Pic.: Pradeep Nanda
One of my favorite lines has been this:
“We need a distance to appreciate and value the beauty, might and glory of a mountain.”
This is very akin to what that old adage says:
“Distance makes love fonder.”
Yesterday was Teachers’ Day. Right since midnight, I was getting messages from all over, yes, from my students. But, I could feel that the best and the most sincere wishes came from my old – many very old – students… They wrote some wonderful things about me, my impact on them as a teacher, how they spoke about me, their teacher, to their young-ones at home or their bosses and colleagues at office… Some of them had taken up teaching as their career… and they claimed it was because of me… The stories went on like this… and, let me tell you, there was no pretense or diplomacy in what was being said…
How am I so sure of that?
When I was a student, I never valued and appreciated my teachers the way I started doing it later in my life… Yes, many years and many, many miles away… And, that distance was necessary for me to see and feel the beauty, might and glory of my teachers, my icons… the mountains… When I was there right under their nose – at the foothills – I couldn’t see or feel this…
So, I am not surprised at all when majority of my present students, despite the hype and hoopla they create on Teachers’ day, do not make my heart rejoice and feel blessed as much as my old and very old students do….
I am not complaining, please. That’s how life is… that’s how we all learn to value and appreciate our own parents, uncles and aunts, siblings, friends, and mind you, even enemies!
We need the distance to see and feel – value and appreciate – the beauty, might and glory of the mountains… We need to move afar… miles away, years away!
Oddly, yesterday, right in my early morning batch, I was ‘irritated’ with my students… “What is the point in wishing me a ‘Happy Teachers’ Day’, when you don’t give me that true feeling that whatever I say, with all my heart, you understand?”
Cards, cakes, chocolates, flowers, gifts… handshakes, hugs or touching feet – let me tell you, last morning I was moved by none of them… Only one thing I died for:
“Please give me a true feeling that you understand what I say with all my heart.”
Well, at hindsight, I do feel that what I did and said to my students was something unusual for a Teachers’ Day…
But then, what I had said, I had already said…
“Just like your parents,” I reminded my students, my heart throbbing, “we teachers, too, will never give up on you.”
Perhaps, it takes miles and years of distance to grasp the intense love packed in those words… Yes, perhaps.