What does it take to be a teacher? A fleeting muse crossed the conscious. Making me perplexed, the airy muse swayed down to memory lane.
The quest was referred to self, but it showed up again and again. Baffled I raised another query. “After all what does it take to be a student?”Hhmmnn..a nagging feel floated across the mind, a little scary but inexplicable one that couldn’t be exactly abhorred. What was it?
Musing about my facilitator I concluded? “They are till date mystical, the unpredictable lot-god has created them like that only.” I sighed.
A bit of hard, rough, scary-but these sclerenchymatous coconut persona-seemed soothing and supportive during the crisis( after that who had time to think about them, in those rosy seasons of spring). They were with us, the students-before the exams ,during the exams, helping and saving us with bigger fears of lives-topics, unemployment and many more.
More skilled (knowleagble) lot were more dangerous(scary).Always correct with supernatural extinct of sniffing everything about you-a full idea of your head(strength) and tail(weakness),mapping alpha and omega of brain(capacity).
Personally , I always found security being at distance from them if not afforded to being at distant.
“Ooph! What could have be done.”after all daily interactions couldn’t be avoided. So that love (ovation and exaltation)-hate (scare and respect) all went simultaneously, till last date at the campus.
Decade later, settled in my teaching job, with blissful conjugal life-I have been juggling dual responsibilities according to my capacity. Then on a chanced visit to my institution, an instantaneous encounter to him pounded my heart. Still maintaining the aura of discipline, in his steady and firm walk, he was crossing the corridor.
His questioned gaze ceased my heart beat for the moment-with dry throat bowing to him, I introduced myself. The towering frame melted to shady banyan of summer, after my intro. His demeanor softened and soon his kindness had been palpable. Standing under his supportive strength when I was about to regain my ease. He shot, in his deep, grave voice, “what are you doing?”
I stammered again… I teach in +2 school..somehow I completed-sensing that I fell short of my towering mentor-a gold medalist and Megasaysay Award winner himself-I was completely aware of his expectation and disappointment.
I was standing infront of him-two faces were encountering each other.Voices were disappearing in space but the inner dialogue had been established. He was asking,I was answering without being bother to be listened. Then the moment of stillness reigned between us. I realized it was time to take permission.
I bent to touch his feet-murmering the last sentence-“take care of your health, sir.” He nodded and bent his face to other side.
Back in the moving vehicle I peeped through the window to catch his glimpse through the corridor.He was wiping his specs. For the moment the time stopped before me.I was in complete debate about my academics, my successes and failures,forgetting my age, my chidren and spouse.
I got the answer why did their presence never fade out of our memories. Though their thoughts still jolt us but their imparted learning made them immortal in our lives.
And then a voice echoed inside me for my facilitator. Perhaps I didn’t emulate you academically but I learnt so many humane side of yours. And on those learning I have been leading a blissful life. But O, perfectionist we respect and exalt you though still with a scary shudder.