I have had the good luck to be taught by some great teachers. I remember so many of my teachers from school time who have shaped me into the kind of person I am today.
Since childhood, I have been a good student – someone who respects her teachers, helps them out in carrying books to the staff room etc. Though I was notorious as hell as well sometimes but mostly I would like to believe that I was a good teacher.
When I think of thanking my teachers on Teacher’s day, many names come to my mind who have helped me in untangling the web of life but then there is one woman who stands out and ironically, she was not teacher but she did teach me a wonderful lesson about life.
It was 15th of August, 1998 and it was about 8 am or so. I had participated in District level speech competition and I was hoping to win. Let me tell you that I have won numerous prizes in various speech competitions and debates and this was why I was so sure of my winning at this one.
I delivered my speech and stepped down from the stage to take a seat in the audience. I was now anxiously waiting for the results. Suddenly, an aunty came and sat next to me. I looked at her. She was a middle aged woman, maybe about 45 years old.
She asked me if I was the one who had delivered the speech and I answered yes.
She said, ‘beta, I am a teacher here at a degree school. I saw this programme going on here so I stopped by to see how children are performing. I heard your speech and you spoke very well. I do not know what the results would be but for me you are the winner. I wish you win.’
I looked at her and said ‘thankyou’. I was used to get such compliments on my oration skills and hence it was not something new so I did not react much and just thanked her.
It was then that she gave me a big lesson. As she praised me for my speech, she pulled out a small (and probably a used one) keyring that had a little glass bottle attached to it. She showed me how this keyring bottle could be opened up and how one could use it as a perfume travelling bottle.
I was reluctantly listening to her and looked at the keyring with a corner eye as I was more interested to know what was going on the stage.
Then, she took my hand and handed the little keyring to me. She said, ‘keep this as a gift from me. Just remember my words with this. I think you have that quality in you. I see you are a woman who can accomplish things and I want you to do that. Please remember that every woman must be self dependent. Pledge to yourself that you would get married only when you are able to support yourself and one more person along with you. Every woman should get married only when she is able to support atleast two people including her.’
She added, ‘I am also working and I am telling you this from my personal experience. I have to go now. My kids would be waiting at home and I have to go and cook breakfast for them’.
I had just got the most important lesson of life. I come from a family where education and women’s independence are particularly emphasised but such wisdom from my own family members never made such an impact as the words from this unknown woman.
The keyring is still with me and is one of the most precious gifts I have got. I remembered her words and decided to get married only when I started working.
Today, on this day I am expressing my gratitude to that stranger aunty who is now one of my best teacher. Thankyou aunty and thankyou ma’am!
I would love to know about your experiences with your teachers. Express them in the comments.
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