Throughout our youth — during school and college days — we meet countless teachers: some who leave an imprint on our minds, and some, whom we would rather forget, like a bad dream. Fortunately, I have had more of the former and less of the latter. And, today I would like to share a few memories of my college days, when I met some truly wonderful, caring professors, and some (actually, just one), not as good, but memorable, nonetheless.
During my graduation days, I had the honour of being taught by a very gentle, soft spoken, and also a very helpful professor, Mrs Shanti. She taught us the subject, Social Thinkers. A rather dry subject, which, on hindsight, should have been called the ‘sedative’. It also felt pretty heavy on our young shoulders and minds! Merely passing in that subject was considered luck. But, only because of my professor, who did her best to infuse some excitement into the topics, and who, empathising with us youngsters, did her best to guide us well, did we manage to do well for ourselves. She always had that sweet smile and encouraging words every time I asked her stuff related to the subject or about things I could do after graduation. Never once did she lose her patience or ridicule me for trying to think ‘out of the box’.
That same year, for our English paper, we had the most weird professor ever! Can’t remember his name right now, but can never forget that pervert and his disgusting words, that filled us all with contempt for the man! A bachelor, teaching at a Women’s University, he must have felt he had countless options to choose from. He began his first lecture with asking us what plans each of us had for our future. I said I would like to ‘stand on my feet’ and help my parents, to which he replied that if I looked carefully, I was standing on my feet! When I explained that I would like to work and then think about anything else, prompt came his response,”You see, this is the kind of girl I am looking for, to get married!” He gave me the creeps! There was a major signature campaign to get him out of college, ASAP! Which, thankfully, succeeded. Boy, do they come in all sorts of packages!
However, there are some who come in some really incredible packages! Our professor for Fashion Merchandising was the sexiest man this then-young girl must have ever seen. I am sure, not only I, but every girl in class, must have had a secret crush on him! He must have been in his late 40s then. A thorough gentleman and a chubby, cuddly teddy bear, with grey eyes and a salt and pepper mop of hair…get the picture?! He simply had to enter the class and our sleep would vanish into thin air. Every female eye gawked at him, unblinking! I am sure he must have felt it in the air, for, we felt he blushed every time he looked at us to explain some thing. Our jaws would always be dropped to the ground and we would nod our heads for every thing he said!
Every time I remember those days, I feel embarrassed. How silly we must have looked back then! What our professors must have thought about us giggly teenagers! But, I guess, they must have known. It was all part of growing up, seeing the world, meeting people — good and bad — and learning from those experiences, And, some of those experiences were lessons for life, taught by some really fantastic people, who left their imprints on our young minds, which refuse to get erased by the sands of time.