Do you remember the last time one went to school on a Teachers day? One spent so many years as a junior looking forward to the final year of school to get the opportunity to dress up and behave as a teacher. It was a hidden aspiration to try and emulate the people who made the greatest difference to our lives after our parents - our teachers.
In my generation our teachers and parents played very different roles from what we see today. My parents did their schooling in pre-independence India in Bengali medium. My father's schooling was out of a Satyajit Ray movie - dhoti clad, walking 5 kms to the village school in today’s Bangladesh. The teachers in my school taught me as much about life as the subjects in the curriculum. Mrs.Mehta guided me through the literature that shaped my mind and had the patience to engage in discussions - a woman and a child's interpretation of the same book. My science teachers Mrs.Thomas, Mrs.Jayaram, Mrs.Venkatraman and Mr.Jani laid the principles which made me clear my Medical and Engineering entrance exams without coaching. Ms.Mathais went to the extent of loosening my wet pigtails and telling me that it was not necessary to wash my long hair everyday in the morning!
We however tend to undermine what we gained from our parents because like every generation before us, we take them for granted. Our parents gave us what seems to be a myth for our children - a secure family, mummy’s cooking, parents loving each other, huge families, simple holidays and loads of time.
I watched my daughter dress up for her last teacher’s celebration day at school this morning. As I draped a chiffon sari around her little did she know the blast that awaited her!