Teaching , I believe, is the most noble profession. Lets confess it, we never respect our teachers unless we grow up & are no more their students. It is only then when we realize how they have played a crucial role in making us what we are today & most importantly where we are today.
Somewhere in my imaginations, I had always seen myself as a teacher one day. I love to teach, and that passion,I think, runs in my blood. Many in my family are/were teachers and I have spent all my pre-married life in college campuses. Way back in the 1980’s when my father was an assistant prof. at REC(not NIT) Kurukshetra, I used to find great fun in stealing chalks and dusters from his office. Wearing my mom’s dupatta as a sari and pretending to teach imaginary students was the reason that all the almirah in my room were completely white, with the chalk powder.
Then I found real students. In the early 90’s my father had moved on to becoming the principal of a diploma polytechnic. We were living in the campus which was surrounded by villages all over. The mornings would bring in loads of crowd to the campus from the nearest city, but as the evenings approached, the only people who remained in to give us company were 2 more staff families, a few watchmen, a Gardner’s family and a maid’s family. My brother and I used to take an evening stroll with our parents. It amazed me how hard were the efforts put in by the Gardner’s sons and the maid’s daughters to study well. I started helping them in their studies and considered them as my students. It felt awesome to be of any help to those who really wanted to study.
By the time I approached teenage, We moved to an NCR city where dad had taken up the job of director at a diploma college( which later moved on to be an engineering college). I entered the same engineering college as a student after my XII std. I wouldn’t say it was the best experience of my life, but it did teach me a lot. Of course getting selected in the second best in the state was something I should have been happy about…but there was much more to it. I was “the director’s daughter”, and to be honest, that ain’t a good title. I remember how hard it was to prove to my classmates,seniors and juniors that I was one among them; how hard it was to lose all of them once again when I topped the 1st semester and trying hard to be friends all over from the start. Well frankly, I had studied and put in efforts beyond my capacity to score well, I didn’t want my father to lose face. But there was hardly anybody, accept my family of course, who credited me for my achievements. It really hurts when you don’t get an appreciation of your hard work. At every opportunity, I would help my classmates, friends only to subtly prove that I am studying hard too. Huh…there was a time when I had thought to deliberately fail, just to win my friends back, but a really good friend explained the silliness of this idea and I was saved, or should I say I spared my dad of the horror.
Lets face it, there were some teachers, who were completely unbiased whatsoever, there were a few who were,knowingly or unknowingly, but then, there were some who had not so good liking of me( or my dad) and would take out their revenge only with my marks. I took extra care in studying the subjects of the latter. All in all, it was a balanced equation and finally what counted in my marks were my efforts, which by the time we progressed, were genuinely appreciated by my close friends[Thanks for being there, I would have died if not for you all}.
I recall a funny incident. There was a viva to be taken by an external examiner. My roll number was amongst the last, so like any other student, I had used all that time in getting some more tips from the early roll numbers. Even after all the preparations, I was praying that I should at least score passing marks in this one as I wasn’t that good in the subject. The last group was called and we were a set of 3 students. As we sat down in front of the examiners, the internal examiner sitting next to the external, said, “Aap jaao beta” (You can leave), I was shocked, I said” No sir, its my turn to give the viva”. “yes, I know, you may go” was his answer. I had no choice, I left the room, tears almost there until I reached my home when I bursted out in tears. I had felt humiliated. When I narrated the incident to my father, he made sure my viva was held. I had scored only passing marks in that one but I felt great.
I made some great friends during this phase of my life and I am glad, they continue to be years later. I may have never told them how I had cherished their friendship back then…but they still remain very close to my heart.
Anyways, coming back to what I had originally planned to write…I never lost even one opportunity to teach. When I was in college, I taught one of my friend’s brother. Even later on, in the IT world, I was always keen on giving presentations/mentoring new joiners, which I felt was another mode of teaching people.
Now that I am unemployed, I look for ways of becoming a teacher. May be one day, I would become one! On a lighter note, My dad will make sure Aahana doesn’t enter the school or college where I am teaching.