I would succeed the way I have done always. Dear Teacher, Thanks for inspiring hope in me; Igniting my imagination; And instilling in me – a love of learning. Happy Teacher’s Day! We will always be thankful to you for all the hard work and efforts you have put in, for educating us. – Anonymous
Teachers’ Day is truly special, which brings special memories of those teachers who shaped our lives – personally/ professionally.
As September 5 approaches, I go down memory lane to my wonderful school days which remain the best years of my life till date. The school in question here is Kendriya Vidyalaya ONE, Bhopal, MP. KVs had just started opening then with a novel concept of imparting education, till then it was either convent or HEL school. (Heavy Electrical Ltd. Bhopal).
There is an interesting story of how I landed in KV, ONE.
I was studying in St. Joseph’s Convent, Idgah Hills in Bhopal – primary section. My father’s friend (Rawat Uncle) told my father about KV coming up near Arera Hills, primarily for the education of Army Children. Acting on his behest, one Sunday morning, papa told me, “Come I will take you to a new school.” I said, “I love my school.” He must have said something and I agreed to visit that school.
As a child, the school looked to be quite primitive, it was nowhere close to the school I was studying. Without me knowing, my father handed me over to a teacher in the school for a written test. I wrote the test and happily came out. On the way, I told my father about the questions and the answers I wrote. This was an admission test for the second standard. As I told you KVs were mainly for Army children and they got preference there. I being a Civilian Child had to compete.
Anyway, the results came out. Rawat uncle told my father that results have been announced, just to find out, my father visited the school, he was impressed with the school as it looked like his pathshaala (probably)! I was the only student who had scored 100 PC, all answers right. My parents must have been happy. Now the spin, Principal said, “All seats of the second standard are full (preferential). So, we propose to take your daughter in the third standard.” The reaction I don’t know, but action changed the course of my life (admission in KV ONE).
Initially, I was not happy, his friends also said, “It is so difficult to get admission in St. Josephs and you are going for a new school.” But as destiny would have it, or my father would have it: It was KV ONE, THIRD GRADE for me. It became the talk of his office, “Varmaji’s daughter got one standard jump that too in KV.”
Soon I started loving my school, it was a most brilliant assortment of students, teachers and Principal Sir (Mr K.S.Kulshresth – a dedicated disciplinarian). Students were mostly army children from different States right from Kashmir to Kanyakumari. (My daughter marvels how I know so many surnames and so many States so well). I started learning what it was like to love our country, its culture, its heritage! I started wearing Nationalism on my sleeve, and do it till today!
Life started moving on, from Christian Carols to:
Morning Prayers: असतो माँ सद्गमय तमसो माँ ज्योतिर्गमय
National Anthem: जन गन मन अधिनयक जय हे भारत भाग्य विधाता
KV Anthem: भारत का स्वर्णिम गौरव केंद्रीय विद्यालय लाएगा
Assembly Pledge: भारत हमारा देश है, हम सब वासी भाई बेहेन हैं
I took part in all school activities, scored good marks rather ranks in all terms. I became a star in the colony (well almost). English, my most favourite subject gave me jitters here, yes! I was scoring well in English throughout, nothing less than a “very good” while in Convent, whereas here in KV my English Teacher, Mrs Deshpande, after giving whatever marks never forgot to mention – Poor Expression! This must-have worried my parents no end. In every PTA she told my mom, she needs to work on her expression. I somehow wanted to get rid of the expression, probably no one knew how to do it (Google nahi tha na bhai). My mother devoted a lot of time on my English and that helped. I scored well in exams and this made Mrs Deshpande very happy. Today, I immensely value her note, and know the importance of expression in any language.
“It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.” – Albert Einstein
In next class, I had become House Prefect and News Reader of the morning assembly with a badge: First In Class. Teachers kept me motivated all the time. Then I hated Mrs Deshpande for her “Poor Expression” remark but I couldn’t be thankful enough to that great teacher. Her English was impeccable, she knew all meanings, grammar, poems, stories … whatnot. Though according to her, I had improved, she expressed to my mom that there is a room for improvement. So, I was pushed more to study English, not just to score but to take out that keeda out of Mrs Deshpande’s mind. Probably seeds were sown that I would go for higher studies in English.
After spending just remarkable years in school, my father got transferred to Jhansi. Now it was KV Jhansi, worst school anyone would go to. The English Teacher here was Barrow Sir, a Christian gentleman, handsome looking (La Jackie Shroff), a disciplinarian who hardly taught English. He gave us an assignment to copy one para from the book every day, just to improve our handwriting. For the whole session, not a single chapter moved. So I owe my good handwriting to him. He stressed on neat and clean copies with good hand-writing. It made me so well equipped with writing that I won all India hand-writing competition amidst KVs. Barrow Sir was a visionary, fetched me the first award!
Instead of all this, my father never praised me, but he took a lot of pride in me always! Another incident: My father visited his boss’s house for some work, who was yet to come out to meet him. While waiting, he moved to his child’s table who was writing something in his notebook. Impressed, my father commented: “Arre Beta your handwriting is very good, nice copy.” The child replied: Uncle this is the notebook of Bienu Verma, my classmate, she is the winner of the hand-writing competition.”
I don’t know how my father would have reacted then. Anyways…
Today,I am an active member of KV Group on Social Media and revisit those days quite often.
My post is a tribute to my Father & Mom, Mrs Deshpande, Barrow Sir, Mrs Grover, Mrs Chibber, Mrs Ania Loomba Francis, Swaroopa Mukherjee, Renuka Wanchoo, Tapan Basu, N.C.Kanwar and Father Pinto from Hindu College, Delhi University.
Teachers in the family: Sarvesh Bhaiyya, Kalpana didi, Kirti, Prabhat & Sangeeta Varma, Vandita …
To our daughters: Tanya, Anuksha, Ananya, who teach us new things every day!
I, the perennial student, salute all the teachers on this planet, who are doing such selfless service to humanity.