Indian Teachers' Day - Life would be different without you Teachers!

- Indian Teachers' Day -
Life would be different without you Teachers!

India observes 5th of September as Teachers' Day. It is the birthday of the second President of India, noted stateman, academician, and an acclaimed philosopher Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan. Dr Radhakrishnan was one of India's most recognized scholars of comparative religion and philosophy. He is considered through his efforts to have built a bridge between East and West by having shown the philosophical systems of each tradition to be comprehensible within the terms of the other. He was the first Vice President of India (1952-1962), and the second President of India (1962-1967). Among the many honours he received were a British knighthood (1931) and the Bharat Ratna (1954). His birthday is celebrated in India as Teacher's Day on 5th of September.

Teachers' Day was just another day when I was growing up. However as years rolled by, the significance of the mentors in early years of my life grew upon me. There is no doubt that life would be different without these influences in formative years of my life, and all through!

Our entire beings - the way we think, the way we perceive, our perspectives and human behavior would have been different had it not been to the enormous inspirations our teachers provided especially early on in our little lives.

It is obvious that today, for me, the Teachers' Day is not just another day - it is a day to pause and salute those who shaped our lives.

The influence of teachers in schools and parents at home - can never be underscored. While interacting in schools and colleges, I often think we are indeed fortunate to have them around us - parents and teachers - who stand by human values and live up to them.

It is said that "the teacher who is indeed wise does not bid you to enter the house of his wisdom but rather leads you to the threshold of your mind." That how I remember the influence of my father on our lives. Driven by never-ending enthusiasm and unflinching focus on his vision, he has demonstrated absolute commitment to his responsibilities - and amongst a million commitments, he always made sure to nurture the fertile budding minds of Pooja and me. The terrace, will always be a special place - where he would steal moments with his two children - many-a-times in the OT dress! It was never prescriptive but a conscious sharing of his life's experiences so that we absorb organically the inherent lessons and take informed decisions in our own lives. There is no doubt that without these 'vaccine' shots on the terrace, I would have been a different individual altogether! He is undoubtedly an inspiration who has lived up the values and inspires by presenting an example before us and his countless students for decades now.

Although the seeds were sown in my school days on gender equity, but it took me many more years to comprehend the lifetime lessons our English teacher gave. Dr Nishi Pandey, continues to be a powerful force in our lives even today. She did transform our traditional 'MCP' outlooks on what being a woman and man means - the responsibility and sanctity of being humans and de-constructing the age-old masculinity and femininity definitions - and redefining our innerselves - has surely changed the way we perceive others and believe in our ownselves. She has stood true to her own convictions and fought for the values of equity and dignity of human life over the years. She continues to be a beacon of hope and integrity for her students. Thank you Ma'am, had it not been for you, I would have been a different being altogether. We can never thank you enough.

In school, while walking to the laboratories or just around, the hardly audible good mornings to passing by teachers was a routine thing. We had grown up wishing like that for years! Till came Mrs Nigam - she made us realize that by exchanging pleasantries or greetings we are not doing anything rude or something we should be so inaudible - the namaskar or the greeting has to come from within and has to be pleasant and audible at least! Her lesson influenced everything we do - if we are doing the right thing, then we will give our 100% to it - and live it gracefully. Thanks Ma'am for being a mentor.

Mrs K Nagar helped me enormously giving extra time to improve my English! Mr Robinson, thanks for making us mug the entire Shakespeare's plays, the benefits of which are so evident today.

Professor (Dr) Roop Rekha Verma, never taught me, although I did get opportunities through cultural and literary events to learn from her. She continues to be an inspiration even today. Then came the gentle but resolute influence of Dr Sandeep Pandey and later on his better half - Arundhati Dhuru! Whatever miniscule social consciousness if at all breathes in me, should be credited to them both - they continue to provide me a channel to add a little meaning to my otherwise material existence - thanks for being around Sonu bhaiya and bhabhiji.

It is indeed an overwhelming moment to stop by today and remember teachers - life and time being another big one - whose lessons are indeed so subtle. There were many other teachers who influenced and shaped my life over the years.

I honestly feel so blessed when I begin counting my blessings of growing up in the hollow of their hands. Salutes to them all...