Monday, September 7, 2015

From The Other Side

I have been a great fan of my teachers. For a child struggling with many tussles inside her heart, mind and the manner in which they related with the very judgemental world, it was my teachers who came to my rescue in ways which cannot be contained inside any text book. This weekend, I took out some time to relive the fantastic college and school times, where teachers formed the pivot around which my life revolved. They were more of my friends than any peer. And I am not exaggerating one bit.

This Teachers' Day, however, I was greeted with another pretty revelation. In a manner uniquely subtle and unconventional, I had stepped over to the other side. It's been a year I have been working with Shiv Nadar School (as a Content Strategist, and not as a teacher), but I have had the privilege of sharing my knowledge of literature and creative writing with the lovely kids there. These few interactions were enough for the students to deem me a teacher, and gift me some love in the form of fond hugs and heartfelt wishes. 

My moment of extreme pride came when I was informed by the Principal herself that students at the school had been wanting me to visit more often, to teach and interact with them. The way my heart swelled and my eyes welled-up is inexplicable in words. What greater joy can greet a person who has made it her life's aim to hear people out and share whatever shreds of knowledge she has managed to amass during her stay on this planet?

I have a special bond with everyone at Shiv Nadar School, right from the teachers, to students to the management, and probably the space of this blog is too scarce to express even a fraction of it. In a relationship spanning more than a year, I have enjoyed the trust of many, and appreciation of the kind that leaves me humbled. What is truly humbling, however, is the scope of learning that the school precincts provide me. I have a genuine belief that the teachers which Shiv Nadar School has chosen to carry its philosophies forward are a unique breed. The value system of the school, as well as the very innate desire to curate learning experiences brims over in a kind of infectious energy which greets me each time I visit. I rue not being able to visit them more often, but, ah, the perils of distances and a crumbling human body. 

The lady, who has left a profound impact on me in that jolly world of learning, as is public knowledge, is Ms. Monica Sagar. It is difficult for me to figure out completely why Monica ma'am appeals to me the way she does. It has probably got something to do with her absolutely down-to-earth and nonchalant demeanour, even on the most glamorous of days. And all this, when she is an exceptional leader. To my mind, she has somehow mastered the art of shepherding her herd while giving them a lead to locate their own paths. After being such a busy woman, she manages to be ready with a hug and smile to greet you at all times. She doesn't exactly teach me, but I end up learning much from her. Always. 

I have written glorious paeans for my school and college teachers, but this Teachers' Day post is an apt time to thank Vaibhav and Karan for being the guides in the professional world, where I still exist as a strong-headed, moment-inspired writer. They manage to keep me going, happy and proud of my work. 

To end, I think a good teacher rises out of exceptional students. Here are a few words from Drishti's blog, which she wrote for her favourite teachers. I am fortunate I fall in that category of favourites for her.