An old school friend recently posted pictures of our then teachers. Nearly twenty-five years have passed since, but each of those pictures still brings alive a host of teachings that were being tossed around in corridors hoping to be absorbed by a generation to come.
Ms. Alburque in K.G. telling me her husband was in the Gulf too, like my Papa and she cried too, when she missed him.
Ms Monterio in STD 1, looking aghast when I re-wrote the correct spelling and also re-marked the test myself!
Ms. A. Fernandes, teaching me pride could be a good thing and a bad thing.
Ms. Brelvi teaching me it was ok to lose so someone else could win.
Ms. Mathias teaching me that sometimes you communicate more effectively when you are quiet.
Ms. Coutinho acknowledging that English homework was boring and she would look the other way as long I was still ace- ing the tests.
Those were teachers in school. Each one teaching a subject and all of them teaching life. And then there are other teachers who without being teachers teach you so much.
My mother, who taught me to shamelessly side with the ones I loved, even when they were wrong – especially when they were wrong – at least until you got home and you were alone with them!
My father, who taught me there was a direct connection between heart attacks and people who held grudges – letting go was easier on the heart.
My Kaka Abdi who taught me that no matter how many significant things you knew, if other people did not want to know, you could not tell them.
Bahadur Kaka, an artist who doesn’t need to use words taught me, if I read well, I could speak well and if I could speak well, I could write well.
My husband, who taught me patience comes from the same place as being stubborn, depends on which side of the coin you are looking at.
Georgie, who, at my first job ever, smiled sweetly, put an arm around my nineteen year old shoulders and said “Don’t worry, you won’t drown – shit floats!”
Sadi who looked at me with his sad, wise eyes, when I refused to do a brochure for a chemical plant and told me that every little thing in my life was a big thing in someone else’s life.
Nitin, who taught me that every big problem could be reduced to a small problem, after all “Its not the Vietnam War”
Anila who screamed “Details, details, details!!!” and would not accept any abbreviations.
And Harry, who fired me one year and hired me back the next because I “was less dangerous on the inside than on the outside!”
While all of these people taught me something, there was one incredible thing I had to learn myself.
Ultimately each person has to figure it out for themselves – they can teach, however, what you learn depends on you.