The phone call is finally made. There is excitement, joy, expectation, and a sigh of relief. I ask him if he remembers me. It has easily been a good three and a half decades or maybe, even a little more. He finds the question incredulous. Remember? I even have the answer sheet to the first exam that you took. He says, 'if only I had another year' he sighs! I am speechless. He goes on how helpless he was not knowing where our family had moved to. Even as I try to stop him, at least slow him down asking him details about him he would not! All he wants to know is simply everything about me, how I am, where I am, about my family. He wants me to share pictures of not just me but that of everyone – my family, my parents, siblings. I smile. The questions are incessant. The urgency in his voice, still the same. The enthusiasm is still there, after all these years even! He is the same! I can feel his unbound affection. He ends the conversation asking me to visit him just once at least. I thought I had it all together but as soon as I hang up speaking, I am bawling sitting in my car during lunch break. I know I need to dry my tears and pull myself together before I go back to my students. They will catch me in a jiffy, mask and all, and questions will come pouring. I must confess. I have not felt this kind of pure affection from someone in a long long time, a very long time. Since my parents’ passing. You know like how a child feels? Simply being loved for the pure joy of loving. It is a feeling rare to come by or receive from anyone else other than parents. It is that feeling where you know you are not judged and only loved. Only the best is wished for you and there can be nothing wrong you can do or speak and even if you did, it would not matter. All that the other person wants for you is only the best, your well being. Knowing that you are happy is all that matters. How I have missed that! It has been a long search – but what you seek is certainly also seeking you. I smile. Oh all those dreams! My phone pings. He sends me the picture of the temple and the deity with a command “send your family photos”. In all that excitement he had heard me speak of my dreams and the temple. I am touched. Honestly, I have to search a bit on my phone, for my family photos I mean. I find a couple finally and he writes back “you look different” and sends his ‘then’ picture. As soon as I see it, I break out into a big smile. I can see that person clearly, the personality even - a young enthusiastic, I can change the world kind of a person with his big wide eyes. Who else would think of offering free Sanskrit classes in the small cramped room in his parent's house to students for the love of language even though he was perhaps broke, learning priesthood by his father’s side in the temple while searching for a job yet trying to make a mark in the world? My dad was in a transferable job and we had the fortune of spending two summers in that town. That is when we met him, our Sanskrit sir. My mom enrolls my sister and me in the classes even though we are not learning the language in school. We must have been some 11 and 9, two eager kids learning the language, the youngest in the class. Sir would come home and teach us even. It was like he had found his calling and his ideal students in us. He was a taskmaster though behind all that cheerfulness and he always said that even if he woke us from a deep sleep and asked us to recite “Rama Shabdha” we should be able to do and honestly, we could, my sister and I! I promise you, I can even to this day, if woken from a deep sleep. Being the children that we were, we learnt what he taught leaving a mark in our own way in his life perhaps and when dad moved, we moved, and life moved on. Of course he has also moved on from the temple to teaching in a college and where ever life took him. I get out of my thoughts as the phone pings again, another picture from sir – that of Goddess Saraswathi. To him, we will always be the daughters of this Goddess. I realize it is a day for tears. I know he is delighted that I got in touch with him. I am sure his family is wondering whatever happened to him. I am only grateful that I found him. I haven't stopped talking about him much to the amusement of my family - a person they had never heard of in all these years bringing those memories and tears at the same time. All that search for months has been totally worth it. No words can explain the feelings I have even as I write this. I have been blessed in more ways than one. I always diligently offer prayers to Patanjali in particular, and all the other gurus of the world seeking their blessings to weave through the day – you know samsara halahala moha shantyai before I practice yoga. Usually, as I sit in my puja room, lighting the lamp my attention is always drawn to the little nook dedicated to gurus – gurus of the world along with a pair of small padukas that was in my mother’s pooja room. Those padukas always represented the known and unknown gurus to me. I have been fortunate to have innumerable blessings from many. But today, as I sit in prayer particulary, I am in a complete state of gratitude for having found my teacher who taught me Sanskrit so long ago, the love for the language that continues even today, continuing to play a very important role in my life. I have read in many a book about the untainted love a guru has for his disciple. I will be dishonest if I say I do not have that kind of love. Thanks to my Sanskrit teacher, I know what it is. Speaking with him, I have felt it and I realize it. Thanks to my grandmother I always knew what it was, even back then. Whoever sits in a prayer without reciting ‘gurur brahma’ no matter how many Gods? Today, I bow wholeheartedly “Shri gurubhyo namah!