Wednesday, November 18, 2009


I teach my students how to solve accounting problems. As a teacher, we say so many things, so mechanically... that unless someone brings to our notice, we don't even realise them. Sometimes, we come to know about them when, in a healthy spirit, some students come forward to mimic us.

Last evening, I met a professional accountant. We had invited him to handle the accounts of our housing society. "We need you to set right all the mess, here. We want you to put our house in order," we told him referring to the accounting problems we were facing in our society.

"Sir, every problem has to be solved twice," the man told us, looking smilingly at me. "Once, here (He pointed at his head), and, once again, here (He pointed at the accounts books on the table)." Before we could react, he continued, "Sir, about fifteen years ago, you told this to us in the class when you taught us how to solve problems... Do you remember me? I was one of your students."

I was pleasantly surprised. I couldn't recognise the man after all these years. But, when he recalled those days, everything came back to me... Particularly those words which so mechanically I have been using for so many years: "Every problem is solved twice: once in our minds, and once again in our books."

Someone had understood the depth of those words. Last evening, when he, respectfully, 'mimicked' me, I realised, how much, we teachers, even when we do things so mechanically, influence our students... and, how mysteriously, a student can appear to teach us. Yes, the same lessons!


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