Mr Milton Charan was my English teacher in school days. We all in the school were very much impressed by his vocabulary and knowledge, particularly about Shakespeare. There was no class in which he would not mention Shakespeare.
He was always ready with quotes pertaining to Macbeth, King Duncan, Claudeus, Caesar, Iago, Hermia, Shylock, Antonio, Portia, Cordelia, Desdemona and so on. Some of us gave him nickname, “Shakespeare.”
We couldn’t understand what he was referring to, as we had read nothing but “The Merchant of Venice” that was on our curriculum. To divert his attention, we started asking about the character he used to refer. And very willingly he used to oblige us too, but it was difficult to follow him.
Then some of us decided to read briefs of at least some of the works of Shakespeare. But in those days, YouTube or Google was not available to access these plays. So we purchased summary books that sufficed our need.
He was so meticulous in his approach that none of us could escape his attention. He used to throw a piece of chalk, if someone was not paying attention.
But he had a unique habit of making gestures with both hands in a particular circular motion while delivering his lectures. At leisure, we used to copy him. Somehow he came to know about it. He became very cautious about his hand gestures afterwards.
One day, in the middle of the class, he rushed to the second bench and started beating Kashinath. We all were stunned by this unexpected twist. Nobody knew what had exactly happened. Kashinath was a sober boy, and Milton sir had also never beaten anybody in the class.
After more than three decades, during an online get-together, Kashinath asked us, “Can anyone tell me even now why Milton sir had thrashed me on that day?”
I said, “You must have made some sort of hand gesture to provoke him.” But he said, “No, not at all. I had never mimicked any teacher in my life.”
Nobody had an answer. I mimicked the hand gesture of Milton sir, and we all ended with a loud guffaw.