Sometimes, the smallest gestures…

Posted: April 23, 2010 in students, Teenagers
Tags: , ,

Before Partition, when my mother was in Lahore, she taught at the Hans Raj Mahila Maha Vidyalaya, where there was a student called Uma Sood, who was very popular because of her looks. When Partition was announced, my mother managed to get out of Lahore and came to work in Meerut, from where she would frequently dash off to Delhi to meet cousins and friends.

Years later when she was strolling around Connaught Place in Delhi, she saw a huge crowd outside one of the shops and asked the reason. She heard that “famous film actor Kamini Kaushal” was in the shop and everyone was waiting to catch a glimpse of her and maybe get an autograph. My mother too stood in the line waiting to see Ms Kaushal. When the film star came out of the shop, she was rushing towards her car, when she caught sight of my mother.

She rushed up to her, hugged her and asked, “Ms. Menon what are you doing here?”

Always the one for a quick repartee, my mother wisecracked, “Waiting to see Kamini Kaushal, who was Uma Sood when I was teaching her in Lahore.” They both had a good laugh and chatted for a few minutes before Ms Kaushal left and my mother continued her walkabout around CP.

I was reminded of this incident when I saw the calendar designed by the SIMC 2012 UG students, sitting at my desk. After seeing their handiwork, I know this for sure, that this is a really talented bunch of kids – not just these two, but the entire bunch. I am sure they’ll make a success of their lives. I have seen them perform on stage and they are quite simply amazing. And the ones who are taking it easy should kick themselves hard and clamber aboard, lest they get left!

Sometimes, I wonder why I take a personal interest in their future. But then I know it’s probably because, along with the SIMC 2011 PG batch, to which I taught a few subjects, this SIMC 2012 UG batch is one I took the entire journalism course with. Sometimes people and situations grow on you and you love it. Just like some people you meet who want to make you throw up, and the bitching and bullshit you encounter every day and desperately try to avoid.

The wonderful thing about kids (whether they are your own or someone else’s) is that they can make you forget everything – pain, troubles, pressures – and can overwhelm you with their affection, refreshing candour and enthusiasm. Whenever I meet students at the various campuses the warmth and affection from students overwhelms me. Like the use of the word f**k. As kids when we used the word, we ensured there were there were no elders within earshot. Today, even when I’m around, it rolls off the tongues of my students so easily, that it doesn’t seem like an expletive anymore. It makes me wonder what the fuss was all about earlier!

Once students from one of the institutes took me to the disco and I think they were surprised to see this greybeard shake a leg for a good part of three hours! On one occasion, another one of them screamed when she saw me approaching, ran up and hugged me! When I mentioned the incident to a 23-year-old student, she said, if someone her age had done that, there would have been a book written on it! Thank the Lord, for uncomplicated 18 year-olds!

So, here are a few pages of the desk calendar conceptualised and designed by the talented Shaan and Jay Dantara, with help from Mehernaz Jila and Nandan Sharalaya. The students who posed for the desk calendar are Urvi Bhanushali, Vibhuti Happa, Sanyukta Iyer, Trisha Satra, Akanksha Arya, Apoorva Sridhar, Nikita Gupta, Tejaswini Naik, Shaan, Pragya Singh and Ananditaa Iyer Singh.

The calendar sits on my desk at Lavale, autographed by Shaan and Jay. I just wish the others who graced each month had signed each page too!

  1. Sir,
    I think I speak for the whole batch when I say this…if not..then i say this for myself….it is an honour for us to have had u as our teacher…and wonder when u ll be bck wit us…it is nt often tht we get appreciated by our faculty members!
    thank you.

  2. Shaan says:

    I second Devang completely.

    Sir, thank you so much for recognizing and appreciating our efforts. This encouragement will definitely make us work harder and better. I am hoping we come up with more similar things to give you soon.

    We are overwhelmed.
    Thank you SO much.


  3. tejaswini says:

    You already know, how we all love you, and miss you, so badly, needless to say…you know, as much as we do, we had the best times with you, undoubtedly the best faculty member we have ever had, 1st and 2nd semester…both. and you are the one and only with whom we have had the best of times, had fun, said what we wanted, as much we wanted. I promise, i will read all your blogs and comment. But yes, first and foremost…i go from here, as a reformed student and with much more dedication and appreciation in my heart regarding whatever i do from now on.
    Thank you sir, for liking the calendar, a completely brilliant concept by the two very talented people, as you have already stated, shaan and jay. We wouldn’t have been there if not for shaan, if she wouldn’t have told us, let us in on her brilliant plan, and taken us as her models.

  4. Nandan says:

    Its a lot of hardwork that Shaan and Jay put in. They couldn’t have asked for something better in return. A compliment from you is worth dying for! (Afterall you are the ahem ahem Mr. Cynical Sinha!!!!!!)

  5. Sreyashi says:

    After a month or so in college…I thought I would not be able to share the same close bond with my faculty members like I did in school…But seriously Sir, after reading this one and being a part of your journalism classes..I do not think that it really applies any more!!!

    thank-you Sir.

  6. Mehernaz says:

    Thank you for the mention Sir, although I must admit that I didn’t do much. Its nice to know that there is at least one faculty member who doesn’t hate us and think we are a bunch of useless idiots. 🙂

  7. It’s a pity that our entire journalism course was not taken up by you.

  8. Suhas Kumar says:

    “The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires”
    William Arthur Ward
    Mr. Mohan, you appear to be the one who inspires. – Suhas Kumar

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