She taught us English. Joined us when we were in 9th grade. The opportunity to be her students, for us, was only for two years.
Strict, disciplined, impeccable in the language she taught, precise, practical, logical.
Her persona had a command over others.
Our class was one bunch of troublemakers the school had never experienced before, and she was assigned to be our class teacher.
We knew we were getting a new class-teacher, but, what we did not know was that she would tame the shrew.
The moment she entered the classroom she made it clear she meant business. I liked her. I liked her for the respect she demanded, from us, for the school and for herself, with a few lines that she spoke. The entire class of the unpopular students had already begun to cave in.
No one had ever been able to do that.
The chapters became more interesting, more knowledgeable. Everyday I looked forward to learn from her. English was my favourite, and the love for it had notched up with her teaching.
I even liked getting yelled at by her. Yes, I did.
It felt like she genuinely cared for the students …she wanted us to become good humans. The scoldings were not just to follow the discipline of the school.
Our school had all sorts of activities going on round the year and her involvement was not restricted to studies.
She made sure the talents of every student was polished and put forth. She was active in the cultural activities and sports. Singing, dancing, plays, debates, essay writing to name a few. She was multi talented.
I was one of the fortunate ones to have been trained under her guidance in some of these activities.
Our school made it to the finals of a dance competition. Every school showcased their dance representing a theme in the inaugural ceremony of the interschool sports competition. Our theme was Goa. She had choreographed and conceptualized along with another teacher. I was part of it and was so proud. Then there was choir singing for the Christmas day celebration. Various activities during annual day.
Two years were over in jiffy. We left school to get into 11th and 12th grade. How I wish our school wasn’t limited to 10th grade…we would have the privilege to learn more from her.
Years went by…I got busy experiencing life and growing up. She, however, never left my thoughts. I would proudly tell her stories to friends and family whenever I had the chance to.
Then social media happened. Orkut… Facebook.
A few years ago, I found her on the latter platform along with our math teacher. I send her friend request. It was never accepted.
I found out she wasn’t much active there so, I thought, perhaps she never saw it.
I even wondered if she at all remembered me. She knew me very well, so, her not being able to place me was unlikely…but, then again… it was years ago. I still wonder.
I, however, did not resend her the request. I thought, I’ll instead meet her someday…surprise her and if she had indeed forgotten me, I would help her recollect and tell her everything that I wrote above here.
Tell her what she means to me…tell her how wonderful teacher she is…show her my blog, my other writings, my stories, haikus…make her proud and learn more when she would point out the mistakes…all this…I would do, SOMEDAY.
Here I was waiting for that ‘someday’, and the TIME bested me.
On 18th of this month, I received a WhatsApp message. The obituary clip mourned the loss of my favorite teacher.
Now, I’ll never get to tell her all this. I was stupid to wait for that someday. I took time for granted. I missed all the opportunities that came by or the ones that I could have created myself.
I type this with a heavy heart and crying eyes…
Susan ma’am, wherever you are I hope my feelings reach you. You are being missed by so many lives you have touched. We love you.
I love you!
For you, the reader:
If you want to tell someone what they mean to you, seize this very moment to do so. You might never get the opportunity again.
There’s never a right time or a wrong time.
Time is just…TIME. Bold and in caps… Authoritative…Untamed.