I have been a teacher not for long. This year is my eighth year in professional teaching.
In all the last eight years that I have spent in different wonderful schools, I have been blessed with sentient and loving students. The shows they used to put up for teachers on the Fifth of September left me in tears, always. Watching them smile and laugh for us, I found myself wiping the corners of my eyes. Initially, I used to feel embarrassed and used to take a look, “Did anyone see me crying?”
I am writing this as soon as the Teachers’ Day Celebration has gotten over so that I can pen down my feelings before my eyelids dry. So, when I sat down for the show today, wearing my new red shirt which I had bought the day before yesterday so that I could be part of the redolent show, I sat with a glass of water. I knew that today was another Teachers’ Day and I am going to get all teary. And lo! It happened again. Sometimes it is difficult for me to gauge the reason behind these tears. And, today, I will take this opportunity to tell why, to you all, and also myself.
Maybe this is love and there is no other explanation that is needed, however, I believe there is more to it that could be understood with that all-pervading word. Whenever my students, in the last eight years, have asked me for a free period around the end of August, I never asked them why because, obviously, I knew. I allowed them to think that I have no idea of the hardship they are going through to make us feel happy and appreciated. But I knew it all and it used to give me an amazing satisfaction – an immense assurance that nothing has changed: the way my friends and I wanted to celebrate my teachers, my students too did. Otherwise, in these technological times of innovation which has taken the realm of education by storm, I sometimes do feel that probably I am not able to reach my students and I am not able to do things that I am supposed to do to compete with that robot sitting in the future who would take away my happiness. And, these are nightmarish thoughts for anyone who is shouldering with me in this endless quest of knowledge dissemination. But the Fifth of September does the trick every year of knocking those evil thoughts out of my head. And again, I know it is just one day and the tears can easily be replaced by angry glares and intimidating tones, but somehow I cannot forget the smile, on the stage or for that matter on the screen. They appear with that smile which they wear to make us feel happy, to make us feel special. I am still teary as I am writing this and I think I should stop here knowing that this memory, of what has been and what will be, will never end. And to compensate, here is a poem that I wrote a few days back trying to understand the physical classroom that we seem to have left behind.
The classroom that I left behind,
The classroom that doesn’t look the same anymore.
The classroom that feels like is mystified forever.
Like the childhood story of the listeners,
the neo classroom feels eerie,
the giggles and rumbles, now isolated and hidden, seem lost in between.
Like the traveller that is in me and in that childhood poem, I want to say,
That, I am trying to reach you but I come from a physical world of chairs, benches and the floor,
And this seems so difficult, with all of you shying behind so far that nothing can find you.
It feels so difficult when I know after a couple of knocks that the knocks are not reaching.
Deep in space, lost in the dream of reaching far off worlds,
and amidst the primordial sea
and the impenetrable forest,
I am trying to create new tools like one day the man created the wheel and the woman used fire.
I hope and I pray.
I will be able.
Till then, let us swim for some more,
who knows, like always,
the Journey only will remain worth remembering.
By: Prithvi Sinha, Head Of English Department