Quote - - I am not a teacher but an awakener - - Unquote. Robert Frost
Disclaimer: The following story is a fiction and all characters and events are the creation of the author. Any resemblance of any character or event with real life is purely coincidental and unintentional.
Joy, Ajit and I Rahul were close friends since the time we fail to remember. We all lived in the same neighborhood. Our schools were different but from class six I think, we were together. We played football as juniors in the same club under the same coach. Probably from the football coaching our friendship took a deep bonding. But the bond became unbreakable from class nine onwards when our mothers put us in the same coaching class of Manab Mukherjee or MM sir. At that time we felt it was the most dreary event in our small lives. Because that sounded the death knell of our football coaching. Although we had not become outstanding players our game had improved immensely. We even represented our club in some of the tournaments and did well.
But our mothers had different objectives for us. Our mothers had also become good friends among themselves accompanying and waiting on us. After consultation within themselves they cumulatively and unanimously decided to put us into the PCM (physics, chemistry, maths) batches of MM sir.
A brief introduction of MM sir. He was an outstanding student of science and mathematics with good results in his school-leaving examinations and at graduation level. After graduation MM sir had wanted to join a government school as a PCM teacher. But unfortunately, he was sidelined by a candidate who had powerful backing. So MM sir decided never to join any school as a teacher. Instead, he started a coaching class with a vengeance and wanted to share his knowledge with students who were aspiring for a career in engineering or even medicine. He was young and had just started his classes a couple of years ago. But his reputation as a good guide and teacher was spreading like wildfire. The parents who had dreams of their wards becoming some successful individuals in the future world had their targets on MM sir.
It was the most boring summer holidays for us when we got promoted to class nine. Our football was a thing of the past. Every day we trudged into MM sir's classes. As his coaching was new so there were not many students. Only the ten of us including we three. But after attending for a few days we were totally overwhelmed. MM sir had a certain mesmerizing way of teaching. His diagrams and notes were astounding. Whatever we followed in the class got embedded into our memory. At home, just a simple revision would suffice. During his classes, we forgot about every other thing in the world. Sometimes we did hang out in the class long after the time was up. MM sir was successful enough to arouse within us the inquisitiveness to unravel the mystery behind science and maths.
His teachings were so wonderful that throughout class nine and ten we remained far ahead of our class in the school. Class ten boards for us went like a dream. We passed out with flying colors.
Getting into the science stream in class eleven was just a cakewalk. From class eleven onwards MM sir infused in our minds to aim for admission to the elite engineering colleges in the country. He even took care that we should not lag behind in the English language. For this, he brought in Swapna ma'am or Miss Swapna Ghosh or just simply SG. SG ma'am helped us with our English grammar and vocabulary. SG ma'am was actually MM sir's betrothed at one time. I had overheard one day my mother discussing with the other aunties. But due to their caste differences, their families didn't approve of their union.
We had become so much focused that we completely forgot about our Football. Life had taken a 180-degree turn. The happiest were certainly our mothers. They used to come and wait outside MM sir's class and wait patiently for hours with our tiffin and water bottles. It was a good time pass for them also spending quality time among themselves chatting away endlessly without any cares of the world. MM sir had taken away all their pains and tensions. The classes would go on for so long that we had to refresh ourselves with the tiffin and water which our mothers would be holding.
As expected we not only excelled in our class twelve boards but we also cracked the top engineering college entrance test with dream results. All three of us were ranked within the top one hundred. It was a celebration time at our MM sir classes. MM sir was also very happy. SG ma'am also came and we had a gala time and our mothers also joined in.
Fortunately we all three got into the same elite engineering college and shared the same hostel room. Four years passed like a breeze. But we never failed to talk about our beloved MM sir. Our lives had totally been transformed only because of MM sir. When we had entered his class in our ninth standard we were totally raw minds. Now we were on cloud nine. All three of us now had brilliant lives ahead of us.
The placement season came and we were all placed in dream companies in the Silicon Valley with eye-popping salaries. Our gratefulness to our MM sir knew no bounds.
