Wednesday, September 5, 2012

That Day of the Year

September 5.

It’s that day of the year again... when I most acutely miss being a teacher, miss spending a largish chunk of my day surrounded by kids of all shapes, sizes and temperaments.

They can be absobloominlutely maddening at times. You enter the class, with 95% of your mind on how to teach them that tough Algebra concept, and 5%  still worrying about that clogged drain you left back at home - to a welcome of 40 kids going chikipikichikipikichikipikichikipikichikipiki..MA’’ampranavisbeatingme...MA’AAAAAaaaam... kaboooom...THUDDDDDD!!!

And a great source of inadvertent humour at other times. How can I forget that notebook from one of my students, with a cancelled out problem, and a note written alongside in a neat little hand - “Q5 done on backside.” Well, for a moment, just for a moment, I did contemplate retorting with, “Err.. whose? And how the hell do you expect me to check it?” on his notebook... but then, better sense prevailed.

But on the whole, life is SO much more fun with them than without... One gets really attached to them, too. I think I howled more than the kids did when I left my first school, The Naval Public School at Chanakyapuri, New Delhi. And among all the touching, adoring messages of, “We love you ma’am”, “Please come back soon” and “We’ll miss you tons” - there was this strange epistle from a sixth grader - “Ek glass mein whisky, ek glass mein beer, oh my dear, happy new year!” :D

It’s no point trying to figure that one out – because there is nothing to be figured out. A child says whatever she or he is impressed with, to impress the teacher. And that honesty, that naivety, that unquestioning belief and affection, is what is so endearing about them.

It’s nearly 12 years since I stopped teaching. And now, when I don’t have my students around, I realise what I am missing. Being with them, around them, made me feel alive, young, fresh... their vivacity is contagious. I miss so much from my teaching days – the animated discussions in class, the adulation, the hand drawn cards on Diwali, New Year and Teacher’s Day... yes, I even miss the constant chikipikichikipikichikipiki chatter!

So this Teacher’s Day, I am going to turn things on their head, and make it a thanksgiving for all those I have taught over the years. Toh hey, all you kids (now grown up dudes and gals) out there - you really mean a lot to me and have given me trainloads of happiness. Thank you, and bless you all...


  1. Maam! liar, 12 years? - you never stopped teaching. You can take Suchi out of teaching but not teaching out of Suchi - Ask Ananya for more on this please. All I want to ask is how is it that teachers despite at times being so liberal in dispensing justice get unstinted and unadultrated love and adulation from Students? I saw you those days, and still going strong the same way with Ananya, and recall our Maam and Sensei similarly loved and adored by all of us till today. 100 times a day I tell myself (since you will not listen to me) that it is a crime taht you are not teaching - a crime against all those students who need you and more like you. Transforming lives that is what teaching does - Maam and Sensei did to me and you did to so many too. If Beetles were around today they would rewrite the song as "Money can't buy me good teachers". And no way am going to acknowledge here at the cost of my ego as to how proud I felt and continue to do so even today on being recognised as your husband by your students and their parents etc.

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