Monday, September 5, 2011

Happy Teachers Day!

Teachers day! Needless to say nostalgia reigned and I started to reminisce on the pantheon of teachers I had encountered back in Holy Angels.

I do not remember one single moment if I had ever given a damn about the teachers back then in school.. all that overpowering love and affection poured in only after the good old school years came to an end. Not sure about the others, but I found it real funny when someone sang a song for their teacher or wrote a prose or poetry with real mushy words... It simply made me go all red over the face.

But what a transformation.. now I am writing passages after passages about school and the teachers! Simply put... the outside world screwed the hell out of me and stamped the realization if not for all those days at school and for all those teachers, I would not had a chance at all to stand in the brutal world!

So here I dive into the past, recalling one teacher after another as my neurons dug into the hard drive for names..

First on the memory lane comes ofcourse who else ... other than the great Sr. Angela.
Even though I had devoted entries especially to Sister Angela, I can never be sated. I could keep on talking about her - my heroine, my Princi, the lady killbill. No one could ever take her towering place in my heart as she stands tall forever - the personified avatar of all that was school.

Then comes the English and History teacher, Miss Sacchu... ha! the "black Mamba" with a heart of gold. Who can ever forget her after having sat through her enchanting teachings of the world filled with fantasies and mysteries... The lovable Frankenstein of Holy Angels. It should be noted that even the slightest fault would be enough to turn her into a violent sleek mamba moving quickly and attacking one prey after another.

Next on the ramp flies in the big mother hen with a loud cluck - Mrs. Sundari Jason. The one with perfect English and the only teacher who never ever showed any partiality whatsoever. Name her and the picture that flashes in memory is the look of horror and shock she would give when one didn't show up with the homework. Her already big wide eyes would pop out and her lipstick smacked lips would go into a big O. Never a site to forget indeed! She taught English, Biology and occasionally took Bible classes.

Up next, walks in Mrs. Thangam Jacob - the grizzly bear with a sharp humor! The bear could crush you with her witty humor and shackle your ego down to the dark underworld. Such was her power... We the students were always wise to never rub against her knowledge of geography.

Next on the memory ramp, runs in Mrs. Janette, the comical heroine of yester years still wearing the puffed up blouse. I always wonder who stitches her classical blouses! Her dressing style was that of heroines in the 60's movies. Misleading demeanor, as she had the bark and the bite too. I can vouch pretty much that her bites were worse than her barks. Behold the voice of the victim! She rules over the land of Physics.

My neurons brought in, Mrs. Jeeva.. the beauty queen who paraded the sacred lands of Holy Angels. She holds credit for letting loose the deadly fashion bug into the school premises. She shocked us with her deep necked blouses, invited wolf whistles from autowalas and shy, desirous looks from dads who came to drop off daughters. There were times when her blouse simply hung onto her with the help of a mere spaghetti thread... arousing oohs and aahs from every quarter. News soon came around that a warning was issued by Sr.Angela.. but not sure if it was true. Mrs. Jeeva... Ooh..what did she teach? hugh.. oh yeah ! English and should I add Feminism and Fashion?! :P

Lumbering next comes Mrs. Padma Shankar.. the tall imposing giant of a lady who had the worst temper among all the teachers. She could hurl a little child about in the air and bang her onto the wall, send a girl hurtling out on the corridor with her butt on fire and could break those knuckles with a hard ruler... She must have been one of Charlie's girls, as she was known for holding a road side Romeo by his collar and made him see some stars as he had meddled with one of the senior class girls. Needless to say she stands among one of my favorites .... my first teacher when I got into Holy Angels. The teacher who saw the little artist in me and helped me nourish it.. The teacher who gave me courage and inspiration..

Walking in next is the docile Mrs. Jyothi, the Tamil teacher... The kind lady would never hurt any living soul dead or alive. But it was always possible to turn a mouse of a woman into a roaring lioness... Thanks to the pranks of the girls. We all loved her Tamil classes, as they were simple and just like a mother teaching her kids...But she soon left school in pursuit of a better career.

Walking close behind, arrives Miss. Soundram... the inevitable lady of Tamil. Once Mrs. Jyothi left, our batch was under Miss.Soundram's authority. She spoke Tamil so perfectly that I never understood what she really talked. Such was my language instinct for my mother tongue! She expected us to speak like the good old Tamil movies with massive dialogues, but alas wasn't she disappointed?! Some nerd of a guy introduced theater for the syllabus and hence as a result we all had to be part of it to pass exams. As a result of which, I was to play the part of Goddess Parvathi for a skit from the old movie "Thiruvilaiyadal". Well I would not go on with the details of the debacle. Simply put I failed theater!

