Teacher instils life lessons

Kamal Baruah
An old fashioned signage had caught my attention, that indicating est’d 1890, which I’ve never heeded. It’s our Prathamik Buniyadi Vidyalaya– my first school, where I got to learn in tender days.What makes me love and call it as ‘maar’ (mother’s) school ever since I stepped foot as primary toddler, I went there learning Ka-Kha from my first teacher too.
I’ve more childhood memories than years gone by as my teacher-mother had an early insight into my early days. The Only one-room school hall under one roof made every day enjoyable. We sat on the soil floor all day learning that boosted our excitement despite the desk-bench, fan and light of today’s basic classroom were non-existent. The thatch roof with bamboo walls plastered with mud mixed with fresh cow dung to make our days special. We loved to go to school with a big smile on our face.
Recalling days of monsoon,while sharing a leaf of giantborkochu(elephant ear) as an umbrella, it barely covered useven croaking frogs amused by the rains. But everything went without a hitch as we had fun learning out of school. Our teachers faced a mayhem task to conquer noise and bullying from hundreds of innocent broods but kept us happy day after day.
The beautiful twilight from the sky had brightened our primary. I got out of the car and walked through the grass barefoot and realised how nourishing the practice of the earth was, we ran over the ground naturally. The air was still filled with a strong sense of my childhood days. The vegetation was acquainted with me and seemed greatly cheered by my arrival.
One of my earliest recalls is of memorising the multiplication table on the field that was shaded by splendid trees. It was a lot of fun that lasted a lifetime. Pieces of wood were thrown fiercely to a bunch of fruits.They weren't the 17th century “aha moment” from falling apples whilst Sir Isaac Newton discovered the Law of gravity, we discovered the joy of falling mangoes from the tall perennial woody plant.
The trees were like an elevated crown under sun and rain.  The more we shouted the numbers, the happier our teachers were. We were energised by fun learning and in fact interested in anything other than eating raw mangoes. Probably we had teachers that wanted to see us playing while learning and wanted to retain the smiles and reinforce positive emotions of ours.
With this Teachers’ day on the birthday of Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, I’ve a profound feeling of respect for those teachers who shape our world. But life’s not always rainbows and butterflies to our small little world. While returning, those moments have suddenly shattered. The silence didn’t escape my notice. Soon I came to know that mom’s primary closed down due to low enrolment. People are rejecting vernacular medium of study for English schools. Our school was founded during the princely state while Lansdowne was Governor General of India. Such was the history.
Teachers take teaching as a noble cause.They are respected and eulogized. The respect they command from society due to the nobility of their profession that instill in everyone.The great education thinker APJ Abdul Kalam believes that school teachers have tremendous responsibility in shaping the life of an individual. “The seeds sown in childhood blossom into the tree of life”,while driving down the street, I kept thinking back to my school.Thank you teacher, thank you mother, what they wrote on our blackboard of life that can never be erased.