'' We must do something exemplary for our MM sir '', Joy and Ajit cried out in unison. I seconded their opinion. Before joining our respective companies we went to MM sir to seek his blessings and advice for our future lives. '' If it had not been for your guidance and help we would not have seen this life ahead of us, '' I exclaimed showing my gratitude to our respected sir. '' No, no, I have just been an enabler, an instrument in your success. Had it not been for your inclination and hard work, I would not have been able to mold you in this way. '' humbly put in MM sir. We knew MM sir would not accept any help from us. We would have to do it very subtly and intelligently and which would not look too obvious and intrusive
We soon joined our respective companies and got busy with the routine. Only on weekends did we get to see each other. On the many topics of discussion, MM sir would definitely pop up as one. Our area of work was the same although our companies were different. We were into coding, cloud computing, and application or app building. There was a lot of application work going on in the education sector. Because education is a big market which when monetized was heading into billions of dollars. Due to this work, we got a chance to meet a lot of investors and clients for whom the applications were being built.
After a lot of deliberations with the clients, an idea was developing on our minds. On the weekends now when we met it was now our idea to develop an app for the Indian student studying to compete for the engineering and medical entrance tests.
Within a few weeks, we had developed a prototype of our Edu app. This app would mainly cater to the needs of the students wishing to compete to get in an Engineering or Medical college. Also, it would help them clear the class twelve boards. Later it would be expanded to incorporate the class ten boards and lower classes. After much testing we found it to be functional. Now to get the specific contents. The general content was loaded. But to get specific content we needed the support of the likes of MM sir. On our recent visit to his class, we observed minutely the topics he was now imparting to the students. But we did not have have the courage to share with him our idea. We realized that our time with him for our app had not arrived. We just had a general discussion with him on our app. He encouraged us to go ahead. But we knew to wait for the opportune time.
Now we had to manage the funding for the development of the app to produce on a mass scale. There were ready investors available only we had to make a lucrative presentation to lure them. Both Ajit and Joy looked into the technology part of the app and I took up the responsibility of the marketing part.
Now we had almost completed three years in Silicon Valley. Our app was developed and was launched in the market. The response was quite good. We had got a good investment. Now it was almost a billion-dollar valuation or which is termed as a unicorn. Already there had been three rounds of funding. We were now deep in this joint venture of ours and we had left our jobs and wholly concentrating on the success of this app. We had become millionaires by now after two rounds of funding.
Now we launched our app in the Indian Market. We roped in a popular sports player to do the promotional. Although the education market was heated up as quite a number of applications had been present, ours was also doing well after a couple of months. We had calculated that we could break even within a year at the rate we were progressing.
But we wanted to rope in MM sir. We had always wanted to Payback to him in the most dignified manner. The opportunity then came to us in an amazing way.
The country was locked down due to the pandemic which had ravaged the whole world. All the schools and colleges were closed. Offices and industrial units were locking down and unlocking in discreet ways. But no risk could be taken with student's lives. Schools were indefinitely closed. A new form of teaching was started by using the Internet. Virtual classrooms were created in the student's houses through the Internet on smartphones, laptops, and desktops. Teachers were involved in teaching students over live streaming videos.
This was the opportunity for us to tap MM sir. His classes were also had been discontinued. MM sir did not have the know-how to manage virtual classes. We then motivated MM sir to move into this virtual world and help set up the infrastructure to manage the classroom devoid of the physical students. Now MM sir had to take our help. We also knew of the immensely qualitative content that sir had. If we could use it on our app it would change the whole perspective of the app. So after a detailed discussion with MM sir, he decided to be inducted into our system as a channel partner.
At a Conservative ceremony in the presence of media, we inducted MM sir as Channel partner for our app. We even convinced SG ma'am to join as a channel partner. It was a perfect Payback for our teacher, our friend, philosopher, and guide. We were very happy that MM sir our guru had accepted our guru Dakshina or offerings to the master. Our mothers then got involved in the unification of MM sir and SG ma'am in their marriage which was long overdue as they were crossing their prime. They were hesitant first but when our mothers vehemently insisted, they relented. So we celebrated the ring ceremony and marriage registration with all the students and their parents attending. The three of us were most happy and relieved to be able to make a wonderful Payback to our beloved MM sir and SG ma'am. It was a perfect bond of the English language with Mathematics and Sciences.