As a child I suffered something called “Maths Phobia' the innumerable numbers just dazzled and danced around my head until I cried and sneaked into the world of poetry and literature. How I detested the term maths. I am sure there must be thousands like me. Huh! I can see those curved lips that say ' I join your troop'. To worsen the situation I had a Maths teacher who was just too good in her knowledge but she did not know how to grasp students like me into the web of 'maths knowledge'.
I remember the day when I got my maths answer sheet with the least marks in the class. I couldn't tell it to my parents nor hide it for long as my mom was a teacher in the same school. I tried to hide it in every nook and corner just to see my mom digging it for one or the other reason. I was so scared of the whole situation that I and my friend suffering the same crisis even planned to run away from home. So, the bags were ready and so were some food for the unknown destiny. We decided to meet at a certain bridge in the evening and then run to never step back to the hours of Maths torture. I wrote a few letter note to parents and hid it under the pillow. However something drew me back and we canceled the whole idea and return back home after two hours of wandering. Until I reached mom had already found the letter. She hugged me and cried. This gave me a signal that I will not be beaten up for those one digit marks.
My mom as a teacher new what I was going through I suppose. She knew that I was in need of a teacher as well as friend who would guide me through the muzzled path of numbers. She found one after few days.
I still remember my first visit to her house. A huge garden with a huge dog at the entrance was waiting to welcome me with furious barks. When I saw the dreadful dog I just taught the teacher would be another pestering person in my life just to worsen the situation. I was wrong. I met a fine lady with broad smile that could make me relax the very moment. The angel (as I usually call people who make a difference in my life) walked in clearing all the muzzled path into a defined destiny. She made the whole number world a beautiful paradise. How I loved her. Years rolled by and I passed out from my school with flaunting colours. She didn't make maths my destiny but an easier path to cross to reach the destiny. Then I moved to Bangalore for my graduation. I made a point to visit the beautiful lady whenever I returned home.
Two years back, I participated in a marathon for cancer patients. I didn't have a specific reason for the act, just that I wanted to be a part of a cause on a jobless weekend. So I and my other two friends ran nearly 5 kms. After the event I called mom to tell her all about the event. I was thrilled about the whole experience. I niched every detail from the time we started and ended with a huge music festival in Cubbon Park (one of the Bangalore's park). My mom did not say a word, but just sighed and said, “ its so weird you ran for a cause that made your favorite teacher breath her last. Your Maths tution teacher died two days back due to Cancer". I didn't say a word. Hung the telephone and ran to bed to cry till twilight.
I have lost her. But before she bid goodbye, she did make a difference in my life and many others like me. Truly a teacher can make or break you. And I have experienced both. On the occasion of Dr. Radhakrishnan birthday this story is a tribute to all the teachers who made a difference in number of innocent hearts unconditionally. Happy Teachers day