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Shri Gurubhyo Namah!

Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by Srama, Sep 23, 2020.

  1. Srama

    Srama IL Hall of Fame

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    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!
     
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  2. Kamla

    Kamla IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Saby,

    Your happiness and excitement and emotions on meeting your Sanskrit Guru is palpable! One can cut with knife!!
    You mention just two summers of tutoring!! Going by your excitement, I thought you spent all of your schooling years with him:) Two years and an impression that has lasted so many decades and will continue to do so all of your life.....and his life too ! That speaks volumes on how you both connected with each other. Some cosmic binding indeed !
    Reading this felt like I was watching a TV show where they often show how lost relatives found each other after much search. This surely can be made into a moving movie (pun intended!)
    Finally all I can say is, this was a very touching incident. Generally people move on with life and reminisce on few things that happened in life. But very few take the pains and go out there actively to find places and people like you did. When the intentions are genuine and earnest, universe will conspire to make it happen.
    How well you write about the all giving love of parents for their children. Very true, Only a parent can give that sort of absolute love. Those of us who have experienced it are fortunate. You had the opportunity to experience that love again. You are truly blessed.
    To think you too are a teacher is amazing. Mark my words, you will create the similar kind of love and respect among your students. The above scene will repeat in your life surely, only, you will be the Guru!!
    " Guror rangi padme manschenna lagna, thathikam, thathikam, thathikam" !

    L, Kamla
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2020
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  3. jskls

    jskls IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Sabita, Simply beautiful writing The one in quotes I can truly relate to that. Touched a chord somewhere and made me reply. Thanks for sharing your deep respect foryour Guru. Shri Gurubyo Namah
     
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  4. Srama

    Srama IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Kamla,

    I am certainly blessed - look at this warm response from you. You have no idea how much it has moved me. It is indeed strange that a couple of summers made a such a huge difference in my life - there are some teachers who are always there blessing us, standing behind and sending wishes. And when moments can live with us forever, why not summers?
    This I totally agree - it has happened time and again. When we wish earnestly, universe does conspire to give us.

    Thank you for these words Kamla.
    They are so reassuring. Every time I walk in to that classroom, it is always with the hope and wish that I do my best, expecting the best from my students. Perhaps having fabulous teachers led me to this career? i don't know.

    Thank you for your warm response Kamla.
     
  5. Srama

    Srama IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear @jskls,

    So nice to see you after a while. Trust all is well and things are as routine as they can get in these times. Thank you my friend. It is always a pleasure to hear from you and when you say something from the snippet touched you, it is a bonus :)
     
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  6. shyamala1234

    shyamala1234 Platinum IL'ite

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    Dear Sabitha,
    It is amazing how you searched for your teacher and finally succeeded. Even more amazing is he loves you so much . Teachers remember students who make their teaching worthy. They feel so happy when his student searches him after many years and calls him.... rare in these modern times. You touched a cord in him and he is genuinely happy. Colliding accidentally? No. Paulo Coelho's quote ' The whole world conspired when you wish for something sincerely'. True in your case.
    Really happy for you. I am sure you would have the same rapport with your students' too.
    Syamala
     
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  7. Anisu

    Anisu Gold IL'ite

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    Dear Srama,

    This snippet is very close to my heart. I realized how much a teacher can impact on one's progress. My Maths teacher was one such person. She helped to improve and also start loving the subject.

    [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. ]
    Now i get these completely. It is such a great feeling .
     
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  8. Srama

    Srama IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Syamala, @shymala1234,

    Thank you for that lovely Paulo Coehlo quote. You are right about teachers - love for students who make thier teaching worthy. The truth is I only realized that now. Fortunately for me, the impact he made on me has lasted longer than I even expected.
    I do miss some students and the value they brought in to the classroom and to me,thanks to who they are and their interests. Always a blessing to have amazing students.

    Thank you for your warm feedback.
     
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  9. Srama

    Srama IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear @Anisu

    so so nice to see you here. I am so happy that you also have a teacher who impacted you in such a way. I often say that it is teachers who can make us love or hate a subject. A right teacher can make a world of a difference, no matter the subject!

    This year I am teaching Government and I have heard students say how they don't like Social studies. So I came up with a "create your own country" project and as they work out what they want in their country, I am able to teach all the social studies I want to teach. Now suddenly we are doing two full periods of only social studies! I just love teaching, so much!

    That unconditional love is a rare thing and we are fortunate to have found it! Love to your kiddo! Thank you for your sweet response.
     
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  10. jayasala42

    jayasala42 Finest Post Winner

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    It is quite understandable. Teachers loved us and we loved our teachers.I don't know whether this relationship exists for today's students. I remember well when the Headmistress came to see me after 25 years and we shared a lot.
    A snippet that moved me a lot. As my father was a teacher for 65 long years, he used to narrate about many students in his teaching life.He used to quote from some students beautiful essays, their luxuriance of words and exuberance of certain expressions which were still in his mind until he was 95.
    Student-teacher bond is very sacred and it cannot be tampered so easily.
     
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