Sunday, October 23, 2011

The teacher we all call “my Sheila Sen Ma’am”!!!

Sheila in europe_2
The adjoining…… picture of my teacher”; wow what a rhyme!!  Such is the persona of “my Sheila Sen ma'am” that even today  the heart goes ga … ga ,  words start rhyming on their own.

Please do not construe that the picture which is depicted in black and white is a pick from an age old collection. Age it seems is only an number on the calender for my Sheila Sen ma’am who looks like a million dollars even today.  I have deliberately not cropped the date on the photograph which  stands to prove that it has been clicked on 27th May 2010.
I start typing this write-up  after a lot of hesitation.  Its obvious that  when you write something about a person who is so sea sheila senmeticulous, so beautiful, so ahead of her time; such a   wonderful teacher and a person;  you have to hesitate to think what you write, I mean not only has the write up to be good enough but also the presentation and the aesthetic look of this blog better be good!! because I am writing this blog with none other than my Sheila Sen ma’am in mind. 

The name of the topic also has not crystallized.  I dwell long enough but sense that I am loosing time.   I  decide scratching my head is futile and following my heart is a better option instead.

I have been forced to take shelter on the mid-landing of the  staircase connecting my bedroom to the terrace.  I have been driven out from my mother’s bedroom as every one prefers to see Salman Khan in all glory enjoying the attention of the participants in a late night reality show on the idiot box.  Even from where I am I can hear the intermittent commercials  taking advantage of the TRP of the show and there seems to be more time slots allotted to the commercials than the actual program.

As I try to settle down, my thoughts are brought back to the real star I am writing about; “my Sheila Sen ma’am”.  I have used the word “star” as an adjective in the previous sentence because this word not only describes how a person looks but also show cases the quality of the person as a human being!!!

The first time I saw her was when I graduated from primary section to secondary section.  I had never seen her before because the primary section was where the actual school building now stands and the secondary section was a little away very close to the Sion hospital, in effect they were at two separate locations.  So as soon as we came to the fifth standard it was like a totally new place with new faces every where including new set of teachers.  But I never failed to notice Sheila Sen ma’am even though she did not teach me till the standard seventh. 
I always noticed that she seldom came to school without her sunglasses and looked so classy.   I always made it a point to wish her and let her pass me by because she also smelt  very good, I always wondered which perfume she wore?  Thinking back in time I can easily refer to  her as “my dream flower teacher; in the same vein as the punch line for Ponds talcum powder goes”! ………. “My dream flower girl”.

I would like to admit here though at that age I looked up-to her because she was so beautiful.  I had a crush on her but in a different way.  I hope I am able to explain this sentiment, it was much like what you feel about your favourite film-star!!  

However as I reached the seventh class she started teaching us though for some few subjects because she was more involved in teaching higher classes.  As my interaction with her increased there was a transition in my feelings towards her, though the feeling of admiration remained intact but my respect for her grew as my interaction with her increased. 
Sheila in europe

As I progressed to senior classes i.e is the ninth and then the tenth standard.  I realised that her way of dealing with students was very different, she treated all these teenagers as friends.  I now realise she addressed the confused minds of all these teenaged friends in a very matured manner.  Even I being a prankster and rogue was handled very effectively by her.  I never troubled her because I admired her too much to be in her bad books;  I think this should answer the query put to me by my Sheila Sen ma’am herself on my blog under the writeup by the name “Growing up”.

Though I have been in touch with her  for the past year through face book but it was a different experience meeting her in person along-with the other teachers at the condolence meeting of our beloved Singh teacher.  Though it was not an occasion to be happy about but it kind of reduced the burden of losing a beloved teacher who was so close to my heart.  The affectionate look in the eyes of Sheila Sen teacher  betrayed the emotions they were overcome with!!  She was clearly touched by my insignificant gesture of being there for the condolence meeting in response to her post on facebook. 

The condolence meeting concluded quietly as they usually do.  I also started my young teacherslow walk towards the exit of the gurudwara after acknowledging the bereaved family and friends; my eyes were in search of my Sheila Sen ma’am.  I found her seated in the front seat of car which was driven by my senior school mate Advocate Ashok Sahani.  As soon as those beautiful eyes saw me I realised they wanted to tell me volumes about how nice she had felt that we were there.  I extended my hand for a formal handshake……… but she held my hand in both of her beautiful hands so affectionately like a mother holds her long lost son.   I was also filled with a beautiful feeling of gratitude which brought my eyes to the brink of tears.  I realised a person who can bring such beautiful emotion like gratitude in us is only next to god.

After i posted a blog in dedication of our Singh teacher, a casual comment  in response to my write up; by our own Sheila Sen teacher in the course of my chat with her put things in right perspective.  She told me very candidly “Dont wait for me to die to tell me how you feel about me”.  This statement of hers brought home a very relevant point that, it is important to let people know how we feel about them while they are still around.  I also realised that teachers are teachers and they will teach you knowingly or unknowingly!!

