Friday, January 11, 2013

Wrapped up kids

It was a very chilly afternoon today, so a lot of my kids were handed out rugs and shawls to cuddle into while they worked at their assignments. They candidly and happily admitted that at no other tutor's could they expect to be pampered like this. I sigh, and wish that some of them would grow up to retain good memories, and do me the kindness of telling me about them. 

Since this is a whimsy blog, no harm in daydreaming. I often wish I'd get a comment every morning, from some old boy or girl telling me about something s/he remembers with warm affection and thankfulness. It would certainly make me a much happier man...


Saikat Chakraborty said...

Dear Sir,

It feels so nice on seeing a snap of your class...makes me want to go and join a batch right now. I can recollect two incident from our class days right now. Two students in our batch (I don't remember who were they) came to your class drenched thoroughly (there was sudden downpour that day) from head to toe and they were immediately offered towels, T-shirts and shorts so that they would not have to sit for two hours in wet clothes. After the class, we all were discussing whether anybody knew or heard of a teacher who offered such facilities and showed such humanity.

Another was a hot and sunny afternoon and a man came to your house to sell eggs. You didn't buy any eggs but you asked the man to stop and rest a little, offered him cold water and some sweets. The seller's gratitude was quite evident from his eyes.

I don't know whether you remember this incidents or not...but they are etched in my heart forever and I know you will continue to do such things with a smile on your face even after all the odds you have to face day in and day out.

With regards,

Suvro Chatterjee said...

Thank you kindly, Saikat. I didn't expect to have a reminiscence quite this soon! I am going to sleep with a light heart tonight...

Shilpi said...

I read this post and looked at the delightful picture for a long time right before falling asleep - it's one of my favourites on your blog by far, Suvro da - no doubts about that. Are these your class 8 boys and girls? They all look so terribly young and cheery and all comfy and snug.

I love reading about their memories too - when they write about them on your blog/s. Saikat - I'll take this chance to say a thank you for narrating the 'picnic' and all-day celebration at Sir's place from the long ago Diwali on Pupu's blog.

Can't thank you enough for putting up this post and picture, Suvro da.

Shubho said...

I remember Sir, when one day you brought out your trousers and shirts for us when we had come for tuition drenched in the rain. I also remember myself with only the exercise vest on myself in class. You had told other students jokingly, "Dekhechish, koto dedication?" This incident has remained in my mind - a very good memory indeed!

I also remember how we used to sit like pigs in a sty at Rath Sir's class. I think I do not need to tell anything else.

Sunup said...


The egg seller incident that Saikat referred to -- it makes me proud that I was your student once. It is such compassion that makes a man a true human being. On a lighter note -- Sir, why is it that the girls in your class are in their usual smiling, giggling and chitchatting selves, while the boys (especially the ones on the right) have a sad melancholy smile on their faces, as if the burden of the world is on their tiny shoulders? :)



Sayan Datta said...

Since I never went to your tuitions, the difference in the backdrop, between the one in the snapshot and the picture I had of your tuition classes in my mind's eye is striking! A nice picture nevertheless; the vibrancy and liveliness of your classes and how comfortable kids are in your classes, in your home, evident. Makes me want to be among those kids again and attend some of your classes again.

Diptokirti said...

Dear Sir,
I remember quite a few incidents of the sort, one being a rainy day, I had come into class in spite of a severe downpour one afternoon and had been immediately offered a fresh dry shirt of yours, I remember being very flustered and surprised because it was ( and I am very sure still is ) nothing short of extremely unusual for a teacher to offer his or her students anything more than a seat in class and notes to cram. This was not an isolated incident, when a student felt ill in class he or she would be offered medicine and sometimes when you were dictating notes, I even had the privilege of being allowed to sit in your chair so as to be able to write more comfortably, I don't think there are many teachers out there who would even THINK of something like that.
Then there was this incident when I had been expressing my opinions about something or the other and someone I thought of as a very close friend of mine kept trying to shut me up for some reason or the other, I remember you saying, 'people have the right to express their opinions in my class, and this boy shall say whatever he has to'. I cannot tell you how much that meant to me.
I wish we would at least remember ( and if it does not 'inconvenience' us greatly be very very grateful ) for all that you did for everyone of us and for so many other people.
Yours sincerely,

Dipanwita Shome said...

Well, I am not one of your "old girls", but I have very very fond memories of the day I spent at your place not so long ago. Boudi's conversation over aalu-potol and maachh and the easy friendship that sprung up so spontaneously between me and Pupu are always cherished. Your jokes, the piece of writing of yours you had me read and the long conversation we had in the evening after the kids had left are fondly remembered. This photograph only makes me wish to be one of your "old girls" a little more. I too had a teacher who used to pamper me in this way, but you were then far away in Durgapur.

