The last we met was two years ago, as you know, when Amma & I visited you at your house. I remember when we walked in, you were lying down, clearly tired and drained after a grueling session for the umpteenth time at the hospital where you were undergoing treatment at the time. But as soon as you saw us, your face lit up. You sat upright and welcomed us with your signature smile. The wide toothy smile that defined you always. Your beautiful even teeth always stood out in my memory along with the immensely heartwarming smile that could cheer anyone in school. How glad was I to see that you still had that smile perfectly intact. Despite the strife, despite the struggles life kept throwing at you, you had the perfect weapon to face them head on. Your smile. Your positive outlook towards life. Nothing could run you down.
You know teacher, my love for Chemistry is all thanks to you. It used to be my favourite science subject in school. And even now, after 26 years since I passed out of your class, some of the formulae you taught are on my fingertips. Trust me, if I didnt have to pick Physics and Biology I would have certainly opted for a science stream! :D. Jokes apart, I loved loved loved the subject because you made me fall in love with it with your terrific style of teaching. It was sheer fun to be in your class and learn those formulae and get cracking those chemical equations.
Not just that, you were one of those teachers who never condescended to her students. You always treated us as equals, gave us the space and freedom we deserved so we could grow and learn in the most favourable manner.
But the connect I feel with you is much above all this, teacher. It is through music. You and I both know that. Which is why you will always always hold a special place in my heart. Your vast knowledge in music is something that I have always looked up to. I used to look forward to those annual day celebrations in school whenever they revolved around music and you would be bursting with ideas to share. Or those events where I would be asked to sing and I would look out for your approval of my choice of songs because I knew you’d appreciate whatever I sing.
When we met two years ago, remember you had asked me to sing a song for you? When I had finished singing, you gave me yet another approving, reassuring, incredibly moving smile. I have that image safely tucked in my heart, teacher. And I treasure it that way. Always.
Rest in peace, Teacher.