Today, 5th September is Teachers’ Day that is observed nationwide to honour, celebrate and recognise mentors. It’s observed in honour of Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, the greatest teacher and scholar of India and also the recipient of “Bharat Ratna”. He was the first Vice President and second President of India.
Whenever I think of my teachers, I recall the characteristics, actions and words of some of them. The whole scenario of class and fellow students either at school, college or university come to the fore.
I still remember my school maths teacher, whose fear made me memorise difficult tables of 17, 19, one and half, two and half etc. Then there were ingenious teachers, who had given us trigonometry formulae and elements of Periodic Table in verses to remember.
There were teachers who were so sincere that they used to enjoy teaching even after the period was over. We learned the first lesson of relativity, when we realised how the 45 minutes of the recess was shorter than the 45 minutes of a period.
After the terminal examinations, a teacher coming towards the class with a bundle of checked copies was not less than a tsunami.
Some teachers in school were very sensitive to our whispers in the class, probably with the third eye on the back side of the head. They would turn back all of a sudden and throw a piece of chalk at the culprit, or would change seats of more friendly and talkative friends.
There were also teachers who used to embarrass a student, when he would forget to bring the homework, “Do you ever forget to eat your food?”
But my fellow students were not less. When a teacher would ask a question,
some of them who didn’t know the answer, used to give weird expressions, as if the answer had been playing hard and seek with the tongue. And some would look at the ceiling, as if the answer had flied out of the mind. And then after losing patience, the teacher would burst out, “You, yes you, get out from my class ….”
But there were some intelligent students (like Chatur Ramalingam of 3 Idiots) too, who used to impress teachers by asking questions and then also answering thereto. There were some other Newtons, who used to make others’ lives miserable by reminding teachers, “Sir, you had given homework yesterday.”
And then there were really naughty students, rather comedians, who used to make fool of themselves and their teachers despite knowing that they will never go unpunished. I share a few of such examples:
1. Teacher: Construct a sentence using the word “sugar”
Student: I drank tea this morning.
Teacher: Where is the word sugar.
Student: It is already in the tea..!!
2. Teacher: Our topic for today is Photosynthesis. Now tell me what is photosynthesis?
Student: Photosynthesis is our topic for today.
3. Teacher : Shyam is climbing a tree to pick some mangoes. Now begin the sentence with ‘Mangoes’.
Student: Mangoes, John is coming to pick you.
4. Teacher: What do you call mosquitoes in your language?
Student: We don’t call them, they come on their own.
When we would reach the morning prayer, we would pay less attention to prayer, as we used to be busy in checking which teachers and friends were present or absent.
There used to be a peon at the gate, whom we would call ‘Bhaiya’ and request him to allow when late. There was a head peon attached with the Principal. When he would come in the class with red register in hand, there would be a wave of happiness among us, as the teacher would announce, “Tomorrow is a holiday”.
Even today when I walk in front of my Queen’s College or move inside BHU, I get lost in old memories. Today on the occasion of Happy Teachers’ Day, I salute all the teachers, who enlightened and shaped my life in their own unique ways.