Tuesday, April 14, 2015

OKAY FOR TODAY

He was a teacher whom everyone loved. He taught us chemistry during our 12th standard. It was a small personalized tuition class which he conducted at his home in his dining room where 12 of us would sit around a circular table along with him, and he would teach us chemistry on pages. There were no blackboards, no powerpoint presentations, no projectors. He would write every single word and teach us. He was an ideal teacher, something about which we have read only in books.
In my 11th standard, I performed a bit poorly in chemistry. It was a major setback to me since I usually used to top in my class. Since that day, I was determined to excel in chemistry in my 12th boards, since that was the year which would determine my future career.
To be honest, chemistry bewildered me at times. I just couldn’t get the concepts right at times and thus the less score in my 11th standard exams. But things changed as soon as my 12th standard began and I started going to sir’s classes.
Every afternoon at 3 pm, he would enter the room wearing a white kurta and pajama, smelling of fresh lemon from the handwash he used. At 77 years of age, he showed remarkable prowess and taught excellent chemistry. He never would shout at someone. He would curtly point out our mistake, but would be normal with us the very next minute. At the end of two hours, he would put down his pen and declare “OKAY FOR TODAY”. That signaled the end of the class.

For the next 10 months, he worked endlessly after us, paying personal attention to every single student’s progress. He would conduct parent meetings every 2 months to discuss our progress with our parents. It was a superlative training regimen which we underwent. By the time the board exams appeared, I was much well prepared than last year.
My exams were fabulous and so was my chemistry paper. When I came out, I mentally thanked sir for all the efforts he had put in. I prayed to God to give me good results.

Finally the day came when my results were to be announced. It was a day which changed my life forever. I came to know I had stood 9th in my city and among the top 20 in my state. I was ecstatic. My dream of becoming a doctor was finally going to become true. The icing on the cake was that I scored 100 / 100 in chemistry.
That very evening, my parents and I visited sir’s place. As the door opened, he stood there standing, smiling at me. He had come to know about the result. I immediately touched his feet and presented him a small gift.
He looked at me with tears in his eyes. He hugged me and told me, “You are the first person to have come to meet me today. For the entire year, my students used to come up to me at any time of the day to get their doubts solved, but no one thought of this old man after the results were out.”
I told him, “I owe this result to you sir. Thank you.”
He continued, “A teacher never wishes for anything but good results from his students. When my students perform well, that is my personal victory. I saw your interview on the local news channel and I felt proud that you were my student. That is all I want. That is my fees.”

I felt overwhelmed with emotion on seeing such a grown up breaking down in front of me. It was a small gesture, but it had given him such immense joy.


Two weeks later, he breathed his last. Maybe it was God’s way of telling him, “OKAY FOR TODAY.” 





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