Suvro Chatterjee said...

Thank you, Dipanwita.

Notice that whereas you have bothered to comment, you are, like Shilpi, Vaishnavi and Rashmi, not one of my old girls but only came to know me later, and at the same time, not one of those thousands who are has as yet bothered to chip in with the story of a good memory - though girls gush far more than boys do while they are in my class, and mind much more whenever I utter a word of criticism, however mild and justified. I don't even expect more than one or two of them to do as much, actually... most don't even keep in touch by email or phone, and I know for a fact that far more of the boys read my blogs regularly than the girls, who are, you got it, much too 'busy'. Many even look away when they see me on the road - it happens every other day. Only, they all get furious whenever I say I am justified in drawing certain unflattering general conclusions about them (as when I write a post such as 'No women please, I am an MCP' on the other blog)...

sayantika said...

Dear Sir,
This is indeed a wonderful photograph that reminds me of the classes. Once, your insistence that I change my wet clothes after being drenched in the rain made me wear a salwar kameez. Being tomboyish at that time, it was the first time I had worn one and was embarrassed at having to wear it in front of all my classmates! When I came back and narrated the story at home, my mother was pleased with the fact that finally I had worn a salwar kameez. She hadn't been able to make me wear one till then. Today, I can't resist smiling when I think about it.

Thanks and with regards,

Suvro Chatterjee said...

Thanks for bucking the trend, Sayantika. One swallow, of course, does not make a summer, and by your own admission you are/were a bit 'tomboyish' anyway, not the typical girlie girl. Notice the enormous silence from half the population.

I repeat my very unpopular assertions, namely that nostalgia and gratitude are essentially male things, and girls are far and away too much 'busier' than boys to bother about things like that!

Sunandini Mukherjee said...

Dear Sir,
The photograph makes me miss your class all the more.It was raining very heavily one morning in 2009 when I entered your house drenched.Besides handing me a towel you told me to go upstairs and borrow a fresh set of clothes from Urbi.Although I was too shy back then to do so(and it was my second week in your class)I certainly realised that this was not going to be like any other tuition which I would be reluctat to attend.You had taught us 'Dusk'that day and from then I never see an overcast sky but I remember the class.Many boys and girls had skipped that day's class and in the next class you said "Borshakale bristi to hobei tar mane ki amra porbo na?Ar tora kache thekeo eli na,Sunandini to besh dur thekei class korte eschilo.Ebar porer ojuhat ta taratari bhab".
I was sitting alone in one aftnoon before our class had started when you came downstairs to keep the notebooks.Seeing me waiting you said "Bose na theke ektu sue nite partis to.Janis,amar eh chatri dibbi ghumie porto ebong ami ele uthe porto".Besides these there were many other ocassions when you offered pupils medicines,food(a girl was hungry one day and you told her "Are khali pete tui amar porashunbi ki kore?Ja gie opore bol,kichu kheye ne.")looked after the girl who had fainted and so on.Most importantly you talked to us and listened to whatever we had to say-very few teachers lend a patient ear to their pupils'problems and advise them for free.Those pupils who regularly miss your classes and then make up stupid excuses don't know that they are missing out the best days and the best kind of education that they can ever hope to get.
Thankyou Sir!

Avik Mitra said...

Dear Sir,

It was in 2004. I still remember the days when you taught us correct pronunciations by playing excerpts on the tape recorder; especially those of "think" (the fusion of s and f), "thus" (the fusion of s and v), etc. I used to reach your place from school quite early and Suhrid da always brought some water for me and asked me whether I had lunch while I cursorily breezed through the National Geographic magazines. We even watched The Last Samurai together. You had also dropped me off near Sepco on your way to Relaxenter one evening and told me: "Aaj to tahole maa chomke jaabe" (Your place was a long way from my home). Once Saikat Chakraborty was pondering on a comprehension passage from Malkiat Singh and you had said: "Eje Dante's Divine Comedy likhte boshe geli"...and I can go on forever.

Thank You Sir, for those golden moments.

Avik Mitra

Saikat Chakraborty said...

Avik, thanks for reminding me about that incident. There are so many sweet memories. Do you remember Sir's explanation of the 'Law of diminishing marginal returns' with the number of rasgullas you can enjoy in an empty stomach compared to what you can when you are full?

Thank you for everything Sir. Those two years were some of the best days in my student life.