The places where moments reside

Joseph Sir : The teacher I wish to meet again, at least once.

All of us in our childhood come across various teachers whom we remember as we grow older. One such teacher whom I would like to meet once again would be my maths teacher in school – Joseph sir, if I get the chance again. Now something about him. He was from South India, Kerala be precise. We heard him speak only two languages - English and Hindi. He knew both but as with all the people from the south, his pronunciation in Hindi I would say was somewhere around 85%. He was damn knowledgeable in maths and could express it in English really well but as students we never took anything seriously. Although he was the most popular teacher among us in terms of laughing due to his pronunciation but the level of respect he commanded from all of us was at par with the other teachers.

Apart from science, maths was my weakness and I barely scraped through every exam just like a kabbadi player tries his hardest to touch the line. He was the very first teacher with whom my parents met at every parent teacher meeting. He taught me for two years because in class 11th and 12th I had different subjects to choose from and maths was one trap from which I was free now. My other classmates although took up maths so in reality some really did study from him for 4 years in total. If you ask me that how did he look I would say that he resembled the older version of Hollywood star Jamie Foxx with specs (Electro in the Amazing Spiderman 2 ). You could always find him either in the staff room checking tons of copies or going from one class to another with at least one or two books held in his hand. He was a lenient teacher when it came to our excuses about not bringing the copy and doing the homework but he never let it all slip away. We also tried our best as his method of explaining things was quite patient. Just to heckle him sometimes we people asked him a few variations of a question to see whether he could solve it or not but he had a really good grasp on the subject so he instantly knew whether the answer would be achievable or not.

Its always said that you respect your teachers after you leave the school because you go into the real world with the thought that whatever you are today, every teacher in a school life has had some part to play in it. Joseph sir is a prime example of teachers who command huge amount of respect after the students pass out. I passed out from school some 14 years back and over the years I would admit that I have been in regular touch with only my Hindi teacher. A few years back due to some work I had to go back to school and that day I met majority of teachers but somehow I felt that something was missing when the teachers met me. The only exception that day in the form of a surprise was who else? Joseph sir. Even after more than a decade, he recognised me, he still had that spectacled smile and was damn happy to see me, still remembering me and wishing me all the best for the future. That was one hell of a pleasant surprise for me. Who knew I would not see him the next time??

1.5 year back when I went again, I came to know that he had retired and settled permanently back in his hometown Kerala. I had forgotten the fact that teachers also retire. I always thought that they continue teaching and I would meet him whenever I would go back to school. As of now I can surely say that he commands utmost respect between me and my circle of friends who used to trouble him a lot. My efforts to trace him on social media are continuing just like everybody else but he eludes us uptill now. I still remember his flawless English with an accent while he explained the methods to us or going all Hindi with my mother in the meeting. He always wanted me to do much better in Maths than just being average. It must be heartbreaking for him to see a student getting the lowest marks in his subject while performing well in the others. Well consolation in the fact that I performed much worse in Chemistry ( don’t even ask by which crazy methods we were taught chemistry in 9th and 10th).

Joseph sir is one teacher I would love to meet him once again in my lifetime.. some teachers turn out to be such legends. 

Written for the Indinspire topic “The teacher you wish to meet again, at least once “.

Update as on 01.04.2020 - I finally talked to him for some 16 mins and he was soooo happy having recognised me in a jiffy. The enthusiasm he had in the voice was beyond I could ever say. He said " Thank you for remembering me, its so great to hear from you" some 6-7 times in the whole call. I was speechless. Its been some 20 yrs when he was talking in such detail. When he was ending the call, he again went, " Keep in touch". I had to say that he would be remembered and now that his former students had his no. , he wont be missing us as at all.

If he had made me speechless in the first, he had me dumbfounded by the time the talk was over. Its taken me some 4 years to find a closure to this blogpost and its also been the most cherished one.
Joseph Sir : The teacher I wish to meet again, at least once. Joseph Sir : The teacher I wish to meet again, at least once. Reviewed by Shwetabh on 7:39:00 PM Rating: 5

1 comment:

  1. Hope you'll find him on social media some day. Such teachers are rare these days... :-)