Today is Teacher’s day in India. It is the day that is celebrated to commemorate the birthday of Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan. He was a great academic, philosopher and the 1st vice president of independent India. He became the 2nd president of India and is also a Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian honour given to a citizen on India.

On this day, I want to salute all my teachers, both past and present, for teaching me,  believing in me, and making me who I am today.

I want to remember my old primary school teacher, Helen miss today. I don’t even know her surname nor do I have a photo of her! She taught Kannada and Maths. Come to think of it now, that seems to be an odd combination of subjects, right?! Now a days, no science teacher will teach humanities subject and vice-versa. But those were simpler times.

She taught me from 4th standard to 7th standard. She was such a strict teacher that all of us used to maintain “pin drop silence”. If anyone was seen crossing their feet, they would get an earful from her.

She taught so well, that all concepts were imprinted in my mind like a photograph. She made me love mathematics!

Once I lost 1 mark in the final exam. I was quite happy with 99. Then, Helen miss said “where did that 1 mark go?” That was quite a bummer! It made me extra careful from then on.

During a class test in 7th standard, Helen made us all sit far away from each other, some on the ground, some in the last bench etc, to prevent copying. I was made to sit in the last bench. I had studied well and and was confident too. But my marks were so low, that my mother was called by Helen miss to take the report. I was so afraid!

My mother too was surprised, for never had she been called to school by a teacher to be reported to either for me or my sister.

When my mother came, Helen miss, called me also to the teacher’s table and told her “Get her eyes tested, She has written down all the problems wrong from the blackboard. Looks like she can’t see properly.” That’s when we knew that I had myopia! If not for Helen miss, my eyesight would have got even worse.

When I started my 8th grade, I could not adjust to the new math teacher. I went to Helen miss and told her to come over and teach us. She pacified me and told me to persevere and put in extra effort to understand.

I feel she is the reason for me to take up mathematics as a postgrad subject.

Salute to you miss! You live in my memory for ever.