Jul 25, 2011

The White Rat

Preamble: But how long can they allow this to happen? It has to stop right? Well, it did stop, but only after one more year was passed.

Her name is Sumathi. I liked her the first time I saw her.

During the summer holidays, a rift between the principal and a teacher forced the teacher to quit, who later started a school on her own. Being very close to the teacher, my mom decided to put me in the new school to continue with my studies, which few of my batch mates too joined along with me.

It was in that new school that Sumathi joined as a teacher.

It happened 25 years ago! It is now difficult for me to recall the reasons why I liked her, after all these years! But I liked her so much the first time I saw her, draped in a Saree, entering the upper kinder garden class (UKG) to which I recently got promoted after writing the annual exam sitting on my mom's lap.

She must have heard my stories from the new headmistress, or other teachers who came from my previous school, for the first day she came to my class, she made me sit next to her and paid special attention to me. Soon, as if she was holding a magic wand, I started writing numbers, alphabet, and words sitting next to her, ahead of everyone else.

Her special liking towards me earned a nick 'as fast as a rat', which later became 'the white rat', thanks to my milky white complexion that she liked (I am not trying to sound racial here!).

No wonder, she soon became the second person whom I wrote or recited the rhymes too. And she, in turn, never failed to praise me for my achievements, which made me feel proud and instilled confidence in me, the necessary ingredient to overcome the fear I had of my taller and stronger classmates.

At last, the principal was so pleased to hear that the kid who once refused to write to any teachers, started to read/write in the classroom, along with his batch mates.

In one life that we live, there are people who help us and later expects a favor in return. Some will help us because they are friends, while others help us because they are family/relatives. But there are few who comes in our life when we most wanted them to, help us in evolving into a better person, and leave without a trace when their job is done.

Sumathi miss is one such person.

Not many of us will remember the troubles we had made during those innocent days, which, in addition to their other family issues, always handled it in the best of our interest.

It is hard to believe that the person who instilled confidence in me, helped me to overcome the shyness I had with my taller and stronger fellow mates, nurtured my curiosity and answered my questions, handled all the troubles I had made in those days, is no more in this world.

Dear Sumathi miss, this white rat will always remember you, for you are the reason behind "I am what I am".