Wednesday, April 21, 2021
Home Opinions In Indian tradition, we revere the teachers. But not all teachers are worth the...

In Indian tradition, we revere the teachers. But not all teachers are worth the honour

Every year when I read people thanking their teachers for having reached where they are and having achieved what they have, it reminds me how my teachers from the school have scarred me for life.

गुरू गोविन्द दोऊ खड़े, काके लागूं पांय।
बलिहारी गुरू अपने गोविन्द दियो बताय।।

The 15th-century poet Kabir had written that if Guru and Govind (God) are standing in front of you, one should bow down to the Guru because the Guru has shown you the path toward Govind.

Guru Purnima is observed in the Hindu religion where Gurus are honoured and revered. It falls every year on Ashadh Poornima. We also celebrate Teachers’ Day on 5th September every year, in honour of Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, to honour the teachers.

Every year when I read people thanking their teachers for having reached where they are and having achieved what they have, it reminds me how my teachers from the school have scarred me for life.

I was 5 or 6 years old. I was wearing a powder-blue coloured frock and my hair made up in two tiny ponytails. While I don’t exactly remember what I was being punished for, I do remember the punishment threatened to me. The Maths teacher asked me how would I like if she removed my clothes. And no, I’m sure she didn’t mean it in a sexual way. She probably thought threatening a child with public humiliation is a great punishment. It has been over two decades since that day. My eyes still well up from the memories of that day.

Three years later, my personality report card read “she does not express joy or happiness.” Yeah, I wonder why. I tried to be as invisible as I could, lest another teacher may want to punish me. I never participated in any competitions. You see, the threat of public humiliation became so deeply rooted that being in the public eye in any form sent me on an anxiety trip.

Our school had ‘compulsory’ extracurricular activities. One could choose between learning classical dancing, karate or skating. I chose classical dancing. When I was in 4th standard, my dance teacher asked me who taught me to dance so badly. She asked me this in front of everyone. Girls giggled. At around that time due to the medicines, I was taking (which contained a higher dose of steroids) I had started putting on weight. Plus puberty was knocking on the doors. The teacher then walked up to me and poked on my belly. That was the first time I was body-shamed. After that, I would always ‘dance’ in the last row, trying to hide behind other girls who ‘danced better’.

I still cannot get myself to let go of my inhibitions and dance like the proverbial ‘no one is watching’. Thanks. I withdrew myself deeper into the shell. I also turned to food for comfort, obviously.

A couple of years later, when I was in 7th standard, I had sudden new-found confidence. I had discovered books and was happy at least these books are not telling me how I am not good enough. During the 15th August function in school, we used to have various competitions. Singing, dancing, drama, athletics, yoga, everything. I decided to audition for singing.

You see, my grandfather was a music teacher in one of the most prominent schools in Ahmedabad. And all these artsy things are in the genes, right? Just how bad could I be? According to my music teacher, “do not even sing in chorus.” Yeah, I joke about it all the time on how I am such a bad singer that my music teacher once told me not to sing even in the chorus, but there is a reason I never forgot that insult.

My confidence levels crashed. There are many such incidents from my school life hiding deep under. I am too afraid to think about them because what if it sends me on a downward spiral again?

I never talked about these issues with anyone. Not with my parents, not with my sister. It was too humiliating. Plus, parents would have perhaps dismissed it as tough parenting and how I should not be this sensitive.

Well, guess what, thanks to these teachers, I grew up anxious, with a confidence level lower than the deepest point in the Pacific Ocean.

It has taken me years to find like-minded people who ‘get me’ and my weirdness. I may not have completely healed but I am better. Every day I strive to get a little better. I suffer from a tremendous lack of self-confidence and I would rather stay invisible than get the spotlight. Large groups of people make me nervous. But, I am hopeful. Hopeful and confident that I am healing.

Hence, when I read people thanking their teachers, there is a bit of bitterness in me. I try very hard to get over it. Maybe I have not forgiven them completely for being shitty teachers and ruining my childhood. But someday I will get there.

So, if you are a teacher reading this, don’t be that teacher. If you are a parent, listen to your child and notice little changes. Perhaps your child is not acting out ‘because teens’. And if you have had your share of horrendous teachers, remember, you are not alone.

School doesn’t last forever and neither should those memories. We shall heal.

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

Nirwa Mehta
Politically incorrect. Author, Flawed But Fabulous.

Related Articles

Trending now

AAP supported farmer protests hampering war against Covid-19, oxygen supplier writes to GOI saying tankers delayed due to roadblocks by protestors

Inox Air Products said that they are facing delays in Delhi while transporting oxygen due to road blockades by the farmer protestors

After getting vaccinated himself, Rakesh Tikait says the Modi government will be responsible if farmers get COVID-19

Rakesh Tikait had recently said that 'farmers' protests is not Shaheen Bagh than can be stopped in the name of coronavirus

How China’s ‘Re-education through labour’ policy put minorities in labour camps even before the Uyghur crisis: About the Masanjia camps

The letter went into detail about the conditions at China's Masanjia Labor Camp, including the gruelling hours, verbal abuse and physical abuse

From sitting on upturned dustbins to photo ops at crematorium grounds, Barkha Dutt gets questioned for her ‘vulture journalism’

While the situation on ground is indeed grim, people on social media have been calling out the dramatics by journalists who could have perhaps focused on the news instead of their brand building.

Maharashtra FDA minister embarrasses his own govt and alliance leaders, says his ministry had approved Remdesivir procurement by BJP

Maharashtra FDA Minister and NCP leader Dr. Rajendra Shingne confirms that he was aware about BJP procuring Remdesivir for state govt

Journalism: The new performance art

With the COVID-19 pandemic, journalists have screamed "Beware of the Ides of March" to anyone who would listen - Barkha Dutt for example.

Recently Popular

Understanding the hate factory: How Rohan Joshi and his hateful post against Hindus gives us an insight into the ‘liberal’ mind

Comedian Rohan Joshi tells Bhakts, "I have nothing but contempt for them and nit a shred of empathy" as he mocks Coronavirus deaths

Maharashtra Remdesivir ruckus: Saket Gokhale brazens his lies by filing complaint against Fadnavis, BJP returns favour. Details

A complaint has been filed against Saket Gokhale by a BJP member in which the complainant has accused the Congress supporter of lying and waging a war against the state in the midst of a pandemic

Filmmaker Hansal Mehta challenges for free flight tickets to Pakistan but goes into hiding after Twitter user provides it. Read what happened

Hansal Mehta's flight to Pakistan via Dubai is scheduled for 20th April, 2021. We shall keep you posted if Mehta goes to Pakistan or will he register his name in long list of paper tigers.

Delhi couple abuses cops over masks in viral video, husband blames wife after arrest

Police have booked and arrested a Delhi couple after the duo misbehaved with the personnel over masks. The video went viral.

250 ventilators sent by central govt lied unutilized in the state of Punjab amid the second wave of coronavirus

250 ventilators sent by the central government to Punjab for use in government hospitals were lying unused till late March.

When ‘comedians’ double up as doctors and believe ‘Bhakts’ deserve the misery as Chinese coronavirus rages

You will never see them questioning how many mosques have opened up their gates as medical facilities. Because, everyone likes to keep their heads.
- Advertisement -


Connect with us