05 September. Teacher’s Day in India. During schooldays the day used to be filled with excitement, students role-playing teachers and taking classes with a general sense of celebration in the school. An official “non-working” working day. The importance reduced once we reached college – the free world. Teacher’s day still gave us an opportunity to express gratitude to the teachers that we really liked. Enter the rat race (aka career) and gratitude and expression become things of the past, 05 September just another date on the calendar. So when recently someone asked “who was your favourite teacher?” it was a difficult and an easy question at the same time. Difficult because I have completed my schooling from 5 different schools and graduated from 4 different colleges in a span of 17 years. I have had many teachers, however, the time spent with them was short. Easy because in all these different schools and colleges there is one name that will always be remembered with a smile – my art teacher in Lucknow, Mr Khare.
Mr Khare was a thin man with a balding head. He had the ability to inspire his students though he was battling depression himself. He showed faith in me when I myself was not sure of my abilities. He let me learn by making mistakes, swooping down just before I made a total mess but not before I realised I was off track. He taught me the wisdom of accepting my mistakes and the art of correcting them. He made me realize that unless I try I’ll never know for sure whether I am capable of doing something or not. He made me fall in love with oil paints. He taught me not to be afraid of a little colour and to take pride in everything I did.
A lot of feelings and emotions fight to be expressed in words. A lot of ideas took root in that art room and I met some of my best friends there. The hours we spent painting (considering I am a science graduate) are a few of the most cherished memories of school.
I am not sure if I will ever get the opportunity to thank him in person – or even if he remembers me at all, still, on behalf of all the students he has taught over the years here’s wishing Mr Khare a very happy teacher’s day with a lot of heart-felt gratitude. Thank you sir.