Thursday, September 6, 2012

Jesus said,'I give you life and life abundantly....'

Today is teacher's day.My mother all of seventy five years is celebrating the reconstruction of her school.They have a function in school organised by her ex- students.
My mother started teaching toddlers in the church premises more than thirty five years ago when there was no concept of nursery teaching in my region.All of us have passed through that school in the church and were carted off to boarding schools early in life because there were no good schools in the region.Now when we look back we get amazed to see the array of lives that have passed through that school..foundations laid,blossomed and have moved on in life.
The fondest memories of my teachers start with my mom.There was always an element of surprise in the lessons she sprung on us and guided us through.I remember the beautiful garden,the flower arrangements,etiquettes she was so particular about,the bible stories,the nudge towards all things altruistic...our first taste of alphabets......somehow none of us siblings ever out-grew our mother...she has remained our beautifully unpredictable but stable friend.
My nursery teacher was a cheerfull lady who looked like an 'O'.A short plump doll-like lady who loved dancing to the nursery rhymes along with us.I remember her best prancing to 'I am a musician I come from fairy land i can play with my big drum...dungdumaa...dungdumaa...dungdumaa dungdumaa...'
 I remember time amd again being called out to perform 'I had a little pony'before every guest that visited the school.
My first grade teacher was Mrs Gurung.She introduced me to the vowels and double promoted me.i never attended grade two.I remember growing a bean plant ,in a tin ,in the biology class even as we learnt the basics of botany.
My sister met her more than three decades after she taught me.She was pathologically losing her memory and was disabled...and then she suddenly blurted out,'Chering Choden was an intelligent child.'My sister was startled and touched.She was quick to pass it on to me.
The first principal of the school I was in was Mr Madhusudhan Singh.He was the kindest gentleman who took our sketches seriously enough to put them in the school magazine(annual)which went on to win an award in the national scene.My picture of 'sunflower and me'... with my caricature bigger than the mountains...spoke a lot about what had been put into me as a child.
My childhood in the boarding schools are memories of sunshine,cherry trees,green...green ...lawns,blue skies beyond the green hills,Kanchendzonga coated with snow in the sun..a palate of gold,silver and myraid of hues ,my principal with his camerra ,smiling.greeting us a good morning...driving us to impromptu picnics with milk shakes and pop-corns....the TNA way....those were happy memories.
They came and they went,teachers in all shapes and sizes.One with am-meters in their pockets...,nature lovers,dreamers,striaghtjackets,ones who would talk to the plants,blackboards,...walls,some who would affirm us to embarrasment,who would take time to push us out of our comfort zones..they came ,they challenged...they watched us with curiosity...affirmed us at different times in different ways....they shared of their experiences ,they left us lessons for life..they were there for us....they showed us examples of alternative lifestyle and then most importantly they gave us room to grow.....they gave us life...
My prayer is that the Lord will make me a teacher who gives life.

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