Today I remember some of my teachers.
From 1962, the birthday of President S.Radhakrishnan is observed as Teacher’s day in India.
Scholars of Gita regard three commentaries of the Gita in the 20th century as the greatest-those written by Sri Aurobindo, Bal Gangadhar Tilak and S.Radhakrishnan.
A UNIQUE GIFT
“Read a chapter of Gita every day, it takes just five minutes if you do it regularly,” Mr.Kishan Lal Sabharwal taught me this life lesson, which has enriched me in many ways.
Gifting his copy of S.Radhakrishnan’s commentary on Gita to me, he told
“ I am nearing 80. You will read and respect this more than my sons.”
This special edition –Not for Sale-by Blackie and Sons-Calcutta is one of my most cherished memories of Delhi. Over the years I have re-read it in many ways, sometimes reading with my sons. Each person understands things in his or her own unique ways.
Do you practice something from your culture or civilization in your daily life?
How does this practice affect your understanding of life?
One fine afternoon, LC uncle and I went searching for the tomb of 19th century writer John Lang in the Meerut region. Only a friend like LC uncle, a doctor, radiologist, writer and mentor could have come with me on that journey.
Other fellow radiologists were more happy in discussing the nuances of Lefort classification and seeing it on images.
His sons would call me “Uncle” though they were only a few years younger than me.
When I asked them why, they told me that all their father’s friends were Uncle to them.
“Whenever you come to our house, you talk more with our father and just say a brief hello to us.”
We never found the tomb of John Lang as we wrongly went towards Sardhana. But the basilica at Sardhana has many interesting marble statues and histories which enriched us in many interesting ways.
The biggest lesson LC Uncle imbibed in us was that of maintaining our Dignity.
This lesson keeps coming up as a challenge in many ways.
THE GRAND ROUND
Medical life is centered around the grand round. Going away into Radiology robbed us of this in some ways. But the approach of having a round, keeping a register, case sheet has helped in many ways, tailored to our local settings.
Nalin sir is one Neurology teacher I remember, who taught me to think in systems, the many nuances of medicine and neurology, while keeping basics in mind.
We were associated closely in many other ways too, but I will stick to the medical lessons and support he gave me.
The grand round approach in medicine can be translated to many fields and is a useful tool to quickly get a snapshot of complex situations.
AN ORDINARY MAN
Seeking nuances and meanings in ordinary every day life came to us through reading literature.
While remembering some literature teachers in school, a Hindi teacher-Mrs.Muley comes to mind. This was in Kendriya Vidyalaya Southern Command-Pune. She taught us how to see the many layers of truth within literary art works of Indian literature.
Many years later-watching the play –Ek Mamooli Aadmi-(An Ordinary Man) being performed in Sri Ram Centre Delhi by the Asmita group brought those lessons back in many rich ways. The play is centered on a son retracing the footsteps of his dead father, who led a very ordinary routine life at home. However, after his death, when the son meets his father’s friends in work he discovers many interesting aspects of his father’s life.
In re-interpreting the essays and stories of Indian writers these teachers helped us think through different hats.
WE PAY OUR STORY TELLERS HERE
In the African tradition, they pay their story tellers.
Over the years, our reading group and everyday history society efforts have been enriched by many teachers who directly and indirectly influenced us to re-examine and re-interrogate the questions put forward by writers like Rosa Luxemborg, Gramsci, Fanon, Spivak in our contexts. This led to the evolution of a mass observation group in which we talked to people in and about their life through faith.
For further reading
See Blog- From Kabir to Safir
MEANINGS IN WORDS
Here we learn the meaning in the words of Rosa Luxemburg
The modern proletarian class doesn’t carry out its struggle
according to a plan set out in some book or theory;
the modern workers’ struggle is a part of history,
a part of social progress, and in the middle of history,
in the middle of progress, in the middle of the fight,
we learn how we must fight..
SEE POSTS IN CATEGORY OF EVERYDAY HISTORY
This has led to many interesting stories.
- In the African tradition, they say that they pay their story tellers.
I sometimes wonder how we can every repay our teachers, who shaped the story of our lives in so many beautiful ways.
One doctor friend made it simple..Pay it forward..as you can never repay, so try to teach someone , something and this way you can pay it forward to enrich the legacy of your teachers.
Today , on Teacher’s day let us remember and honour our teachers.