Wednesday, June 21, 2017


“Did you ever know that you're my hero,
And everything I would like to be?
I can fly higher than an eagle,
For you are the wind beneath my wings.”

- from the song ‘Wind Beneath my Wings’ by  BETTE MIDLER

I was talking to my mom over the telephone, this morning. She lives in my home town, Mangalore. “Son, Esthel teacher (Stella Concessao) expired,” she told me, “We will be attending her funeral, today evening.”

Stella teacher, who passed away in her eighties, had taught little Primary-school children for forty years. I was fortunate to be in the same local school (St. Peter’s) where she had taught. Not only have her students done well for themselves, her own children, too. She was living with her prosperous son. My mom told me, that ma’am’s children had announced on the local dailies about her sad demise, wherein they had proudly mentioned the fact, that she had been a teacher for over forty years!

I could not attend the funeral. But, I fondly remembered our teacher!

Pic. courtesy: Concessao family

Our initial days teachers have played a significant role in shaping and moulding us. Often, we don’t remember our later year teachers – high school and college teachers – but, we do remember the ones who came in our lives early…

Two days ago, my dear friend, Uday Acharya, who himself is a popular teacher, mentor and guide, was telling me about his recent visit to South. He wanted his wife to meet some people who had made difference in his life. One of them was his Sunday-school (Bal Vihar of Chinmaya Mission) teacher at Coimbatore. This affectionate soul had taught my friend when he was a little fifth-standard boy. “She had shaped me and inspired me when I was of tender age,” Uday said, “She is 95 now and cannot remember or recognize us… But, meeting her was important to me and my wife.”

I felt extremely touched when Uday described his visit to his Sunday-school teacher. “We are where we are only because of some important teachers in our lives,” I was thinking aloud, "Our early-years’ teachers are truly special. They are our true heroes!"

Is the scene different today? Are today’s students different? Often, in my own frustration, I do say that they are different. But, then, I hope I am wrong… I do come across the moments of frustration and feel like a ‘use-and-throw’ stuff… with almost zero loyalty or respect. I am a liar if I say I don’t go through this experience. But, those moments are like some dark clouds swiftly passing across the otherwise bright blue sky…

Just as I remember Stella teacher - we fondly remember her as Esthel teacher - and just as my friend Uday remembers his own Sunday-school teacher after many, many decades… Yes, I am sure, all students will continue to remember their dearest teachers for generations to come.


Pic.: Internet
Video: YouTube

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