This post is meant for a selected few. So most others will find this irrelevant. It’s meant for the people who took the trouble to write flattering remarks in my progress reports even though I’d only deserved a knock on the head and a good telling off. It’s meant for the people who actually did tell me off when I’d gone too far in childish exuberance. It’s meant for those I remember dearly with fond memories and others whose memory still sends a chill down my spine (but I still remember dearly). Gurus, they say, are dispellers of darkness. This post is meant for every guru I have ever had- both inside a classroom and outside it.
When I was still too young to remember names and associate them with faces, I had a group of teachers at TVS Academy in Hosur. My mother, I’m sure, knows all their names but I shamelessly admit to not remembering it. This post, and any other post on this blog for that matter, would probably never have been written if it wasn’t for them because my love for writing took off from the little classrooms in Hosur. I still have the little diary in which they’d encourage us to write about our weekend or some festival or just about anything else under the sun. It was then, for the first time that I discovered the joy of writing and that love affair has carried on (admittedly shakily sometimes) ever since.
TVS-A was an unconventional schooling experience and so moving to Bangalore was a big change for me. But, starting from the librarian, Habib ma’am, to my first class teacher, Jaya ma’am, every single person at St Paul’s (both teaching and non-teaching staff) helped me get used to the madness that a traditional classroom is. And later on in middle school, Amrutha ma’am (for encouraging my creative writing), Prathibha Peter ma’am (for the same but additionally also teaching us that Christmas carol- silent nights), Uday Kumar sir (for recognizing my love for cricket), Uma ma’am (for the life lessons on responsibility and discipline), Swarnalatha ma’am (for supporting my quizzing-craze), Geeta Mani ma’am (for more than I can possibly fit into this blog post), Namratha ma’am (for simply tolerating that rowdy bunch of us in ISC) and many, many others (Sangita Ray ma’am, HM Jayshree ma’am, our beloved Hegde sir) taught me a little something every single day which made this 6 foot tall skeleton, a decent human being (or so I’d like to think). And they also taught me English, Maths and Computer Science and all that.
Engineering was a different beast all together. On the battlefield to slay that beast, I had the privilege of getting to know Dr. Bhanu Prashanth sir- the former HoD of the ECE Department at BNMIT. His work ethic is contagious, his commitment is awe-worthy and conversations with him are always enlightening. In that department I must’ve had over 20 professors (Chaitra ma’am, Ayesha ma’am, NKC sir, PPR ma’am) who are among the smartest, most helpful people ever.
And now I’m in this new city on the other side of the globe and lot of things have changed. A lot of things but for the fact that there’s a guru everywhere- for example, Beth (and everyone else at the GovLab)- my universal gurus who transcend nationalities.
Gurus have come in various shapes and sizes, and in various places and forms. And gurus, like I mentioned earlier, are, without doubt, dispellers of darkness. To all of them, in every avatar of theirs, inside the classroom and outside it, those whose names I remember and those whose I do not, I’d like to say thank you. On behalf of the entire group of shishyas you have taught and mentored, Thank you for everything.