I was the first one in my family to be admitted to one of the prestigious missionary schools, Notre Dame Academy, Patna. In seventy's, there were very few schools and it was a matter of pride (for the parents) to get admitted in one of them, though the admissions were very easy at that time compared to today's scenario. Nowadays, parents are losing their sleep and peace of life in errand of getting their wards admitted to a proper school.
I was admitted in KG and a school uniform was there for the kids of kindergarten, white half shirt, red skirt, red tie and black shoes & white socks. On the first day, my uncle dropped me to school on his cycle. The school building withstood in a very big campus sprawled into acres and the campus and the building was immaculately clean and a beautiful garden adorned with beautiful roses in full bloom in the peak season of winters. ( In our time, we had a school session- Jan. to Dec.)
On the first day, introduction was carried of all the students and class teacher. I don’t remember the name of my first teacher, but the first teachings of her imprint in my mind & it’s as fresh as it is a matter of yesterday.
There would have many lessons imparted by the teacher, but I adhered to two of her requests or commands, whatever it can be termed as throughout.
1. Never pluck flowers from the school gardens, It looks good in the garden. It will die when you will pluck out. Do you wish to see them dying?
2. Keep your mouth closed while eating. We are human, not animals.
Her words had such an impact on me that throughout my school life, I never ever touched any flowers, plucking was a far fetched idea. There were students who plucked the flowers and kept them in their bags to conceal from the teachers. I was a shy and introvert student and preferred to remain calm & quiet. I never ever asked anyone to refrain from the idea, but I never did. The idea of her had such an impact in my life that I am in the habit of plucking flowers from my garden too. I love watching them bloom & I hate the idea of plucking them to offer to the Gods. Even God will love watching them in the garden, it’s my belief. I don’t impose my idea, but it’s my feeling of my inner conscience.
Since the day my teacher asked to keep the mouth closed while eating, it too became a habit inbuilt and even I advocated the approach to others citing the same example that's being human, we should keep our mouth closed while eating. Nowadays, it has come under the etiquette's to follow. In our time, that is more than four decades ago, mostly there were joint families in the house, and the elders were so busy with household chores that they didn’t have so much time to give to the kids and make them follow these little gestures. Even people had kids in half a dozen or so unlike today, even two are counted as more than enough and couples wish to have a single child, that too in a much planned way.
The first lessons of my teacher were etched in my memory and till today I adhere to the same principle and even I impart the same to all. It’s true that the minds of young children are like clay and it can be molded into a proper shape on time.
I am thankful to her.
Thank You Teacher!!!
© Ila Varma 24/10/2015