when the students were shying away from this stream of subjects. In Economics class, we would often land up debating. Neither of us wanted to give up. He thought, he was learning from me. Little did he know, that I was learning from him. It is very rare, that the students come out with their views and have healthy discussion/debate with teachers.

O yes! like Meghna, he is also available to anyone, anytime if one requires help. Unlike Meghna, we never lost touch. He was there to help me (even my famiy) whenever help was required. He reminds one, of those शिष्य one would find in गुरु-शिष्य परंपरा .

After graduation, he got down to serious preparation for his UPSC Examination. In the meanwhile, he took up teaching. I am sure his students found him as amazing as I did.

Now, I shall tell why this post now! One fine day, early in the morning I read about UPSC results in the newspaper. I decided to call him up later. As I sat checking my mail, I went on Facebook, and saw his status!!!! I was thrilled. I immediately updated my status with the thrilling news, that he had secured 98th position in UPSC Examination and called him to congratulate. As humble as he is, he gave credit to his teachers.

I am sure, he will remain as humble and as honest as he is today. Today’s students (not that he is old) can learn perseverance, determination self control and so on from him. I feel lucky as well as honoured that he has been my student.

This post is dedicated to Ashish Thakare’s  success. May God always be on his side. I wish him success in life, in whatever he does and where ever he goes.


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10 responses to “मेरे प्रिय students

  1. Ashish Thakare

    Miss, what do I say.. I am overwhlemed to read your post. Franfkly, I do not deserve the kind words.. there is so much left for me to do..
    I still distinctly remember my first day at Hutchings, you were my class teacher. Your striaght- forward behaviour really stuck me.. and soon I found comfort while talking to you. Class 11th and 12th – I was new in Pune, everything was new, and staying alone– coming to school and the the presence of my Junior College teachers provided me security..
    The preparation for UPSC was tough and frustrating, there were times when I used to get worked up and in on such moment, you has sms-ed me that ‘beta, acche se mehnet karo, fal ki chinta mat karo.. woh toh apne aap mil jayega’; this helped me a lot.. It helped me reorient my focus on the exam and its process and not the results- and I think that is a crucial factor in my clearing the exam today..
    Everytime, I come to your house, there is so much warmth and I still remember the butterscotch ice-cream you had made when you had called our entire batch after we passed out..
    And, till today I love debating with you, arguing with you…but more than that I love losing to you in the arguments. I always come out to be an enriched person..
    It was some good fortune that I joined Hutchings, and I am proud that you are my teacher and will always remain your student….

    • Ashish, come home anytime. if it is for arguements, you can come unannounced and if you want ice cream, tell me atleast 3 days in advance.

      And my dear child. हीरा अपनी कद्र खुद नहीं जानता. उसे परखने के लिए पारखी की ज़रुरत होती है.

  2. Dear miss,
    I know this is meant to be a comment but like ashish above I’m overwhlemed.(Congratulations by the way) I would never have imagined your perspective and it’s nice to read it (definitely feels good) but I don’t know how much is true. I can’t imagine u trying to create more and more notes. My memory of u is of a teacher with a military pace in walking and talking- straight, to the point and no nonsense and still fun in a dry humour kind of way. That I stuck to economics and even signed up to major in it is completely down to you. The fact is that i think you were the first teacher to treat us as adults with our own ways and that helped me at least firm myself a little more in that it’s okay to be yourself. The pressure to please or perform was off and so you did.
    Your blog is a great space. I loved the airplane post and I being newly married I have some debates on the mother-in-law one.. But I love the energy of them all. And though not inb the same city at least this is a way to keep in touch!
    Thank you miss.
    Hope to see you soon.
    Love Meghna

    • Are you settled in Chandigarh?
      Whenever you come to Pune, come home. And yes, you dare not come alone. I want to meet your hubby also.
      Was I really very strict with you all? this is the second time You have mentioned this!

  3. Purva

    Dear Miss 🙂

    I was really hoping you would add the third favorite student as me! :p
    Like Meghna said, my love for Economics is also solely because of you, especially Macro economics . I still remember how I flunked my first economics test miserably in class 11 and how you helped me overcome that fear…from whereon I went on to shine in the ISC boards to earn shining gold earrings from you (which now my daughter has “inherited”) he he !
    Just the other day I was glancing through my sister’s wedding and saw your snap with Mudita, Tanu and me having lunch..it was really nice to see you miss…hope to see you in person soon!
    Keep writing miss..so that we can keep reading!
    Love and Regards.

  4. It is really difficult to choose two favourite students. And having chosen two, it does not mean others are worthless. Of course you are special to me. Otherwise, you wouldn’t confide in me, even though we have not met for the last 10 years. Your visit to my home, with family is long overdue.
    I am happy to know that I was instrumental in making Economics a special subject for you and Meghna

  5. that was one touching post from a wonderful teacher. The comments bear this out, don’t they? Boy, am I glad you have started writing! And you are way ahead of me here — I still don’t use FB 😦

    • Pratibha Singh

      Actually, I started my computer learning with FB. Can you believe, I was able to find about 15 classmates from my school and we had our first reunion after 34 years, last year at Delhi.
      And as far as writing is concerned, it will again take back seat once the school starts:(

  6. Purva

    Miss..plz don’t let school stop u from writing! 🙂

  7. ektaadwani

    so well expressed. Touched me. I cud picturisr it while reading

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