Back to School

Do you remember the longest association of your life? Mine was my school. I spent almost 13 years in the same institution and if you go by my mark sheets, I wasn’t the smartest of the lot. But every class had that generous soul, the class clown, the mischief maker, the princess, the diva, the quiet nerds (right at the front of the class), the meek ones and the class bully.

I still remember the library with the teeny-tiny chairs. If you weren’t nimble, you’d have to sit on the stools and actually try to keep awake or pretend to read, lest you fall off. Back in the days when Nancy Drews and Famous Fives adorned the shelves, I wasn’t much of a reader either. Now, there are barely long stretches of time when I am not reading anything. But these novels I never found engrossing or even remotely interesting. However, those chairs… they were stuff of dreams!

Then there were days when education inspectors would come to our school. The school would be informed of a “surprise visit” a couple of days in advance, and our teachers would hand pick a few smart ones to tutor them what to says. We’d be taught the same lessons for a day or two and all of us knew what questions would be asked; we’d come well prepared. When a question was asked, all hands would miraculously shoot up in the air and the teacher would pick her kid from all the enthusiastic waving. I don’t know about others, but I secretly hoped to get picked someday, but I never was, which is a good thing. Probably, my teachers knew I wouldn’t have handled the stress gracefully.

As we celebrate Teacher’s Day on September 5 every year, the birth anniversary of the first President of Free India, I’d like to thank all my teachers, my family, my friends, my colleagues, my foes and my beautiful life! In the evergreen words of a famous cartoon character (guess which one!) I am what I am, and that’s all what I am…

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