Teachers Day by Deepa (Laji) Bhagnari

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I read somewhere while surfing the net that Teachers Day is celebrated annually on September 5th as it is the birth anniversary of Dr Radhakrishnan who was also our first Vice President, second President of India and before that he was a very respected teacher. So, in his remembrance we all celebrate this day respecting and loving our teachers.

Who are teachers basically? When we start schooling from kindergarten, what we carry with us are just books and pencils and colour pencils…too young to understand what schooling means. Later the first teacher in your school introduces to a different world…a world filled with knowledge…colours…drawings…stories and then from that day onwards we eagerly wait to go to school every day to learn all about the world beyond the four walls of our homes and environment. One enters a different world…just like Alice in Wonderland.

I remember my school Canossa Convent, where most of us were educated and the boys went to either St. Michaels School or Victoria High School. Our most memorable years were spent there from K.G to S.S.C. – 11 years of our childhood years where we had impressionable brains and we were full of curiosity…learning the letters of the alphabet and we enter the world of numbers…that is Mathematics. Our brains were like sponges, absolutely absorbing everything we learnt there and I remember going excitedly home ton show my parents all that I had learnt that day. Then later we were introduced to read and write different languages…like Hindi, Marathi and later French. I loved Hindi and French and both my teachers Miss Kamala and Mother Trexi…she looked strict but was kindness personified…and fortunately I excelled in both these subjects…so I would write beautiful essays in English, Hindi and French and I would feel elated when the teachers read them out to all the other sections as well. It is this foundation that made me even win an award in Alliance Francois during my college days.

I am thankful to all the teachers who moulded our personalities to be what we are today. It is said that a teacher is not only the one who teaches you to count numbers but someone who makes you realise what counts most in your life. I am really grateful to all our teachers…Miss Millicent…Miss Ophelia…Mrs. D’Cruz…Miss Kamala…Mother Edna…Miss Mira…Mother Trexi…and many others. A big thanks and salute to you all for literally, you could say, irrigating our barren minds. Love you all.

Then we enter our college world where suddenly we are put in a different world…altogether…no uniforms…wearing fashionable clothes…footwear…carrying fancy bags…for some time I remember we took all this freedom with abandon…revelled in bunking lectures…going for first day first show of movies at Regal…Strand…Eros and Lotus cinemas…sitting for hours in the canteen…chattering away…enjoying each and every moment of our new found freedom…going to discos like Bullock Cart…Naples and Talk of the Town…but when the exams would come over our heads, we would attend all the lectures and then realise that the professors here were so qualified and imparted so much knowledge which was different from our schooling years…it is here that we crossed the boundaries of knowledge and realised that we all had to shape our futures here…this was our last chance…and thankfully we all learnt our lesson…freedom is good but  not at the cost of our education. Our Professors in Jaihind College were all superb…from Mr. Rao…Mr. Mistry…Professor Jiandani…Miss Balaporiya…all my favourite who taught us French…each and every one of them shaped and moulded our personality. Thank you to all of them. 

After college our learning does not stop and nor do we stop having teachers…they say every day is a learning day…so we learn from our peers…our elders…and even chance encounters, so in a way they are our teaches too.

Later in life despite having so much knowledge, there is still something missing in our life…we now have sufficient literary knowledge to help us cope with life’s problems…but we then feel the need to find ourselves…our inner selves…so we look for a Guru. A Guru is a teacher but someone who teaches you to look deep into your soul and seek answers. Gurus have tremendous knowledge but they are your teachers in a different way…they say a Guru, strips you naked and prepares you for the inner journey…he takes away things that you have and do not require. They say when a teacher finishes with you, you celebrate…but when a Guru finishes with you…life celebrates. 

So basically, we need both teachers and Gurus in our life…thankful to my Guruji Sanjeev Krishnan…the Founder Of Rhythm Of Life Yoga…an excellent Guru…a wonderful Guru who dutifully every Friday evening has a Zoom meeting with all present and past students to participate in active discussions…and teaches us new yoga tips and meditation. I really enjoy these sessions…thank you Guruji for being our mentor and guide.

But I should not forget to mention our first teachers in life…our parents who literally teach us to walk, talk and teach us manners and instil confidence in us to go to school and face the world. They in fact are our  best teachers…ever so thankful to God for giving me wonderful parents…who loved me unconditionally…specially my mother who would see that I did my homework…improved my writing skills., etc. Then my other teachers, my aunt Esho Chhoda who was a second mother to me…who taught me what is wit, laughter and introduced me to a world of movies…and last but not the least my Mother in Law Sita Bhagnari who was more than a mother to me…it is she who taught me adjusting in a joint family…facing hardships with a smile…and always being there for me…a pillar…a support system which I really miss immensely now. All of them have departed from this world, but their memories remain and so do their teachings.

Thank you one and all. I am grateful to you not only on Teacher’s day but in every walk of my life. Without you all we would be nowhere.

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