September 5th is celebrated as Teachers Day on account of our late President Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, who is from the same school that Krishnan studied from. In my favorite school Kendriya Vidyalaya, we had a tradition that on Sept 5th, 11th standard students acted as teachers and one of the 12th standard students acted as the Principal. I got the opportunity in my 11th to be a teacher and in 12th the principal and teaching has been an area of interest ever since. In 1986, My grandmother (mom’s mom) told me “become a teacher, you will get Rs. 1000 and that’s more than enough”. Infact my first job was that of a faculty and my starting salary was 1500/- and I just loved teaching ever since. Life took many different twists and turns and even though I enjoy my operations role, my love for teaching comes through in all the training opportunities I get. But this blog is not about that.
This September is very special – first week I got the opportunity to meet my original corporate guru Venki, then week 2 at Mohali I met two new world class professors at ISB during Term 11, the same week I got the chance to meet my favorite Prof Martins again, then yesterday was the best of all – I met my teacher from school Vidyasagar Sir.
I had written about Vidyasagar Sir earlier To Sir With Love
He was visiting his brother in Bangalore and had called me on Friday. He didn’t know I was living in Bangalore and when I knew he was in the city, I told him I will certainly meet him. It was just like old times, debating on what’s right and wrong in the world, eating awesome dosas and just bringing him upto date on the intervening 23 years. Krishnan and Sir ofcourse found an instant connect, as Krishnan specialised in Sir’s favorite Chemistry 🙂
We reminisced about my classmates and he remembered most of the folks – Bhagya, Abhijeet, Sarbjit, Rose and her sister Saramma, Sirisha. Interestingly Sir had been a principal at Laitkor Peak, Shillong and had visited Happy Valley from where I had come over to KVAFA. I told him about my efforts to find him again. He shared the new book he is about to publish, oh, the thrill of a preview ! While showing him my blog, I was scared that he would find mistakes with my grammar but Sir easily shrugged it away, saying the grammar is there, just unseen. The smile is intact, the love of teaching even more intact, and his giving heart continues to give. Sir’s brother made a comment saying people get scared of Sir as he expects everyone to be ethical even in small transactions…. For many of his students, it was a great example. Today we sorely miss men who stand by their values and are ethical in every transaction.
We did talk about the other teacher who was a great role model for his students, his sons and daughter-in-law .. Krishnan’s father. A special man, for whom you stood up, as he entered a room, out of sheer respect. A man who stood by his values and was so ethical that he missed many “worldly” opportunities maybe. He died with 800 bucks in his bank account but had infinite balance in his “goodwill” account. There is not one person on earth who had anything negative to say for him, and how many people can claim that ? For my father-in-law and Vidyasagar Sir teaching is a calling in life and the work itself is payback. Bank balances truly mean nothing to them.
Special September ? Yes, very special indeed. Teachers special.