Guest Article #7: For the Joy of Sharing

Tasmai Sri Gurave Namah!

By Usha Ramaswamy
Senior School Head at The Shri Ram Universal School Hyderabad

Foreword by Venkat
In this beautiful recount of school days, Mrs. Usha Ramaswamy brings the effect, power and presence of teachers in our life experiences, well beyond the life as a student. Indeed without doubt, some incidents and words with our teachers can be so touching that they can be life transforming.

Now, herself with long experience as a teacher, holding a senior position in a well known school, her presence will remain an inspiration to scores of students, as the baton changes hands year on year.
Enjoy and feel the touching moments as they evoke so brightly in this wonderful article.

Tasmai Sri Gurave Namah!

Salutations to Such Splendorous Gurus!

The other day I was watching a relay race on TV and as the baton changed hands, it struck me that teachers are also participants in the relay race of life. They shape and mould children and then pass on the baton to the next year’s teachers to take it forward. In this manner, they touch hundreds of lives. As the child reaches the finish line, the teacher starts all over with the baton once again in her capable hands. Her race never ends.

I began to reflect on the various teachers who have touched my life and shaped me into who I am. I remember that I was an average student, melting easily in the sea of faces that was my classroom. With no quality, good or bad, to make me stand out, I was one among the 45 others, lost.

In class IX, the English bundle got mixed up and my answer script landed in the hands of a teacher who wasn’t teaching my class. After she had corrected the scripts, she came to class to tell us about the inadvertent mix up and commented on how well I had written the article on ‘My Favorite TV show’. I still remember her chuckling away as she said that she loved how I had described the serial ‘Malgudi Days’ and the antics of ‘Swamy’. That was it! Suddenly, I became more confident, realized that I had a spark and things began to change. My heartfelt gratitude to my teacher, Savitri Ma’am, for noticing my effort and appreciating me in public.

In class XI, I was a star student who could do no wrong. My grades had also improved and I had become more confident. It was the Sanskrit exam and a dear friend, whom I looked up to and adored, convinced me to show him my answer script so that he could copy; my normally strong moral compass took a back seat. I obliged happily believing that I was supporting a dear friend.

As luck would have it, Krishnambal Ma’am, my next door neighbor and English teacher, caught us and quietly took our scripts away. Ominously, she said that she would deal with it in the evening, which naturally meant that the conversation would happen at home and my parents would be involved. The situation was compounded by the fact that my father headed the Parent Teacher Association and it would be quite a humiliation for him to discover this.

I agonized over this on the long walk home and concluded that the best course of action was to confide in my parents. I could see dismay writ large on their faces as I revealed my fall from grace. They were stunned but refrained from saying anything. At 4’o clock, as always, Krishnambal Ma’am crossed the gate of my house, waved to my parents cheerfully and moved on without a word. As dusk gave way to night, I realized that she did not intend to rake it up for she wanted me to introspect on my actions.

Without uttering a word, she made me understand that I cannot do the wrong thing even if the reason is right. But more importantly, I realized the power of silence. I learnt how to deal with situations with dignity.

Thank you ma’am for teaching me a valuable lesson that has stayed with me even after 29 years of the incident. These are two angels who touched my life. I bow to the many other holders of my baton, who remain unnamed. This Teachers Day I shall light my candle for the runners of this relay race.

By Usha Ramaswamy

Guest Article #8: The Coronation of Napoleon

Guest Articles: Archives

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March 5, 2022 7:21 pm

Superb article. Only Usha can write like this. Kudos to her. God bless her.

March 6, 2022 12:07 pm

So true the best teachers are empathetic, know the value of praise and trust their wards to do the right thing. So relatable! 👌👏👍

Vasundhara Srivathsava
Vasundhara Srivathsava
March 9, 2022 9:55 pm

Oh! I remember getting caught helping a fellow student (a complete stranger at that) during the preparatory exam before the 10th-grade state boards. I did it because she was pleading and I felt sorry for her. The teacher who caught me knew me well and let me off with a stern reprimand. But I was quaking in my boots and that was enough to deter me from any form of cheating in general to this day.