I have spent countless hours in his house, reading books, poetry, sharing my poems, forming my ideals and values in the most important years of my life. He was my English teacher for the last three years of school … And a role model for many years after that. I stayed in touch right through college and sent him my wedding invitation and then one transfer of his school made us lose contact. Till the internet came about, I toyed with the idea of writing to the last known address and tracing him, Sirisha and I kept trying to find him, but didn’t manage to. Today in the afternoon I spoke to Vidyasagar Sir after 23 years – and managed to share a quick 23 year update. He, as always addressed me as Bindumalini – the first person to use my full first name, till Krishnan’s aunts did that after our marriage.
Shanta aunty, Vidyasagar Sir’s wife died suddenly some years back and he now lives alone and continues to teach English and Chemistry in a small school near Bangalore.
His voice still carries the same humility and an innocence uncorrupted by the ways of the world. I told him that I married a teacher’s son and that my father-in-law was also an English teacher. I told him about ShikshaDaan and he was immediately thrilled. He has written a few books and will send them to me – in his words ” more than anyone else, Bindumalini would appreciate them” and am sure I will.
The years fell away and the re-connection was easy and simple… No pretences, no drama, just a lot of goodwill and love. The pain and scars audible over the phone and the effort to go on alone very poignantly shared… The easy laugh reminiscent of the olden days and his love of books undiminished.
Some teachers just do their job and some mould your future – Vidyasagar Sir moulded me, he taught me values, argued about right and wrong and expanded my perspectives. I would touch his feet and ask for his blessings a lot more easily than I would go to a temple and pray to the deity – because he lived upto his name, he was an ocean of education for me.
Thank you Sir and see you soon.
I may just have to go to a temple to ask God to bless Marc Zuckerberg for having created Facebook :):)