I took a .Net training session for a batch of fresh graduates in my organization. And they gifted me a key chain. It has a lovely quotation inscribed on it, “Blessed is he who receives education and thrice blessed is he who educates”. I don’t know if I am thrice blessed because I don’t think imparting some mumbo-jumbo on .Net framework makes me worthy of that ( and since I am doubtful even if 2% of them will end up working on .Net technology :| ). But I would say I have been blessed in my life with some wonderful teachers who have – though it may sound clichéd- made me who I am today.
My first love is English- I am simply in love with the language. And it was my teacher in school who instilled this love. Miss Sharda Chadha- she epitomized perfection- be it her vocabulary, her diction, her thoughts, even her wardrobe! My best friend, Sameepa and I literally used to drool over her. English classes could not have been more interesting than Miss Chadha made them. She not only used to give some invaluable insights to the works we used to study, but what was more innovative was her logical bisection of scenarios. I still remember when she was teaching the poem “The Highwayman” by Alfred Noyes. (For those interested, here is the link to the poem http://www.teachersfirst.com/share/highwayman/st1.html )
At the end of the discourse, she posed a simple question,” Do you think the Highwayman was true in his love”. This led to a pretty animated debate, but I was impressed because she questioned an unstated assumption. She drove logic into literature - and nothing can be more engrossing.
My professional education career hardly had any “educators” making a scratch.
As I moved on to work, I enrolled for coaching classes for MBA. Life was totally changed after that! When I was at home I used to plan how to get the job done at office and when I was in office, I felt like a prisoner. Every passing second made me feel like leave the very chair and rush home to DI, Quant and Verbal Ability. I was worse than a junkie experiencing withdrawal symptoms.
And to make matters worse, I had some pretty ungodly elements at work to completely upset the apple cart. I went to my mentor at the coaching centre Sajal Mitra. He had the élan of a celebrity, but the intellect of a sage. At a stage when I was unable to cope with the pressure, he made me see the daunting task as a challenge. He literally made me feel like a phoenix and pushed me to push myself to the levels where I had never dared. He told me,”You will have troubles, but you will fight. You will show yourself and the world that you won’t crack. You will give CAT your best so that at the end of the exam you don’t regret not having put in your best.” He even went on to draw my plan of action. He made me pull in 18 solid hours from the 24 hour day and helped me allocate time to every aspect of the preparation. It was really amazing to see that so much can be achieved within the time we got also. I did not manage to get any calls from IIMs but I did not get an ignoble score as well. In spite of the trials I can say that I managed a decent 89 percentile; more important than that- I gave CAT my very best. Nothing can be more fulfilling. I still have the spark that he instilled in me and intend to attempt to “bell the CAT” this year. Hope this time I can convert my efforts into results.
The next person to cause pedagogical ripples in my life is Giri Sir. He is my swimming instructor. (Yes I am taking swimming classes :)) The sheer patience of this man amazes me! Swimming is a very tough thing to teach. But he has the utter patience to go on and on. I get frustrated with my lack of control on my breath and inability to move my left hand while swimming, or lack of coordination between legs and hands, but Giri Sir just does not give up. On one hand he is full of advice and on the other with encouragement. And not only for me, he coaches a 50 year old lady and 5 year old kids with the same dedication and determination. I can’t stop eulogizing the spirit of the man who is so true to his profession and an inspiration to so many.
It’s said a teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops. Truer words have not been said.