Teacher’s Day: Post dedicated to most dedicated teacher: Mrs Shakuntala Sharma

I fondly remember celebrating Teacher’s Day in School (Kendriya Vidyalaya, Tagore Garden, New Delhi) with many debates, writing competitions and other cultural programs being organised to mark this auspicious day on September 5th. Seldom it happens that I don’t think about my teachers, school teachers, particularly who shaped the person I am today.  Teachers were such an integral part of our student lives, life was unthinkable, unimaginable without them, though I passed school some decades ago, memories of my teachers are still fresh in my mind.

Kendriya Vidyalaya Tagore Garden New Delhi As an above average, ambitious student who had this desire to become something in life, I loved creating an impression on teachers, except my Maths teacher – Chawlaji. I used to attend school, classes, activities, house activities, doing homework, classwork, participation in various activities which kept me in the limelight. I think this way today…as a child, it was like to be a good student.

Kendriya Vidyalaya Bhopal, I loved the most, best years spent here.

I recollect, when my mother visited my school for the first time –Kendriya Vidyalaya Bhopal and she asked about me from some children in the school, the whole bunch ran to call me. Mummy came to know that I was quite popular because of my good results and extra activities. I loved being in school, surrounded by teachers, students, classes, extra activities…

Probably just after school…

I had many favourite teachers and I was favourite of many teachers too, I thought so…by expressions of other students in the class. Though I loved my teachers beyond measure, loved the profession immensely as it commanded utmost respect from everyone, still never thought of becoming a teacher myself…life’s like that!

Today, I fondly remember my class teacher and Hindi subject teacher in Kendriya Vidyalaya Tagore Garden New Delhi, who left an indelible mark on me for her craft. Though I left touch with her after leaving school, she never left touch from my heart.

Mrs. Shakuntala Sharma, who was a very pretty looking, charming and sweet lady as a person and as a teacher, she was impeccable, having outstanding knowledge of Hindi language, authors, poets, writers…whatnot. Her speech and thoughts were crystal clear, everybody understood what she explained in one go. She used to prepare me for all the debates and writing competitions. In those days, career choices were very limited, parents use to decide the day daughter was born – Bitiya doctor banegi and I was no exception to that.

But once Mrs Sharma told me that with your good oratory skills and writing prowess, you take up a profession which is a combination of both. I didn’t value her advice then as I did not know if such a profession existed besides teaching. But see the irony of life, I chose to be in such a profession only! Mrs Sharma’s words – Vaani ki dhani ho, uska upyog karna!!  Certainly, I did not follow her advice in choosing my career, but it just happened. My career exploited both my talents to the hilt. Had she known about my career choice; she would have been very happy.

Always dressed in her beautiful sarees, crisp cotton for summers and smooth silks for winters supported by her really long hair braid, she looked like a goddess. She was simple by heart and knew all her students well, in parent’s teacher meetings she will come out with something exceptional about me to be shared with my parents. When my mummy told her that even her teacher’s name was Shakuntala Sharma, who taught her Economics, she was very happy to know that.

She used to board the school bus after me from her house, and the first thing I use to see her saree for the day. Probably my love for saree dates back to her sarees. I would promptly offer her my seat, which was the biggest pleasure of the day. I was the one who carried her a bunch of copies to the staff room. Because of her, I had unlimited access to the staff room…I was part of all the activities in school.

With her, I developed taste for Hindi literature and read many literary books loaned from Delhi Public Library, as suggested by her. If I read and understand Sharat Chandra, Maithili Sharan Gupt, Mahadevi Varma, Gopal das Neeraj, Harivanshrai Bachchan, Subhadra Kumari Chauhan, Agyeya…it’s because of her. I fondly remember her today and always, thanks ma’am for giving me such a wonderful time in school and beyond. I love myself for my love for Hindi Literature, unfortunately, which many in India don’t have! People are busy showing off their love for English, the language and everything else.

My love and respect for works of modern-day Neeraj:

Dr Kumar Vishwas is probably an extension of that.

Never leave an opportunity to listen to Dr Vishwas:

कोई दीवाना कहता है, कोई पागल समझता है !

मगर धरती की बेचैनी को बस बादल समझता है !!

मैं तुझसे दूर कैसा हूँ , तू मुझसे दूर कैसी है !

ये तेरा दिल समझता है या मेरा दिल समझता है !!