My first teacher ever
Who was your first teacher? Was it the kindergarten teacher who held your hand and walked you into a class full of little strangers as you gave the last look to your parent when you let go of the entwined fingers? The familiar grip of security as you reluctantly move away to step into the new learning world. And as always the first day is difficult as you navigate between playground rules and also make the first friend ever, who also becomes your teacher.
We recall the kindest of them all and also remember the harshest of them all. Teachers who with kindness and many times out of meanness made the smaller and the larger part of who you are. The ones who broke you are also your greatest teachers.
As I reminisce on the subject that I enjoy the most today. It was because a teacher told me to pursue it. I learnt that the arts was my calling. It was that special teacher who encouraged me and gave me the confidence and awareness of all the untapped wonderful qualities that she believed was inside me. She taught me to tap into that source and work towards that unlimited potential, that she believed was in me. I was too young to comprehend my strengths and weakness. It was easy to hate the subject you scored the least in.
As more and more schools are mushrooming with the increasing income levels in society, everyone wants the best for their children. But I worry, as I meet more young people with lesser emotional resilience. The sense of entitlement among the younger lot is the biggest delusional factor of today. Teachers sometimes with well meaning advice are paranoid of rebuking the student.
The pressure to achieve more and lesser time of parents with children lead to emotional crisis among the parents more than the children. The parents who are the first teachers for the child, end up providing them with a cushion that stunts the ability for youngsters to face rejections in life.
The Gurukul of yesteryears was the traditional method of teaching, where you treat your teacher like your Guru or Murshid. They have utmost love and accountability for your well being. And you in return have complete faith in their understanding of you as a person. Surely it seems archaic today, but I do reflect back and realise that sometimes maybe when a teacher really loves you, you thrive in that umbrella of hope and belief where you can achieve way beyond your limitations. They push you out of your comfort zone, to equip you to bridge the mediocre and the marvelous inside you. Each of us are gifted with something and it takes a special kind of a teacher to guide you to your path towards excellence.
Our parents, grandparents, enemies, lovers are all our teachers. They teach a lot about who we are and as they hurt or love us in this journey, we get stronger inch by inch and learn life lessons forever.
My Ma is my first Guru who taught me to not fear my unhindered voice and not tolerate disrespect. She gave me life lessons as the curfew was clamped in Shillong, she gave refuge to a pregnant stray dog who was whimpering in fear with the gunshots. She taught me to always hold the fork and the knife with the sharper edge towards me and the blunt side towards the one I was offering the cutlery. Ma told me to give without expectation of equal return and on the table, she always taught me to take the smallest piece of fish, cake, or anything I loved the most while sharing a meal with my friends and my relatives.
All these lessons remain invaluable forever and with gratitude today I want to wish all my teachers a very happy teachers’ day. We are, because of the invaluable lessons they taught us. Maybe we remain unaware but we unconsciously reflect our value systems when we are challenged with the right and wrong life decisions. When we choose honesty over dishonesty and kindness over harshness and all the qualities that a human being is supposed to be bestowed with, we are emulating all the teachers who taught us till today.
Happy Teachers Day 2019!