On a parting note I would like to tell you ma’am, “we all love you for what you are!   the way you have taught us academically and for making us the person we are” !!!  And one more thing ma’am “ May you have a long long healthy life”.

With lots of love…….

Jagdish S Kolur

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Mrs Balbir Singh……………… My beloved teacher!!!!

13th October 2011, 1.00 AM, Mumbai.

I log-in on facebook after completing a write-up which I had kept in abeyance for lack of inspiration.  However I am satisfied with the way the write-up has shaped up.  With this mind set I log-in on FB; a post shared by my  Sheila Sen teacher whom I admire for being so techno savvy and a regular on facebook catches my attention. 

I start reading the post till I reach the concluding lines; the feeling of satisfaction changes to a sense of loss.  It sinks into me that our beloved Singh teacher (that’s the way we always referred to her) is no more after reading the post for a second time.

Though our Singh teacher was one with very few words; my association with her was special. I would like to credit her for bringing me back on track when I was losing my way as a student at a very tender age.  I decide the only way to express my gratitude to my “Singh teacher” is by dedicating a blog to her. 

Atleast in this is way; I can give a hollow consolation to myself that I have acknowledged her. “Hollow consolation” because I could have been there to see her……. but we all take life for granted and so did I!!  I read an update on facebook a few days ago that Singh teacher was not keeping well… but I took it for granted that it was not serious and she would definitely be ok!……..feeling guilty, I ignore the sleep which is trying to take over me….. I don't realise I have furiously started tapping on the keyboard of my laptop commencing my dedication to my “Singh Teacher”!!

I silently observed her for a better part of my schooling days with a sense of awe ; though I admit that most of the teachers were always at the taking end of my pranks but never Singh teacher.  Thinking and retrospectively reflecting back in time I realise that it was only because of her dignified and matured way of handling rogues like us that we were never able to get the better of her.  She never acknowledged our behaviour and seldom raised her voice in frustration denying us the pleasure of irritating her.  In due course of time we resigned to the fact that it was a waste of our effort trying to trouble her.  She followed the principle of “kill by ignorance”.

I clearly remember my first interaction with her  was when I was in the sixth class.  I still remember her she looked so majestic; the most striking and beautiful aspect of her personality was her ever so long, delicate and beautiful nose.  She always looked so fresh as morning dew in her crisply ironed sarees which were invariably in lighter shades of whites and blues.  She was not very tall but her imposing presence was felt by everyone.  She was an epitome of sophistication and class.  Her immaculate command over the language English not withstanding; fully justified the subject she taught.

Though I was very mischievous; unlike other teachers she had  never given up on me.  She always treated me on par with the other studious guys and ignored that I had not done my home work or I was not paying attention in the class. She would quietly remind me of the consequences of not being sincere…..the exam results ultimately showed ………. I had fared very badly in the half yearly terminal exams.  The results came as a rude shock to my parents who rushed to meet Singh teacher to take stock of the situation.  Singh teacher preferred to conduct the meeting without me and that was the only time I had been sent  out of the class room unlike other teachers who always wanted me out because I was a disrupting force.   I do not know till date what transpired in the meeting but my parents were unusually quiet especially my mom; who in other circumstances would not have spared the rod.

The next day after school I was off to Singh teacher’s house with my mother….. She had told my dad and mom to send me to her house for studying whenever possible after school hours. She even assured them that I had it in me to do well.  Thus started my brief but very happy association with Singh teacher. As and when possible I reluctantly started going to Singh teacher’s house.  This continued for the remaining part of the academic year. Something that started as a reluctant chore changed very soon and I started enjoyed the attention she bestowed upon me.  It was special to hear the encouraging words even when she admonished me for being careless…. for having a bad hand writing and not putting any effort to improve it. 

Gradually I got acquainted with her family.  Mr Singh was occasionally there but I was too scared to speak to him……!! Initially I was surprised to know that Singh teacher had four daughters  Preeti-Didi, Geeta-Didi, Simran (Simu Didi) and the youngest daughter Nikku was too small.  I have referred to her by her nick name “ Nikku” because  I still dont know her first name.  I had  always thought that Singh Teacher could be nothing more than a teacher but close interaction with her showed me that she had an very affectionate side as well.

I want to make a special mention here of  Simu Didi; who was a Tomboy in the real sense!  She could put boys to shame with her cricketing skills.  We all waited for the study time to get over so that we could play cricket in the colony compound.  It was a wonderful period for me and I had never enjoyed studying more than this.

Like all good things have to come to an end the academic year also came to an end with me passing with respectable grades; though I continued to visit Singh teacher’s house on the pretext of playing cricket with Simu didi and gang which of-course was an inspiration but more than that I think I wanted to meet Singh teacher everyday because I knew she genuinely cared for her students.

