Written By Sakshi Talreja (Grade 10)
Another Monday – the bell chimed, classes began, and I as usual, on the move, early in the morning even though the day had not completely started. Oh not much, just table tennis practice, MUN preparations, test preparations, notes, home-works all work piled up together. And if this was not enough “Sakshiii, did you get the graph book? There is no chance our math teacher will spare me.” Yes, you guessed it, I forgot (again). Like any other student, I felt like quitting forever, running till the end and escaping to nowhere.
Tringgg, everyone dragging their voice “Naammastee Maa’aamm .” And there she was a She-hero or rather the heroine of today’s story, tomorrow’s glory and yesterday’s history. She always had a smile on her face even in the most adverse of situations, Miss Pai, was always sweet as a pie but she is assigned one of the most boring subjects of all ‘Social Science’. But there was a change in her outfit, I thought for she became our new vice-principal, but it shined everything and she became the centre of attraction. But nothing changed in her duty. She exclaimed, “Today, History” and everyone wrangled with her for a free period. Honestly, even though the teachers ask us to forget the past and focus on the future, why do they teach us what happened in our past? Like why should I care about what happened in the French revolution, or why the governments in Sri Lanka and Belgium are different?
But she was determined on her goal. We started the lesson and one topic led to another until she finally reached our daily lesson on writing skills. “Do write articles” she begged us for the ninety-sixth time, literally four more and she will finish a century telling us this. Can we all take a minute and appreciate that I was literally counting the number of times she asked us to write? Jokes apart, I guess she knew I was down that day and keeping eye contact with me, cracked jokes to cheer me up, and somehow managed to bring a smile on my face. I still have no idea how she does it? She can literally turn anything into a laugh and make any problem half. Before she leaves, she always informs us of something new (art competitions, educational apps and more). She patted my back, smiled and said “If you don’t write an article, you see what will happen”. And of course, I agreed with her. But the whole day I wondered why was she so happy with the monsters of our class, why was she so dressed and above all even though she had so much work to do she smiled, unlike me.
I reached home freshened up and checked my phone and there it was, the answer to my questions. It was her birthday. She never expected anything. No one in school was found to wish her, no gifts were given and nothing to do with a fancy birthday. She enjoyed her job as a teacher and I enjoyed the life as her student. She never said it but always made me feel that it’s okay, not to be okay. Always teaching, laughing, solving, enjoying and writing she spent her life with hundreds of us.
Miss Pai, from our first write-up to the many more to come, thank you for guiding me, teaching me, laughing with me and supporting me. Happy Birthday Ma’am.
Featured Image Courtesy – The Boston Globe