TEACHER’S DAY THEN AND NOW

An eternal source of knowledge,
A pool of moral values and skills,
Always there for their students,
Dreams of education they fulfill.

The fun of going to school early,
On Teacher’s Day,
Celebrating with cards and gifts,
in the love and affection tray

Elocution and poem recitation
were the first attraction,
Spreading message of their values
and their life lessons

Days were very tough in school,
When we did a wrong thing,
They could smell them
and upon us punishments bring.

Words of our teachers were deadlines,
No-one could overtake,
They were those who rectified
numerous times our mistakes

Those days of celebration
we remember till date,
This generation may not set
any goals with mandate.

Time has changed now,
Changed the style of thinking,
Teachers were then arrogant,
Now all are cool and striving.

Teachers are friends now,
Real guides and philosophers,
They teach the life skills in a
unique way with a joyful manner.

The celebration is gone apart
In the days of digital revolution,
Audio recording and video shooting
are the new ways of celebration.

Charms of buying gifts, making cards
are now “old school events”,
Digital world has grasped everyone in fancy
It’s so much revolving around them!

Time has changed now for everything,
E-world is the revolution,
Then, the days were charming and great
with less of decoration

Importance of Teacher is vanished today
from the hearts of students,
It’s the generation gap with facilities
those gadgets which we provide.

Teachings of our teachers will remain
the same years after years,
Grab the opportunity of working together
With the respectful deeds and gestures

CONTRIBUTIONS FROM GURU TO THE SAT-GURU

As a kid, most of us have experience nyctophobia. For me as a kid, to be without Mom at night or to be in the darkness almost gave me the feeling as if it was my last day on earth. Last week, late in the evening, I took my niece outside for ice cream. As we were walking back home suddenly the street lights went off, and immediately my 5 yr old niece reacted, “Uncle, it’s dark, I can’t walk”. I encouraged him, ‘Don’t fear! God is with you. Nothing can harm you. And holding her hands tightly, I kept on walking towards home.

As we celebrate the 60th Teachers Day, it reminds me of my teachers who encouraged and helped me to walk. That formal journey started from the day I started learning English alphabets. As a kid, I had the least interest in studies. Being worn out of me, my parents appointed a teacher for me to teach me English alphabets, and numbers. I love him because, in our first meeting, he first showed me his love. He was a soft-speaking fine gentleman. Every evening, he promised to give me candies if I did my homework. Today, as I refresh my memory of that of our Teacher-Student relationship, I find in him fulfilling the Bible verse –

“Do everything in Love”

In high school, my class teacher took me to the Principal to punish me and suspend me from class for using filthy words in the classroom. I was asked to kneel down outside the room of the Principal, as our school peon took my case to her. But to my surprise, she patted my cheek and very sweetly said, “Son, you know these are bad words and you are not supposed to use such language! Henceforth, I will not listen to such a complaint against you.” Oh, what a horrible day turned into one of the blessed memorable days just because of the simple act of forgiveness. Today, as I refresh my memory of that of our Teacher-Student relationship, I find in her fulfilling the Bible verse –    

“Forgiveness is an act of compassion, kindness, and mercy”

As a teenager in our Sunday School class, I and my friends often asked our Sunday School teacher all sorts of weird questions intending to irritate and make fun of him. But every time with much patience and love he responded to each of our questions very maturely and filled with divine wisdom. Whenever he was unable to answer our question with folded hands, he very simply said, “my dear children, I don’t know the answer.” Every time the humble and God-fearing response of that knowledgeable man with grey hairs drove us to revere him more and more. Today, as I refresh my memory of that of our Teacher-Student relationship, I find him fulfilling the Bible verse –

“He who humbles himself will be exalted by God”

While in the initial years of my professional career, something related to my then profession had deeply hurt me and I thought to resign the very next day because of that incident. As I came back home and was about to go to bed, observing my long face, Dad tried to reason my situation. As I unfolded the whole story, he didn’t suggest me anything. He just said, “Son, think whether you are in this profession because of your ability or by God’s divine grace. The next morning, I consulted my mentor. To my surprise, his response was the same. He said, “If you are not happy, why don’t you take it to the LORD in Prayer? I trust He will respond to you.” Today, as I refresh my memory of that of the counsel from my Dad and my Mentor, it assures me “It is blessed to trust them who lead us to God.”

