September 5, 2014
Dear Yasmin Mam,
You spent days teaching me how to write a proper letter but today in this generation of emails and whatsapp messages, the beauty and existence of a formal letter is dwindling. So, I decided to do my bit on this Teacher’s day by writing a letter to express gratitude.
Hope you are doing fine. It just struck me that I never bothered to ask how you are. All my childhood years you were this strong person who knew everything and had all the answers. I am sure you are still inspiring people and selflessly making life better.
I am happy to tell you that our small town school has now evolved into an inter-college. That small school that started with a few rooms and huge playground now has a three storey building and sadly a smaller playground.
You will be delighted to know that our batch of 1996 is really doing well in life. Quite a few of us are settled in US and Australia while those in India are prominently placed in varied career fields – Bank, IT, Marketing, Engineering, Academics and Sales. Mam, you succeeded in making men out of monkeys.
Mam, before writing to you I spoke to Kavita. She fondly remembers you and says;
“What better way to thank our teachers than quoting Alexander who once said I am indebted to my father for living, but to my teacher for living well.”
Mam, I think she wants to create a good impression on you. Quoting Alexander, aha! She was never so studious. However, now she is a big shot Public Relations Manager.
And do you remember Surabhi? The slimmest girl in our class, one who invented size zero much before Kareena Kapoor could think of, and surprisingly she is still the same. She has finally made it to the Bank. Ever since she got some sense in her head she wanted to join bank. At that time when we didn’t know anything beyond the correct spelling of ‘career’ (double ee and not single), she was so focussed about her career. Well, Surabhi send her respects to you;
“I have been really blessed to have a teacher like you. Even after so many years, I hold high respect for you Mam because you have been a true guide and mentor who paved our way to success. Your guidance moulded me not just into a successful being but also a good human being. I thank you from the core of my heart.”
Mam, you must be surprised and thinking what impeccable English Surabhi has written and how your hours of hard work finally succeeded. Mam, I edited it
Mam, Lubna also says hi to you. That over talkative, over excited kid, is now a responsible mother of two beautiful girls. When her daughter Amna, mimics her teacher and paces around the house with her whiteboard and chalk saying, “Keep quiet class, sit down”; she remembers you. She can’t handle two children of her own and how calmly you managed so many children in a class. Hats off! Anma wants to be a teacher when she grows up.
Mam, do you remember how every Teacher’s day we would dress up as teachers and mimic you all. Let me reveal a secret today – all the girls wanted to be you and we had such big fights over that.
For me, you are my first ever reader. You read my essays and always appreciated me. You once read my essay and said, “Gitanjali, you must continue writing. You express very well. You will become a writer one day.” Whenever I have a writer’s block or I lose confidence over my writing future, this statement of yours echoes in my mind and I spring back.
Mam, Gaurav akka Math whiz is now a top shot Technical Senior at Yahoo and is based out of California currently. He sends his regards and fondly remembers what you once said;
“Find yourself lucky that your parents are able to afford your education. There are zillions others who can’t afford even daily food”.
And this is something he has never forgotten till date. This is his mantra for life.
Shashnak, now a senior teacher himself finally realized how tough the job of teaching is. He says;
“When I was a student, a teacher’s job seemed so easy. Now I’m a teacher and now I understand what it actually is. It’s not easy. It’s a job of highest resposibility. The parents entrust their most love part to the teachers with the faith and belief that their child would be in safe and caring hands of the people who would take care of them as they themselves do.”
We have a Facebook group and we often get nostalgic discussing school days. Frank sir and his cane, Mukherjee mam and her enthusiasm for maths (the only teacher who could instil some liking for Math in me), Akbar sir for his simplicity, Rajeev sir for his undying dedication and all of you who contributed in one or the other way to the personality that we are today.
Thanks you for being there patiently.
Happy Teacher’s day.
Lots of love,