A hop a skip and a jump.. in comes Mrs. Jesintha Michelle, the lovely dark eyed dove of a woman. She joined school soon after her graduation from college. Wow what a beauty! I bet there wouldn't be one girl who didn't go crazy over her kajaled eyes, her picture perfect dressing and immaculate makeup. Remember the 90's advertisement of Santoor soap, where the lady never looks tired even after a long day's work... well thats Mrs. Michelle. One characteristic feature I remember was the way she extracted an answer from a student. She would stand so close to the girl, hold one of the buttons of the girl's shirt... slowly and surely fumble with it, as she would ask question after question in a soft murmuring voice. The student would stammer unable to comprehend the closeness of the teacher so beautiful. Then the strikes would start - BANG BANG BANG. She never exerted herself in any way, while talking or while punishing. Her moves personified a first class assassin. Her knowledge of Biology made her attack the weakest points of the human body: she would twist the ear by the softest part of the lobe or hold onto the skin in the slightest possible way and pinch in slowly making the pain throb for a very long time.

Shyly walks in Mrs. Ramani next. She taught history after Miss. Sachu retired. Cool as ice she held her head high even when students teased the hell out of her... (Mrs. Ramani... if you reading this.. a big salute to you. P.S. I was one of your first students of history and scored the highest that year.. remember me? :P)

Next trooped in a gang of teachers:

Mrs. Gayathri, taught higher class Biology... a kind loving perky teacher who never had a bite at anyone. Initial days saw her in a very nervous state but soon she turned into a docile little mouse.

Mrs. Mini Pillai, a snugly chubby teddy bear who loved working with chemicals. She taught chemistry.

Mrs. Bournes, the perfect little puppet... The puppet lectured geography enabling all students to have a good power nap in the middle of a hard day at school.

Mrs. Patience, remained true to her name. She taught small school children..

Mrs. Lalitha David, the bashful, no-nonsense big hearted old lady who made maths so much easier to digest for the young brains.

Mrs. Jesintha (Small School) the teacher to whom I would always be indebted, thanks to her patient coaching for the school entrance exams. She never was a teacher for any of the classes I attended in school. But a teacher and guide outside school. There are certain beacons of people, we meet in life who change your life forever... Mrs. Jesintha is one such beacon in my life.

Late Mrs. Premraj, our beloved Hindi teacher. She was such a loving dove of a person, a very strict disciplinarian, a perfectionist and a poet.

Late Mrs. Ambika.. who used to teach chemistry to good old seniors of mine.. Again some people just impress with their simple demeanor..they need not even take class for you.. Mrs. Ambika was one such teacher. Our school lost two wonderful souls around the same time... Mrs. Ambika and young Yasmin.

Late Sr.Jacob.. the most lovable alpha woman of the whole gang... Briefly for a year or two she was our Princi before she lost the battle with breast cancer. A short stout lady with a gruffly voice and a loud guffaw of a laughter, had so much humor and playfulness, that at times we forgot that she was our Princi and enjoyed her company. It was sad that we lost her at an early age to cancer...

hmm... I suppose I have done it all...memory walked most of the teachers.

oh gosh! I forgot the T-rex! How can I ????
The queen bee, the golden stalk, the deadly agent 00, the spider woman, the cat woman. Well I have to devote a complete section to talk all about her.. Will do that soon...
The idiosyncrasy of this teacher instilled little hearts with fear and dread. She taught Perfectionism... Yeah .. imperfects have no place to live. Poke them.. punch them.. humiliate them.. ignore them..that was her principle.

School days passed by with countless other teachers whose names I have lost in the course of time... There were some moronic teachers who caused misery and dread... They shed their insecurities and vile over the innocent hearts and minds of young girls. And I did recollect some of the hoodlums from the dark ages who instilled the fear of school... But no use mentioning them here.

Thus I conclude. I became another brick on the wall after graduating from school! But thanks to all these teachers... Can I be proud that I am a different 'Brick' who can shatter and dodge through other brick-walls in a much efficient way??!

Happy Teachers day to all...