Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Primary Colours - part II

So many people touch your lives in so many ways. Some such people from my primary school days are mentioned here.


Sarita Verma Ma'm







Young, cheerful and patient. That was Sarita Verma M’am. My std IVth and Vth class teacher. She liked me and I liked her. In fact, I liked her very very much! She was the best teacher in the world!

We moved out of Lucknow in 1985. I vowed to come back someday (once I become a doctor ) and tell Miss Sarita Verma how highly I thought of her.

Dad got posted back to Lucknow in 1992. I was in std XIIth. I joined the same school and set about looking for her. The primary section had relocated from the old barracks to the new building. One of her students pointed out to the three teachers sitting on stairs at the end of a long corridor. It was lunchtime. 

I walked upto them.  I saw her. My heart was singing. I went closer. I was in for a shock. My young, pretty, sophisticated Miss Sarita Verma was squatting like a vegetable vendor, chewing paan (tobacco) and was loud enough to put coolies (porters) to shame.Years can age you but they can’t take away your elegance, or so I thought.

I stood in front of them. They looked at me. I smiled at her and said “Good afternoon M’am”. She just opened her paan packed mouth and went “hain”. I said “Ma’m I am an ex-student of yours. You were my class teacher in std IV & V. I have come back to this school after 6 years. I just wanted to meet you.” She looked at me with blank eyes. Then she looked at the other two teachers and laughed. There was an awkward dumb silence. She didn't speak. This wasn’t the woman I had idolised and wanted to be like. I decided to leave. In a flash, I remembered the name of the other teacher who was sitting alongside her. She used to teach Hindi. On my way out I just added “Good afternoon Arora Ma’m” . She blushed a sweet blush and replied as an afterthought “Good afternoon beta”. By then, I had already turned my back to the best teacher in the world.

Maybe I was too quick and judgmental about it. But it wasn’t the ‘growing older’ I hated about her, it was her ‘not growing at all as a person’ that I found regressive and unbearable. 


(PS: I am sure she must have gone through some life changing experiences. In my young mind, 6 years was a long time. I had grown from a little girl into a woman. But come to think of it, in her context - She must have just gone from 24 to 30. Not very old.)

5 comments:

  1. I don't know what Miss Sarita Verma went through in those six long years... beautifully written Vandu... I felt like I was there with you, holding your hand...

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  2. I am sure she must have gone through some life changing experiences. In my young mind, 6 years was a long time. I had grown from a little girl into a woman. But come to think of it, in her context - She must have just gone from 24 to 30. Not very old.

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  3. the paan filled mouth must be passing on some comfort to her aching heart and in turn giving momentary sweet aftertaste, a slight hue to her drab soul. Know Vandy , she musn't have come across many admirers like you to boost her spirits . And as it happens with most humans.... views , opinions , admiration , acceptance ,circumstances ...in short the outside factors influence how we sculpture ourselves ... And once we fail to recieve adulation , we abandon extending it too, and thats getting trapped in the vicious circle. I too have come across some phenomenal changes for worse in a large no of people around, owing to bad nasty circumstances or criticism . All I can say is God give me the good thought to compliment and acknowledge the goodness in all creations around me. Deepa

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  4. Right you are. I always believed people changed for the better so to see her walking back in another direction shocked and saddened me.

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  5. Oh poor you. I know the feeling of trying to search desperately for all those childhood memories

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