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Teachers' day and corporal punishment | Thursday, September 06, 2007

Yesterday it was the "teachers' Day". Wanted to write something here but couldn't do so due to some unavoidable circumstances. Anyways, am writing it now. The delay is regretted. But at the end of the day, what matters is that I'm conveying my feelings at least at last.

This is the first time that I'm feeling so strongly for teachers' day. Maybe 'coz now I'm not in some educational institute and don't have a teacher. It's aptly said that we don't understand some thing's value unless it is taken away from us. When I was in school / college - I never felt highly respectful towards any teacher. Instead, quite disliked some of them for their high-handedness and their task assignment n all. At that time, the word 'teacher' meant someone who's out there hell bent on making life hell for us. But now that I'm out of college and there's no one to guide me n explain things to me, I realize how crucial they really are.

[ Continued in Full Post ]

Now when I look back at my life so far, I realize how blessed I've been to get those few great teachers. The 1st one who comes to my mind is the headmaster of my kindergarten school. He had spotted something special in me and took special care of me. Mom says the 1st thing I used to do after returning from school was doing my home-work. Guess I was a good student then. I don't really remember much of these. But there's one incident that I still remember as if it had happened just yesterday. It was after I had finished my kindergarten. One day that head master came to meet me at home and told papa "He's a special child. Take special care of him. He'll make it really big someday". Papa was so proud of me that day and so was I. I was bluntly telling everybody that day what he had said.

My next experience with teachers wasn't this pleasant though. I was in class 3 and there was this bully in my class but I didn't pay him much hid. One day he threatened one boy in the class to do as he says or else .... That other boy suddenly stood up in mid class, clutching his stomach and said "Sir, Bikram just punched me hard in stomach". That teacher was a relative of this boy. He just thrashed me for a long time, not listening to a single word I said. By the time he let go off me, I was all bright red - head to toe, as if I'll start bleeding any moment. On my way back home, curious onlookers made me feel sick. Everybody's 1st impression was obviously 'punished for some unforgivable mischief'. Through their eyes, I saw myself as a criminal. I kept running on road, shaking, till I reached home and broke down in tears. Mom went numb on seeing me and papa immediately rushed me to a hospital. A case was filed against that teacher. But he wasn't even questioned by police. He was let go. They said 'he just did his duty. Corporal punishment is a part of school life'. That was when I started hating the word 'teacher'.

Now a days, there's one or the other news of harsh corporal punishment every other day. Most people just skip such news, turning a blind eye. But ask someone who's been through it. Whenever there's one such news, I still feel the tearing sensation of canes raining on my skin. WCD is proposing some strict rules against such barbarism. Some people are opposing it saying 'that will ruin the tender relation between teachers and their pupils'. But what have they got to say about the total mental break down of a child thrashed in the name of punishment?

And now I'm all boiling up again. I actually wanted to write some nice memorable interactions with my teachers; about how Jeevan sir was like a father figure for me, and how sorry I was when I had compelled Vishwas sir to shout at me in mid class and later apologize for no mistake of his. But now that I remembered my class 3 incident, my mood is ruined. Just want to wrap up and grab some coffee. Will tell you the rest some other day.

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