Ironically, the Sanskrit term “Guru” is used for a “mentor, guide, expert, master, or teacher”. In pan-Indian traditions, a guru is more than a teacher. Since the Guru (teacher) is the person, who leads someone from Darkness (‘GU’ in Sanskrit) to Light (‘RU’ in Sanskrit).

But alas, the harsh reality is that these gurus exist for a finite timeline. They won’t be everywhere at any time and their moral standards moreover stand circumstantial. Considering the border and sacred perspective of guru in our life, Jesus is presented as the Sat-Guru (the eternally good teacher), who is the Light that leads us from darkness to the Light of life.

A LOVE LETTER TO MY MOTHER, MY TEACHER

To the one who
taught me the
beauty of life
showed me
how to touch
the sky
without taking flight

Married at 18
single at 25
for no longer
were you the apple
of his eyes

The pain, the suffering
all bundled and tied
hid under the guise
of a sparkling smile

There must have come
along your way
who lip-synced
this ghazal-
Tum itna jo muskura rahe ho
Kya gham hai jisko chhupa rahe ho
to make your day

But your heart was full
your hands overflowing
with responsibilities of
two children
rapidly growing

The constant noise
that society made
never left a chance
to throw your way
some bait

Yet, you ever stood tall
you held your ground
and under your
sheltering wings
we always found
the love of a woman
the responsibility of a man
switching roles from
Cinderella to Superman

Then, i was naive
had no idea
that all you gave
was much more
than what was on
your plate

But now, when i
have a child of my own
and a house to run
i very well understand
how difficult it is
to manage
even with four hands
and come to think of it
you magical lady
did it single handedly

I rarely say this
but know that
Ama, i love you
with all my heart
i do
and I’m thankful
for all that
you’ve done
and still do

To you
these words
were
long due

A DAY DEDICATED TO TEACHERS

Teacher’s Day- a day dedicated to our loving and respected teachers, which fills our hearts with nostalgia as we remember our unforgettable school days. Making cards, role-playing as teachers, playing skits, singing songs, and performing dances for our remarkable teachers used to be the whole day program. Celebrations remain the same and still continue. The only thing that has changed that now we help our kids in wishing their teachers, especially in the current pandemic situation, where the school is online and we, as parents, are now more involved in our children’s school activities. 

Last year, my younger son was supposed to join a formal school, but due to the pandemic, everything went online. So, I composed a poem, ‘My Formal School’ on his behalf, for his teachers:

My formal school started online,

Seeing new teachers, I felt so fine.

Writing letters, learning numbers,

Singing rhymes and dancing too.

Thank you, Teachers,

Learning is fun.

I love online classes

And I love you too!

For my elder son, where the teachers were facing teething troubles of online classes, I wrote the poem, ‘My Teachers In Pandemic’:

Am I audible?

Can you see the screen?

Are the new challenges faced by the teachers,

In this pandemic routine.

Ma’am, he’s hitting me!

Ma’am, he’s not letting me write!

Has now changed to;

Ma’am, he removed me!
Ma’am, he’s chatting, which isn’t right!

Screen is the new blackboard,

Scroll up and down the data stored,

Correction on screen is so difficult,

By the end, eyes strain as a result.

Yet, you managed all,

Thank you, my teachers,

For taking so much pain,

Your hard work and efforts are my gain.

