Learning of a Teacher
Learning of a Teacher
Vinay shrugged. He was feeling a bit tired. Another day had passed in vain.
Vinay was a young and energetic guy. He had recently passed out with an ‘A+’. He had job offers from three different multinational companies with handsome packages.
But, he didn't want to go and work for any multinational company. Not now at least.
He had always been passionate about one thing- Teaching. Vinay was very much inspired by one of his professors, Dr. Raman Swami, who had been there for Vinay at every point in life. And he was the reason, Vinay did so well in his college. And he was the real inspiration behind his decision of becoming a teacher. He wanted to inspire a large number of students to achieve something big in their lives.
In fact, Vinay was not immature for teaching as well. When he was in college, he had been teaching his friends, every time they got stuck at any problem. He had been giving some private tuition outside college and taught some school students. And he really enjoyed it. It was kind of fun for him to teach and learn something every day from everyone.
But until that time he had been teaching only some good students who were enrolled in some of the eminent schools of the town. In college, he was teaching his friends, who were as intelligent as himself. So, he didn't face so much trouble in making them understand the concepts. And he liked it when they were grasping everything so easily, without putting much stress on his mind.
Finally, he made up his mind one day.
“After completing my graduation, I will not be teaching these kids anymore.” He decided. They didn't really need him.
“Instead, I would rather move to some backward and rural areas, where kids do not have decent schools and not enough good teachers who are passionate about teaching.” He thought that it would be much better if he could teach those kids and inspire them to achieve something purposeful in their life. "I would be ecstatic when that happens," he thought to himself.
So, after three months of completing his graduation, there he was, standing in front of around 35 students. And he was trying to teach them something. He had joined a government school in a small village of 'Karta Puri' around 120 miles away from his home town.
After nearly a month of cajoling and persuasion, Vinay had managed to get the kids to school on a regular basis. But, as hard it was to get them to classes, he thought, way much harder it is to get something through their heads.
These kids were really dumb, with no interest in studies. No one had ever tried to teach them the importance of education before. And no one had helped them develop their interest in studies.
But, Vinay was determined. He knew that with only a little more of hard work, he would succeed in helping these kids to learn.
Easier said than done.
Days began to pass one after another. And those kids were really hard to tackle. There were times when Vinay thought of going back and get a corporate job. But, every time he thought of leaving, he immediately remembered his resolution of inspiring a large number of students, and immediately thought of his professor, Dr. Raman Swami, would cross his mind and he would simply drop all thoughts of running back.
Days were passing. Vinay was trying very hard to teach these kids and develop their interest in studies. One day, finally at the request of his father to moving forward in his life, Vinay thought to himself, "Enough is enough. These kids are hopeless. There's no point in wasting my life and time on these kids who are stone-headed, with no brains at all." He was furious at himself, “They don’t even care about learning; I am a fool to think otherwise.”
Another day had come. The sun was up a little early in the sky. It was time to go to the class. But, Vinay had made up his mind of going back home. Decidedly, he didn't get ready for the class. He would leave today.
10 minutes passed. He was sitting at the edge of his wooden bed, looking at his watch. "I would be leaving by the next bus which is after two hours," he thought to himself.
15 minutes passed. He was looking at his watch again and again while packing his luggage. For some reason, he was feeling restless. A thought of class came to his mind.
20 minutes passed. "I wonder whether those kids have come to class today." He thought, "But of course they must have left by now. They had no interest of staying there in the first place."
30 minutes passed. Vinay was not able to leave the thought of class from his head. "But those kids are hopeless. No one can help them," He thought to himself, getting furious once again. But, he was not sure, whether he was furious with the kids or he was furious with his decision of leaving them alone.
45 minutes passed. When he couldn’t beat it anymore, he thought of visiting the class one last time before leaving. "Since there would be no students left in class,” he thought, “as it is already about an hour late, it is no harm in seeing the class one last time. I am sure they must have all left the class happily within the first five minutes only.”
Making up his mind, he left his house and go look at the class; for one last time.
While he was on his way, he was only thinking about the students. He had already decided that by the time he reaches there, he would not find any single kid in the class. It was his belief that those kids had not even the slightest of interest in studying. So they must have gone already. However, it was just his assumption. And he was still curious to know.
Vinay reached near the class. For a moment he stood a little far away from the class and observed. The door of the class was half open. There was no sound coming out of the classroom.
"Rightly, as I imagined. Those kids had no interest in studies and so it seems. They have already left." All these thoughts were crossing his mind at a little distance afar from the class.
For a moment he thought of going away without looking at the class. But he couldn’t. He had to see for himself.
When he finally stepped forward, reached there by the gate, and looked inside, he was stunned. As if his whole body got paralyzed, and he couldn't move.
There, inside the classroom, he saw all his students sitting silently in their seats. Their notebooks lay open on top of their desks. Perhaps they were trying to read.
There was a kind of tension and sadness in the atmosphere of the classroom.
Perhaps, the kids were worried about that math problem they couldn't solve.
Or maybe they were worried that whether their teacher had left them alone forever because they couldn't learn faster.
Perhaps they were worried that they might never get another chance to study again... to be trusted again…
Or perhaps they were sad because their little dreams had been broken once again, and they might never fulfill those dreams which they so foolishly had woven for themselves trusting their teacher, Vinay.
Vinay kept looking at the class. He couldn't dare to move inside the class. In front of all those kids, he felt so small… He felt broken.
"Dear Lord. What a horrible sin I was going to commit," He confessed silently. His heart was aching with unbearable pain, and his eyes welled up with tears... He knew then that he would never leave those kids again in the middle of their dreams. But still he couldn't dare to move in.
A moment later, when one of the kid's eyes caught him standing by the gate, he shouted in an unimaginable excitement of his voice- LOOK. OUR TEACHER IS HERE... OUR TEACHER IS HERE...
In the next moment, the sadness of class turned into euphoria. The kids were so happy to see their teacher once again; as if all their broken dreams had once again been achieved in that moment itself.
The kids stood upon their benches and began shouting and clapping harder. They were celebrating something precious.
Vinay was still standing at the door, aghast. Tears were now rolling down his face, savagely.
Summoning all his courage, he took just a single step forward… And the kids couldn't control their excitement any longer… Like a loose pack of wild animals, they jumped from their benches and ran altogether towards the door where Vinay was standing.
And in the next moment, all the kids were wrapped around their teacher, holding him with all their little strength. It seemed they were silently praying to him and saying to him that, "Please sir, please don’t leave us ever again..."
And at that moment, Vinay finally understood the purpose of his life.