As I conclude this write up on one of my favourite teachers I would like to thank and acknowledge her for everything I am today. Even these blogs I write are by virtue of what I have acquired from Singh teacher;  I am sure if she were to read this she would have found ‘n’ number of mistakes.   One very special aspect which I would like to throw light on is that she believed that I was good enough when most of the people had written me off.  I have not met my teacher since the time I left school some three decades ago but I know she would have been glad to know that I am an engineer today with post graduation in business administration more than that she would have been more happy that both my English and handwriting have improved.

I think though its a wee bit late to thank and acknowledge her; I must do it as I hear the birds chirping indicating its early morning, I read a text message sent by my classmate which is so appropriate in the context and  is quoted below.

“We all meet so many people in the course of our life but wherever we go we take a little bit of every one in us"!! 

This message is so relevant in the context and I realise it is Singh teacher’s way of consoling me even today that she is a part of me though I would like to contradict the above quote and say that she is a part of me in a big way!!

Written by:  Jagdish S Kolur

Sunday, October 9, 2011


This is a topic which is on my mind for a very long time but other topics have taken precedence over this issue.  I am always a little uncomfortable with the use of the word “issue” because it indicates that there is a problem on hand.  However in the context the use of this word is very appropriate and it will be very clear by the time i conclude this write-up. 

I have been struggling with my thoughts since last night but with so many thoughts on a topic coming in from all directions, I am really unable to consolidate them.  I take refuge in the cyber world i.e on facebook trying to hide away from all those thoughts coming in big numbers from all directions.  As I lose myself in the world of facebook I cannot ignore a very philosophical digital status on “my wall” written by class-mate Kavita who is in the U.S and has just uploaded a message from her smartphone. 
She lives in a place or you can call it in a time zone where she would still be enjoying day light;  whereas I am reading this message in real time some thousands of Kilometres away where the whole neighbourhood is asleep including my German shepherd while I am burning the night lamp away (not literally but I mean to say I am still awake late into the night)!!! 
In other circumstances I would have quickly checked the updates posted by my friends on facebook and in turn posted some comments on the pictures without much thought I would have also clicked on the thumbs up icon indicating that I liked the pictures. When other tasks on hand  became more pressing; without thinking twice i would have signed off not even having the courtesy to wish good bye to my friends who are online and chatting with me. 
I now ask my readers who are old enough to go back in time by say two decades and try to think of the terms mentioned above in italics and florescent green fonts.  What would these words have meant to you…… facebook…… writing on my wall….uploaded…… smartphone??  I bet all these terms would have not struck chord in your head, you would  have been left clueless……   but now these terms have become a part of our  daily lingo.   
The world has become a very small place to live in, everything gets done in real time with a click of the mouse.  Anything we think of!! we want  it instantly be it transfer of money, or sending a message across continents we can do it instantly.  People even expect that the food which we cook  should be instant but I am glad instead of calling it instant we call it fast food.  The communication  we have is also instant.  More than half the world owns a mobile and a you can catch a person any where !!! even if he is answering the call of nature.   When every thing is so instant then what  is the effect of this instant world on the psyche of this generation!!! 
It is really appreciable how man has stretched his imagination to such an extent that every thing can be done at the snap of a finger. As I  try to find out the effect of this development I realise that nature has its own way of working, it has a way of balancing out; for every good there is also a counter down side; it is like say two sides of a coin.  It is because of this we perceive that most of the things are available instantly, our tendency is to start taking things for granted. 
We want everything instantly including  success, money, love etc etc!!  ….   and for achieving all this instantly we tend to take the path of the least resistance, or the shortest possible route to success.  We must remember that when we use technology to do things instantly it has been tested , approved and ratified by law.  The same does not apply to some aspects where humans are concerned i.e you cannot get money, fame & success instantly. In the normal course of life we all have to do things needed to achieve the above; here I mean we have to put efforts sincerily, work hard ……… all the while keeping in mind that  we are being fair to others and also taking care that it is in the frame work of law. 
This kind of approach was followed by our parents and their forefathers. But now every thing is expected instantly no matter how it is  achieved.  The shortest possible path is chosen and no consideration is given to what is morally or ethically right.  It is a matter of only achieving success through any means the only consideration though would be that it has to be instant!! 
We ignore core values to achieve things instantly, we cannot compare ourselves with machines. We must remember we are only human……. human beings with emotions and there are other things in life which can give us immense satisfaction like doing things for others, most importantly understanding our self and asking our self this million dollar question, what is it that really gives us happiness? These are things we do not dwell upon because we cannot achieve them instantly. 
We fail to understand that we are humans and part of this wonderful system we call nature.  Having said this I would like to go a step further and draw your attention to the fact that being a part of this system we are bound to be dependent on nature for our day to day needs including the food that we consume, the air that we breathe, the water that we drink.  All these are basic needs of life. 
Everything in nature has a definite cycle, time and nothing is instant.  The flowers bloom at the right time every season in the same way as do the fruits; even in case of  humans for a child to be conceived and born it takes nine months,  All this show that in this world or in this natural system nothing is instant every thing has a time and place.  We must respect this fact keeping in mind the difference in human beings and technology. 
Before i conclude this write-up I am amazed at the irony of the situation i.e man has been responsible for the development of this advanced technology but it is only because of this very technology that an issue has also been created (which I have mentioned in the beginning of this write-up) and man has started resorting to shortcuts there by compromising on his values, morals and ethics and all this to achieve materialistic things instantly!!   Can we really call it development …….. ??????
Written by blogger : Jagdish

