To My Vijaya Mam


Dear Ma’am,

I always wanted to tell you that I really loved you a lot in school. Knowingly or unknowingly through advices and small punishments you have bought in a lot of changes in my life. You really inspired me to be a better student and to read a lot.

I still remember how you used to walk across the class and explain each poem or play with such intimate expressions and feelings.

vp1One day you got so frustrated with our class that you made the entire class write a sentence 1000 times.

You scored me less most of the time, which made me use my best potential and I scored 78 in my boards!!!

I remember myself rushing in to the old block of Our Own English High School – Sharjah after my Inter School Sports practice to watch  “Julius Caesar (The Black and White Movie)” with you, Rajashree Ma’am, Subashree Ma’am and the class.

Vijaya Mam

I also remember you telling us about your childhood friend Kamala, whom you bumped into in the market while Karthik and Kaushik were in primary school. Tears ran down your eyes while you spoke about her.

You were the first person I knew older than my mother who read the entire series of “Harry Potter” :)

You also told us about a story where Kaushik tried to help a girl whose ID card had fallen down in his bus. He picked it and gave it to her and she came complaining to you that he torn her card. You left with without giving him dinner until finally he came and told you that all he did was to pick it up and give it to her. You felt horrible and hated that girl ever since. Later after years while you reminded Kaushik about the same, he said that “He had forgiven but hasn’t forgotten”.Some of my favorite chapters that you had taught me of which I have a photographic memory are….

The Brook – Robert Frost

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner – Samuel Taylor Coleridge

The Seven Ages – William Shakespeare

Julius Caesar – William Shakespeare

The Road Less Travelled – Robert Frost (My Favorite)

Ode to the West Wind – Shelly

Ode to autumn – John Keats

Today I read a lot; I have started writing and even have my own blog!!

I miss you and your classes a lot and I wish I could tell you this in person. You were the best and you rock.

I had told these stories to my husband. Yesterday when I saw that it was your birthday I thought that you should do something special. Though this may not be the best write up you may have come across, I would like to tell you with my whole heart that you have created an impact on several people’s minds and there are people especially students who would remember you and your stories. You were one of the most passionate teachers I have ever met and I love you so much.

Happy Birthday To the Best English Teacher in the world.

Yours Lovingly

Shilpa

“Kuttan Annan’s Tea Stall”


Two most memorable characters in my life are “Kuttan Annan aka Kuttayannan” and His son who runs a tea stall nearby my ancestral home. At a very young age of about 3 – 4 years old, I used to climb on top of a tall gate to check on whether my mother had returned from college. She brought Banana Chips from East Fort twice a week without fail and sometimes she would surprise me Pompsy (A brand of Cheese balls) which I would eat without sharing. After retirement from the job in Singapore as the Estate Manager, Gampa (My Grandfather) returned back to Trivandrum, India and started a Private Banking Business and hence people in my old neighborhood called me “Banker De Cherumakal – Puchakanni” which means “Granddaughter of the Banker who has green eyes”. We lived in a traditional mansion where the gates remained closed at all times and the compound walls were built very high in order to maintain privacy. The only option for junior me to see the outside world was to climb on top of these particular tall gate.

Gampa and me

                                                                                  (Gamapa and Me)                                                                                                          

I was familiar with most of my old neighbors and yet was never allowed to go to anyone’s houses other than my Cousin Sharon’s unless accompanied by my care takers (Selvi, Rani or Jehovah) who worked in shifts. After I somehow manage to get on top of the gate, I would put my legs on both the sides, lean on a mango tree and wave my hands at the familiar face that I see passing by. By the time mom would have returned, I would have gathered a mob submerged in their talks forgetting the fact that I would be still sitting on top of the gate outside. As a gesture of courtesy my mother would be forced to either invite them home or someone would have slid me over the gate to the “Kuttan Annan’s Tea Stall”. Everyday someone would get me Cup of Coffee and Vazakka Appam (banana dipped in dough and fried) from Kuttan Annan’s Tea Stall and my mother would have to send a maid to the tea stall to carry me home.

Mom and me

(Mom & Me)

Later Gampa (my grandfather) forbade me from going to the tea stall as he found it a shame that his grandchild eats for free from a totally unhygienic place.  We had 5 servants at home and no matter what they made, I would act fussy and eat well from Kuttan Annan’s Tea Stall. Though my mother insisted Kuttan Annan to take money for what I ate and drank, he would neit

My grandfather, mother and father instructed the servants to make everything I like at home and yet I wouldn’t give up on eating from Kuttan Annan’s Tea stall. Finally they cooked up a story that Kuttan Annan has a disease where the skin on his hands would peel off from time to time which was a symptom of leprosy. He does mix the dough for all the items in the menu with such hands and thus ended my tea stall fun.

DSC00110

(Jehovah’s mother Mary Akka a month back, when i went to give her my 1st Salary all happy to hear that I was gonna write about her)

I was also put under the supervision of a full time babysitter (Jehovah) who would take me to my Cousin Sharon’s house to watch cartoons at the time when I would climb the gate.