Being in the teaching profession myself, I know how much hard work, both mental and physical, is required. But, in the pandemic, the teachers have really showed up a great deal of patience and I salute their spirit. Hope the challenging times end soon and the new normal is over with the beginning of offline classes.

SEPARATING THE WHEAT FROM THE CHAFF

Google defines the term: to judge which people or things in a group are bad and which ones are good

What suddenly prompted me to think of this English idiom – out of the blue?

..it was when I read up on a blog post written by a fellow blogger, Aastha on the Candles Online platform, about Compartmentalization. And while both terms are different from each other, compartmentalization-meaning division of something into sections and categories and the idiom ‘separating the wheat from the chaff’ which is more judging the good from the bad, to me… somewhere down the line – they both are interlinked.

I was never the kind of person who enjoyed doing that kind of thing-separating myself from certain people or things from other things.

But the thing in Life is that: it probably can be the BEST and the WORST teacher at the same time.

I’d want to nominate ‘Life’ – especially today, on the occasion of Teacher’s Day, as my most treasured teacher. The things I’ve learnt from the simple living (at times existing) on the face of this earth, is something NOT EVEN the most educated/qualified teacher would be able to do.

Life has thrown me such curve balls, had me fending for.. in different situations, that have not only helped me find ways out of those situations, but also taught me how to guage people beyond their fake exterior portrayal. That said, I will always be of the understanding that – people aren’t bad, it is the situation/other people that makes a certain person look good or bad: however the ability for a human to tune himself/herself to a particular situation is so great, that the person itself changes to alter their own personality. The superior quality that only human beings possess I suppose.

Ever witnessed/seen how couples behave after they get married?
Marriage is the situation – the couple are the people involved. AN APT EXAMPLE.

What am I getting at-you ask?

There comes a time in life where you need to separate the chaff from the grain, the good from the bad, the valuable from the inferior, the positive from the negative – most importantly PEOPLE from ANIMALS, and you’d probably know which side of the fence I am on that last one.

It has been an ongoing process that I’ve been working really hard on – you just need to PUSH some people out, they just don’t seem to get the hint. They JUST DO NOT FIT IN ANYMORE – they don’t. Some people give it fancy names like ‘Spring Cleaning’ or ‘End of the Year residue’. I do it everyday in course of habit now. If you are a part of my life, you’ll find a way to be in it – if not, well… there are always animals to befriend.

And then you have people who are like cockroaches – the least said about them the better. I detest cockroaches – PERIOD.

I do not compartmentalize, I simply separate. The good remains while the bad are out – out of sight, mind and attachment. When you’re OUT-you’re OUT for good.

I FOUND THEM ALL AROUND ME

I took birth,
I cried,
And squirmed in her lap.
I felt her warmth
I learned the word – Comfort
From no one else, but my mom.

I grew older
And found him strong,
I saw him bringing things for me
Before I even uttered anything.
I learned to be a Provider and a Protector
From no one, but my father.

I fought, I teased and played,
I snatched their belongings,
As I gifted them all I have too.
I learned – Caring and Sharing
Whether I am bitter or better
From no one else,
but all my brothers and sisters.

I went to school, and then college,
I acquired knowledge and gained wisdom,
Became very wise, sometimes a little fool.
I made friends,
Who took off all my stress,
Made me nonchalant and stout.
Managing everything on my own,
I grew as a man
Learning life’s lessons – as the years leapt and ran.

I got married,
Had someone by my side, my wife
Who took all the strife,
Bore the burden together
As a friend and companion.
From her, I learned the art of sacrifice,
And learned how to treasure the valuable prize.

I became matured,
As I learned, and I learned from many…
Whom I met in the walks of my life,
I found someone to teach me, to inspire me
To learn from and to gain wisdom
Without being foolish and uncanny.

Learning never ends in life,
It is as common as sufferings and strife.
I found a teacher around me, all the time,
From whom I learned and felt sublime.
And today, I wish them all…
With all my heart and mind –
A Happy Teachers Day!!!