I entered the classroom in the morning with lots of plan for the next one hour.
“Good Morning students!” and started cleaning the white board.
A loud phrase from backside suddenly awaken me — “Happy Teacher’s Day Sir”.
A strange emotion started covering my mood. A line which I used to say every year on 5th Sept, today it was dedicated to me. Students started demanding party then cancellation of the class and many more. I wished to do so, but then refused, wanted to spend some more time with them and with the same emotion inside the classroom. Probably they were also enjoying my company.
I finished the lecture, came back to my cabin and then pressed the power button of my system.
“Ting tong”. My school teacher pressed the calling bell on that day. I opened the door and touched his feet with the on going sentence “Happy Teacher’s Day Sir”. He embraced me and gifted me with a book. My heart was filled with joy. He took the permission from my parents to take me to the market. I enjoyed ice-cream and a circus show with him. After the whole day of entertainment he dropped me back at my home in the evening. I asked him “Every year on teacher’s day you gift me a lot, you take care of me a lot and teach me a lot. What can I give you back in return”. He answered me “If you want to give me some thing back, then the best gift can be, you never let me down in your whole life and recognize and respect the true teacher of your life”. I did not understand much at that time what he exactly expected from me. I raised my right hand to wish him good night while he moved his cycle away from me.
The door of my cabin was knocked. Hey Sidharth, there is a high tea party arranged by the students for the teachers today evening. You must join. “You are the new faculty, you will definitely enjoy”, my HOD said this while walking towards his cabin. I opened the mailbox. My attention moved towards the 1st mail sitting at the top of the list with the heading “Happy Teacher’s Day”.
I opened the mail sent by the same old school teacher. The only line written inside the mail
“Every child should have a caring adult in their lives. And that’s not always a biological parent or family member. It may be a friend or neighbor. Often times it is a teacher.”
I went back to 4 years back in my flash back. That was another short period of time while I was teaching for sometime. There was a small incident. I noticed a student struggling with some calculation with his pen and paper in the examination hall. Rest were using calculator. I went back to my seat, took my calculator and gave it to him. After exam I asked him why did not you bring your calculator with you. He replied with a smile “Sir, my father is a rickshaw puller”. I asked him to keep the one which I gave him. He was hesitating. I told him return it back to me when you would be successful in your life.
While coming back to home on that day I recalled my old school teacher’s demand “you never let me down in your whole life“. I murmured myself “I will never let you down sir”. Believe me it was a sweet pleasant satisfaction inside the heart on that day. Surprisingly I got my reward back few days back when I received a courier packet having the same old calculator and a thanking note inside it.
The high tea party arranged by the students was really awesome. Every feeling throughout the day was delightful but I was standing at the other end unlike the previous years. I packed my bag to return back to my home. While passing across the main notice board, I could see the notice pasted there with the heading “Happy Teacher’s Day”.
शिक्षक वह नहीं जो छात्र के दिमाग में तथ्यों को जबरन ठूंसे, बल्कि वास्तविक शिक्षक तो वह है जो उसे आने वाले कल की चुनौतियों के लिए तैयार करे
– भारत रत्न डॉ. सर्वपल्ली राधाकृष्णन
I got into my cab and opened the window glass. I recalled my school teacher’s other part of the expectation from me “recognize and respect the true teacher of your life“. I started asking to myself through out the journey “Who is my true teacher?”, “Do I have returned back anything for the lessons in life I learned from him/her?”.
Driver told me “Sir, ghar aa gaya”.
“Oh! yes” 🙂
I opened the door of my flat, my cell phone started ringing. I received the call;
“Happy Teacher’s Day beta. You are a teacher now. So, I thought of wishing you as the day must be a special one for you”.
I could not control my emotions. After 2 minutes, I asked my papa “where is maa?”
He replied “She is also here, near to me”.
I asked him to keep the phone in speaker mode.
Maa from other side wished me “Happy Teacher’s Day beta”.
I replied “Thanks for giving me birth, Thanks for teaching me how to walk, Thanks for teaching me how to talk, Thanks for teaching me A to Z, Thanks for teaching me how to behave, Thanks for teaching me how to prove my existence, Thanks for many other things whose importance I could never realize, Thanks for everything my TRUE TEACHER“.