“Mata, Pita, Guru, Deivam” – many Indians follow this popular saying – “Mother, Father, Teacher, God”. It means your mother, father and teachers are placed above God. This article stresses only on the importance of teachers in our lives and meeting our teachers. I had landed in Chennai at around 4 in the morning. The path from the airport to my home is a pretty interesting one as I had to go via four important places.
The first one is The Languedge at Ekkattuthangal; this is where I had attended German classes before I headed to Munich. Second in the list is SRM University at Vadapalani; the place where I had completed my bachelors in Computer Science and Engineering. The next one is SBOA School at Anna Nagar; I did my entire 14 years of schooling here. The last one being an apartment in Korattur where my piano teacher used to reside.
A couple of days after reaching Chennai, I first went and met my German teacher, Mathangi Ma’am. I used to go for classes at her residence where around four students could attend the class at a time. She now conducts classes in a bigger place to accommodate more students. The classroom looked beautiful and had many placards, posters, and fancy things on the bulletin board. She has been instrumental in the betterment of many students staying in Germany. She is yet to visit Germany and only gets to hear stories from all her students. Whenever I ask her, “Ma’am, when are you coming to Europe?”, she responds with, “I have a batch starting soon, I need to work with them!”
A few days later I had visited SRM University, my college. I went there with my friend Antony and we met many teachers including the beloved lady who had been our class adviser for 3 years, Madhumathi Ma’am. I paid a visit to my Head of Department, Padmavathy Ma’am as well. They inquired me about my course, my subjects, the country and many other things. She also introduced me to the guy who is now responsible for a portal I had built for my department.
It was symposium time for the department of mechanical engineering. It brought back all the memories of how we used to run behind teachers to get OD (On Duty), waste time in labs doing nothing but yapping, having a chit chat in the canteen/cafes/restaurants/tea kadai (Tea shops) around, bunking classes, or preparing strategies to clear the exams ethically or unethically.
I visited my school just before Navratri. I contacted my class teacher from 9th and 10th grade, Sharadha Ma’am, to ask the watchman to let me inside the school. Ma’am has been a favorite teacher for almost all the students whom she had handled. Later, I met my Hindi teacher, Rajeshwari Ma’am and my Chemistry teacher, Vijaya Ma’am as well. I strolled around the school and the surrounding area for nearly an hour with my friend Kshipra. I saw the kids playing football, PT teachers making the students exercise, teachers shouting at students, correcting loads of papers, taking attendance, and all that took me down a lane of sheer nostalgia.
My piano teacher, Joseph Uncle as I call him, is another person I wanted to meet. He was already more than 85 years old when I used to go for classes. It was saddening to hear that he had passed away. I loved going to his house not only to learn but also to hear all the experiences from his life. He also took me to the church where I had played some Christmas carols.
There is something common about all of them; their curiosity and interest to know about me. They were also interested to know about some of my friends; where they were placed, what they were pursuing, where they live and so on. I saw how their eyes lit up and were interested in knowing more when I said, “X works at Y, A is pursuing MS in B, Z has cleared GRE/CAT with N marks, etc.”
Our teachers are getting old and some of them are really special. I learnt that it makes a teacher very happy when they see an old student and get to know about their whereabouts. Some of us become success stories for their current students. For all the things they have taught, the advice they used to give, the effort they had put in for us, the sacrifices they had made, this is the least we could do. Go meet your teachers folks. It is not so hard to bring a smile on a person’s face who has played a significant role in your achievements.