Teacher’s Day # Thank You Teacher
Teacher’s Day # Thank You Teacher
The 5th of September is celebrated as Teacher’s day in our country. This day marks the birth anniversary of former President of India, Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, himself a teacher par excellence. This is done as a mark of tribute to the contribution made by teachers to the society. Teaching is not just a profession, it is a divine responsibility, to guide and enlighten. In these times of lockdown and social distancing, when almost everything is virtual, and all are online, what another way there was to greet one’s teacher’s, then virtually? Social media was flooded with messages from ‘long ago’ and ‘not so long ago’ students, to ‘old’ and ‘not so old’ teachers thanking them for helping shape him/her into the wonderful human being &/ Doctor, Engineer, Scientist, Economist, Teacher, Philanthropist, Musician, etc. he/she has become. I too introspected and decided to express my gratitude.
But… Where do I begin? There have been so many who have taught me, and, I am sure, there are still many out there who will teach me. Learning is an ongoing process and I’ll be learning till my last breath, I am pretty sure.
I begin by bowing down to my mother, who brought me into this world, taught me the basics of living, the difference between right and wrong, who wiped my runny nose and dried my tears, who taught me always to dry my hair thoroughly to avoid catching a cold, who consoled me on my failures but urged me to try again and again, and who taught me what selfless love is all about.
I am equally grateful to my father, who held my hand (physically) when I took my first baby steps, and also supported me (emotionally) in my various endeavours in my adulthood. He made me overcome many fears I had as a child, by love, by firm advice or sometimes, even with sterner measures. He dispelled my fears about witches on the watch for young children and ghosts in graveyards and demons lurking behind dark clouds. He taught me, by example, to work hard, and showed me that no sacrifice should be thought of as impossible if it helps a loved one.
I thank my Maths teacher, who helped me add and subtract, multiply and divide,( useful for both numbers and happiness), taught me limits and helped me navigate the maze of equations. My eternal thanks to my English teacher, who with her repository of esoteric words, idioms and anecdotes, and with her emphasis on grammar and diction, imbibed in me an everlasting love for the language. I present a soulful thanks to my Music teacher, who, on one hand, excusing my timeless attempts to sing, nevertheless, made me capable of appreciating music. A big, hearty Thank you to my Physical Education teacher, who tried his best,( God bless him), to make me run track, or dribble a ball down half-court, or slaps shuttlecock from this side of the net to the opposite side, and who, on seeing my brilliant academic record, did not have the heart to give me a ‘D’ grade, and so settled for a non-committal ‘C’.
I am grateful to my Professors in medical College, who made the subjects interesting, wanting us all to attend their lectures in spite of a heavy workload. Words fail me, as I try to express my gratitude to the senior residents, who watched over me during my Anaesthesiology residency, and who made me capable of practising excellent, flawless and by-the-book Anaesthesia even after going without sleep for 48 hours at a stretch! They were the ones who taught me to think of ‘out of the box’ solutions to complex problems, and had a few hearty laughs at my expense.
And yes! And how can I forget my patients? Each one had something to teach me, each one different from the others. Every time that I would pat my back, on successfully and confidently managing a complex case, the next patient would jolt me back to reality, sending me scurrying to my textbooks or to my seniors, for advice, and I would once again lament my ignorance.
And yes, I am thankful to my daughters, who made me aware early on, that I knew nothing of importance! They taught me patience and perseverance and taught me craft and how to be crafty. At times I learnt to be a hairdresser, at times a seamstress,( all the time being shown how good the other Mothers were); of course, cooking was one department were all at home agreed that I had learnt enough. They made me adept at forsaking my sleep, to stand guard over them studying at night, forgetting my hunger AND anger, and quelling my fears and drying my fears, all to put up a brave front for them to take inspiration from.
And last, but not the least, I bow down in all humility to Life- the greatest teacher of all. Every day it has a new lesson for me, bitter or sweet, messy or neat, but each one, either a pat on the back or a blow to the solar plexus, leaving me breathless. But life, like a good teacher, always lends a hand, and though I may fall, helps me rise and stand tall.