Sunday, October 2, 2011

My Mom Always The Best !!!!

You may wonder!  Why is this, a forty something guy so obsessed with his mother...... she always been a mom for me and  till today I've  never referred to her as mother.

The word “mother” gives  a name to a biological  relation but the words like “maa, mom, mummy etc.”  …. all  these words signify that there is something more  to the relationship than just being  biological.  A relationship  which is above everything else in this world!!

I have been lucky enough to experience a transition in this wonderful relationship  with the passage of time.  We have been two very different  individuals with different perspectives.   Even though I have never lived without her except for some brief periods when I was in engineering college but not long enough to consider it as living away from her.  This close proximity with my mother has not diluted the bonding which is so deep yet so different and as I try to define it……..I am a kind of confused.  There are so many issues wherein our opinions are polls apart.  This sometimes results in healthy argument on many issues. 

But as I am trying to analyse this relation with my mom I realise that the principals of constant change in life also holds good for this mother son relation.  Initially she took care of me in my childhood and ensured that she imbibed some good values in me.  This kind of upbringing now makes me realise that  it is more important  to be humane than be rich……and that all the education, degrees and professional achievements are of no use if we don’t have value for human beings. 

From her perspective she would be thinking that she has seen me grow from a baby to a young boy to an adolescent confused teen ager to a young man and now to a matured man.  She sees in me  a child whom she has nurtured into an adult who is also dealing with life in his own way……

But from my perspective I realise that till this day she thinks that I am still naive in some way or the other.  I have come to this conclusion  based on the advice she gives on some issues from time to time.  More often than not I am convinced that taking her advice is a wise decision; nevertheless it is a fact of life that nothing is constant…….. I was the one who was born and taken care of by my mother and now it is me who is taking care of my mother though only physically because she has slowed down after an accident. 

This relation is not limited to only taking care of each other…….. the transition has been so beautiful and delicate that I did not notice it………not very long ago she treated me like a child (which she even does today) who had to be taught about every small thing  in life and now it has turned out that she is more of a friend to me than a mother!!!

I know she is the one I can open up to….. I can express my insecurities to her and get an assurance from her that everything is going to be alright….. and believe me it works …. I don’t know how?  I realise that being a man in the driving seat in my family and at business I am the one others look up to in any kind of situation….. but unknown to everyone I look up to my mother…… only for those soothing words of assurance and I know I can handle it!!

I have seen many people who complain that they cannot get along with their old parents and some old people cannot get along with their children …… the reasons may seem repetitive even if we consider a number of cases connected with different people.

It is only a matter of 2 A’s.  The first ‘A ‘ stands for “acceptance”.  Acceptance of  parents as they are……accept them with all their insecurities which are bound to creep in with old age and are the cause for their awkward behaviour.  Some times this becomes the cause for deteriorating relations. The second ‘A’ stands for "admit"….. admit that you love your parents because they are your parents and  give them an occasional hug and see those old eyes light up with love for you….. all the insecurities, expectations and complains will melt away in the warmth of their love for you.

Friends let us not forget that they are the people who have brought us into this world and what are we doing?? Judging these people!!! The very people because of whom …… we are what we are!!!  No matter how much progress we make we cannot outgrow our parents and that is the eternal truth.

As I conclude this write up  sitting in the assured confines of my parents bedroom this early Sunday morning….. I cannot call this morning beautiful because it still too early for sunrise and it is still dark for me to assess.  But it dawns upon me in contrast; I realise how lucky I am as  my mother admonishes me and asks me to sleep ……not because she is disturbed but because she wants me to grab an extra wink on a Sunday morning… But I silently tell my mom in my heart of hearts that “Mom let me be” …. because I have just woken up….. woken up to this wonderful realisation that “Mom I love you” because you are always the best”. 

Written by blogger:  Jagdish S Kolur

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Sunrise an inspiration for the optimist.........

The sun has risen ........

Every thing is going to be alright!!!!

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