{Of all lies, art is the least untrue - Flaubert}

Sunday, October 24, 2004

About Teachers

Again back to school time. I am thinking to start with some funny anecdotes of the school time and some other things . I have forgotten many of them and my sense of humor has corrupted to an incorrigible state since then, so the incidents/interpretation may be not exact. One more thing that although I am making fun of my teachers here.... but thats it, its not being disrespectful to them (ok some of them)...

I am starting with our Maths teacher. Mr. Ashok Singhal was a funny figure with a ‘bold’ sense of humor. He had some irritating habits like dividing the black board into three parts as soon as he enters the class and using students from three rows as volunteers to rub the blackboard.
It was irritating/interesting bit because of following few reasons:
1) It was supposed to be a competition between the rows.
2) Ashok sir has kept nicknames and picked up students randomly from the rows by calling nicknames and nicknames keep on changing (Nick name for ‘Ram Gupta’ can be ‘Ramlal’ or ‘Ramu’)
3) Since all were supposed to rub the BB cleanly (competition?), it results in high jump by over-enthusiatic girls and sure shot fun, smaller boys also tried to jump but Ashok sir stopped them, he definitely had a soft corner for Guys and their fun :)).
4) Who so ever, rubbed date (lefttop thing on BB), has to write it back and since all this cause delays, that row was penalized and there is long list of penalties, his class was all about chalking, rubbing and dusting.
There are some funny conversations in class with Ashok sir. Here is one (try to get the humor).
Sir (teaching moment, torque and couple): Do anyone know what do we mean by Couple.
Sir (seeing no one is answering): Chalo, tell me what do you mean by couple generally.
Sir (pointing to the naughty boy): Yes, You tell me.Naughty boy stands and Smiles shyly again.
Sir (with silly expression): OK OK, sit down.., I understand your feelings.

Next in line are our English teachers. Lets start with Black mother. She is motherly in attitude and Black in color, and hence the name. There are other theories also. One says that students started with kaali maa, but see our school is a so-called english medium school and Black Mother was our English teacher, with due respect to these facts,her name was duely changed to black mother. Other theory was that she was imported from Africa and was mother of Nelson Mandela , so Black mother. There were other uninteresting theories about it too. There were other names also like 'Moorni' (Peahen), because of her 'chaal', out-of-parlor look and iridescent sari colors. Her names are all we can talk about her.

And one of other English teachers was Popli madam, I donot remember her real name. But even if you see her for the first time, you will shout POPLI, the name is just apt - to say the least. Popli means someone who has no teeth. But Popli madam had teeth, but she had never shown them to anyone, even not to 'Bruno'. Students had figured out the teeth thing by the grunting sound she used to make on seeing other English teachers especially Black mother. Popli madam used to claim that she has taught in very good schools and to very intelligent students in past and because of husband's transfers she used to keep giving up lucrative jobs and her career has ruined to an extent where she has to teach us. She handled this odd situation very intelligently by not teaching us at all and keeping her stds. All her classes were monologues on how her family life is, how brilliant her sons are, how she once met Hema Malini, how funny her pet 'Bruno' behaves, how she wanted to be a doctor, how her brother had written a wonderful book, how her husband is devoted to his duty, how he neglects other duties, how many different saris she has, how she hates to show off, how she didn't like teachers with no sense of dress and etiquette's, etc... But it was all interesting stuff, at least till she starts teaching.

Next teachers to write on are our Hindi teachers. Lets start with Talwar ma'am (her surname), her obvious nickname was chhuri (knife), and she personified her name. She was famous for backbiting against students in front of their Parents on 'Parents Day' (Although, technically it was not backbiting as the student was there sitting, actually is was worse that that). She used to tell all the horror stories to the parents like a bollywood masala movie with comments like 'Main aur kya batao, aap issi se pooch lijiye' pointing to the ward.

Next in the row is Anu Madam. She is the one who initiated my interest in Hindi. She taught me for three consecutive years, ie 8th to 10th. She used to put lot of emphasis on handwriting, thats where I developed some love for calligraphy. One more thing she is famous for- was scaring for the boards’ exam (more or less every teacher do, but she had mastered that art). Usually she used to take classes from 9th std, but for us, all the boards-is-spooky thing started from 8th class. We are scared to a level that we believed what Anu Madam was saying. She was just saying to put all our efforts in Hindi, because it is our national language, if you wont, who will... She could have joined BJP or Shiv sena and taught them a trick or two. Except for this, she was an excellent teacher, always came prepared to teach and expected that preparedness from us too. Yes, forgot to mention, her nickname was Hitler.

RP Singh Sir, PTI and Pitai Teacher: As a true Jaat PTI, he knew only following english sentences:
1) Boys, Make a straight line
2) On the mark, get set go...
3) Move fast
4) Come here
5) Go out
6) Hands up
7) What is your name
8) Left right left...
9) I slap tightly, ask him

MK Gupta Sir, Physics teacher: He was self-proclaimed Military man, used to dress like Govinda.
Quotable quotes: 1) If I sneeze in the class today, the whole city will know tomorrow, the world is a small place (Its like making love to the 'city' and saying 'You mean world to me').
2) I can give you in writing that this question will come in the Annual exam, and if doesn't come I will stop teaching (Its a win-win situation)

He is that kind of irritating teacher who used to ask questions, when asked a qusetion.
An example ...
MKG (reading from his notes): The nearest star to Sun is Alpha Centuri.
Student: Sir, what is the approx. distance from sun/earth?
MKG (Finding the info is not in notes): kya tumhe yahan se dilli ka distance pata hai, Alpla centuri ki baat karte ho.
MKG will well be writing poetry than teaching physics, a potential sher from MKG:
Khud to duriyoon ke maane bhi jaante nahin, bas badi badi baat karte hain
Mujhse poochte hain woh duriyoon ke sabab, dil jalane ki baat karte hain

This list is incomplete without mentioning Shobha Ma'am. She taught us history for two years (9th and 10th). My idea of a good teacher has her as template. Her characteristics are must have for a teacher. What she develops in teaching is interest, a sense of inquisitiveness. Her effort to teach is one of the most honest efforts, I have come across. She took us from Stone Age to World war to Modern World history. She used to use maps to teach history, like at a point of time where all in the world something was happening and how it affected each other. She used to act in the class like how Neanderthal man used to walk or how Hitler used to talk, thus bringing much required life to dead history. She used to draw parallels between different times and different persons in history. Its very difficult to think how she used to teach the same things, with same interest year after year, without loosing interest herself.

This list of teachers is long, but its enough for now, I’ll be BACK :)

1 comment:

dontlikeyou said...

this is so funny..i was actually laughing out loud
"One says that students started with kaali maa, but see our school is a so-called english medium school and Black Mother was our English teacher, with due respect to these facts,her name was duely changed to black mother"...creating names for ppl is an art