Today was not a great day for me. As usual I wake up at 8 in the morning, went to the office, came back, had food and was about to sleep when I thought why not to be online on my Google talk and find some friends. To my surprise I could see Anupama from “sincerely yours…” and then we chatted for long until she said “veendum kanam” (We will meet later). I accidentaly used some hindi words and she replied to them back in Hindi. I asked whether she knows hindi and her reply was that she stands first in all three languages. It was really nice speaking to her and that made me remember my hindi teacher Mrs. Anitha Phillips and I thought to write something about her.
Anitha Phillips madam is a kind hearted teacher who was nice in looks and sweet in words. She was my class teacher in fifth standard and always supported me in my studies and sports. She taught us hindi in such a way that each class appeared interesting. I still remember when she asked me to stand in front of the class and praised me for my hindi speaking skills. She said, “See Abhilash; he is from south India and speaks so fluent Hindi”. I was at the top of the class and in front of the children with a single praise. Thank god! the fan was not kept rotating. : ) My friend did not like all such praises and said “batau kya re! tu north India me pala bada tha”(should I say that you were born and brought up in north India?). After promising him a pepsi(it was a plastic tube filled with ice water) that we used to get at 50 paisa, I was able to escape from his harassment.
I can remember the way Mrs. Phillips explained each poem in Hindi and the poet’s intention of writing such lovely poems. She could always find two to three meanings in every sentence and the way of expressing them was like Amitabh bacchan narrating dialogues. My mother liked her very much and used to get good remarks regarding me. My mother is a very knowledgeable person, not at all like me. She reads a lot, solves puzzles, watches cricket and does all creative things. A really active woman I have ever seen.
When said about Mrs. Phillips I should not forget mentioning about the day when she made me the Class monitor. I used to look after the boys and girls who will talk and always write their names. There was always a boy and a girl as volunteers. I enjoyed my tenure for 1 year while a number of girls changed as monitors and some resigned during my rule. I really don’t know why? 🙂
I was like a ruler who was always in the good books of all the teachers and all of them knew my mother. My mother would come in all the parents teachers meetings and teachers would never praise me rather they will praise her for the efforts she took to teach me. Really I also praise my mother for how she made such a dumb boy like me study well.
We have a tradition called chor oonu(where children are given rice for the first time and father writes on the tongue of the child with gold ring dipped in honey) and I was given that at the Guruvayoor temple in Kerala. My mother says that a Brahmin saint saw me that day and said that he resembles Lord Krishna and would become a bright boy. My mother always used to tell me. Abhi Lord Krishna is fine but I never want you to be mischievous like him. I said at least not in the case of Radha’s.
I liked Hindi class not because it was my favorite subject but because it was thought by my favorite teacher. I met her last after my tenth exams and she had tears in her eyes and blessed me with both her hands on my head. I felt like I have achieved everything in Life. It’s said in Sanskrit that “Mata, pita, guru, deva”. After the position of Mother and father next is The Guru(the teacher). Guruve namah! Really I feel like crying when I think about the incident of my teacher blessing me for my bright future. I caught both of her legs and asked her for the blessings that could lead me to the great heights of moksha. Its also said that guru ke pairon ke neeche jannat hain(Its heven in the feet of your Teacher ).
It is really nice thinking about those childhood days which could not be captured in a single article like this. Mrs. Phillips always used to say that time may pass and you will reach a stage where you will be able to get everything in life and buy everything under the sky but never can get your childhood back again. So true she said. I wish I could be the same small boy who always used to be close to his mother and friends.