My Teacher, My Saviour
My Teacher, My Saviour
I will always be grateful to Shamik sir, my maths teacher. I was in class five when he spotted me. I was reasonable in Maths. But probably Shamik sir found something special in me. I came from a lower-middle-class family. My father was a bus driver and what income he made was just sufficient for our family of four consisting of my parents and my sister and me.
My sister, a year younger to me and myself were aware that our education expenses could not be sustained by my father very long. But to a middle-class Bengali family continuation of education was like holding on to your religion.
When I was promoted to class five, Shamik sir came to our class to teach us maths. Leaving two to three boys, the rest of us were all below standard in the subject. Shamik sir used to doubt how we could be promoted. There were thirty students and Shamik sir had a daunting task in his hands to level us up in the subject so we could get promoted to class six.
Then after many extra classes and with humongous efforts both from us and Shamik sir we all got through in class five. Shamik sir picked five of us students and began grooming us separately in maths. Probably he must have found some potential in us. I had a liking for the subject but I did not have that resilient spirit in me to think of maths in a big way. It was Shamik sir who instilled in us that maths was the gateway to future success in life. We used to get tired often but we never saw Shamik sir getting tired or bored. Many years later did I realize that if Shamik sir had not been so determined and dogged in his approach, we would not have been what we're now.
With the help of Shamik sir, I sailed through class ten boards with good numbers. I took science and maths in class eleven. Shamik sir took the responsibility of coaching me in maths and physics.
Then all of a sudden a challenging situation befell upon our family. My father fell ill with tuberculosis and could not go to work. There was no income because there was no one working. My mother took up the job of a cook in other homes. What she earned was barely sustenance for the family. My sister's and my school expenses could not be met. The bus syndicate on compassionate grounds offered me a job as an assistant to the timekeeper. The pay was not bad for a non-income making bloke like me.
But it was a full-time job. I had to sacrifice my studies. I decided to drop out because we needed the money for dad's medicines and my sister's school fees.
I stopped going to school. A week passed from my absence from school. One day Shamik sir came calling our house. He was astounded when he heard what I was doing.
He immediately took a decision which was a life-changing moment for us. He promised to undertake the full educational expense of myself and my sister until our education was complete and got a decent job.
Under the tutelage of Shamik sir, I gained mastery over Maths and Physics. With his untiring effort, I could get into a well-reputed engineering college. I was lucky enough to earn a scholarship so that I could pay my way through the full course. At least I could relieve Shamik sir now. His help at that critical juncture was life-sustaining for me and my sister.
My sister also graduated with a good result and very soon got a government job so Shamik sir was further unburdened.
I got very good campus placement and joined a reputed tech firm. The first thing I did with the money I received was set up a coaching center for Shamik sir. Because there are many promising students with good potential in maths and science but for want of money and support cannot pursue their education and fulfill their dreams. Periodically, I used to help Shamik sir with financial aid so that he could take care of the financially weak students who otherwise were having good potential. Because Shamik sir could be a Saviour to others like he had been for me. Many of the students who have been groomed by Shamik sir are now well placed in life. Shamik sir has been a light in our dark lives.