You are Therefore I am

My mother often tells me with wonder, and I listen to the same story, with an unfazed amazement, every time, of my first day at school; of how I had rushed out from my mother’s arms, in my shiny new uniform, a handkerchief pinned upon my navy blue pullover, with a water bottle, bobbing about, hung around my neck, and a laughter plastered on my face while every other child wailed refusing to leave the comfort of their parents’ arms, gripping onto their clothes with their tiny fists. I only wish she remembered the colour of my water bottle and I would like to believe it was bright yellow with a happy pink cap!

I, sadly, do not have particular memories of my kindergarten days save how the alphabets, and numbers intrigued me, how the rhymes made me smile and the magic of colour pencils, oh I adored my little box of colour pencils!

School, barring the bullying, was magical. From my desk, I witnessed the creation of a whole new world, a world where I would shut myself in, shut voices from, and dwelt, fuelled by facts, buoyed by imagination.

How I wished I had a little lamb like Mary who would follow me to school and I’ll hide the joyous skipping one under my desk. I travelled German towns, in the pages of my Gulmohar Reader, with Emil looking for the black hatted man who had stolen Emil’s money. I guffawed happily upon discovering mysterious ways of adding and dividing numbers, to later learning attaining infinity was possible when the divisor was zero. I travelled across continents and countries with the easy turn of a page, shrunk with horror at the gory tales of Aurangzeb stealthily killing his brothers for the Moghul throne, chugged through sooty streets of London in steam engines, witnessed Renaissance, Reformation. I climbed the Himalayas, the Andes, explored Mariana Trench, tasted the terrible saltiness of the Dead Sea. I sneezed over pollen grains, wondered would I eat the apple were it to fall upon my head, traced electrons across a circuit, sought fish swimming happily under the layer of ice on lakes in the cold of the winter.

Before I knew it I was rushing through classrooms in college, the imagination bubbling and brewing, complexity of complex numbers, addition metamorphosed into integration, names of innumerable chemical compounds and reactions, ‘Hello World’, sinusoidal waves, invisible radio waves dancing hysterically everywhere, gravitation, levitation, oxidation!

However I was never alone in the world of learning, of discovering, of inventing; there were guiding hands, watchful eyes, all my teachers, helping me where I stumbled, opening magical doors when I found myself at a cul de sac, frowning, and smiling the next minute, at my silliness, laughing along when I screamed the nursery poems, dramatising Shakespeare in jaw-dropping cadences, simplifying back-breaking calculations I had hitherto given up on. Oaring boats through the Nile they’d point out the towering Pyramids, trekking through Taiga they’d protect me from the cold and sitting with me by the field they’d guide me on sketching the distant pine trees.

All my teachers, through school to college, through tuition classes to art class, taught me to embrace Literature, to conjure stories, love Math, successfully prove theories, paint up a storm, bounce up and down travelling on radio signals, be certain about Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle, pet Schrodinger’s cat. They taught me goodness, charity, morality and be the person I am today. And I am still learning. They are, therefore I am.

Image Credit : Photo by Andrii Nikolaienko from Pexels

The 5th of September is celebrated as Teacher’s Day in India. This is an ode to all my teachers who have shaped me in innumerable ways. 

50 thoughts on “You are Therefore I am

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  1. The image of you as a child, running to school full of enthusiasm reminds me of myself. When I was in the seventh grade, I remember a teacher asking a class of 90 students, whether they loved going to school. About 5 of us raised our hands, and I was the first, quick as Hermione. I’ve always loved learning, and I’m glad to see you have too, since you were as young as 5. Very well-written, thanks for this!!!


  2. It’s sad that I realised how much I love school when I left it. This prose made me relive most of my favourite parts of it, vividly. Being certain about Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle part made me chuckle. I’m really glad I found your blog. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I guess it’s the same with most of us. 🙂 School becomes the happiest days when it’s over. 🙂

      Thank you so much Sana and I’m looking forward to your posts now that you’ve decided to write more 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This is very beautiful, your teachers must be very proud and you are Lucky to have met them on your way. I ued to love going to school too, I didn’t like holidays, all my friends were at school and I loved Learning new things, travelling from y school desk, it felt so thrilling. It’s such a luck to go to school, so many kids can’t afford the luxury even nowadays.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Monaminga for reading and commenting 🙂 I loved school for the classes and imagination, and yes some of my teachers made learning a joy and a magic that I am eternally grateful for. I can completely relate when you say you didn’t like holidays. I used to read my course books before school term during my holidays 🙂

      It’s sadly true that a lot of kids these days cannot afford the luxury of school.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow!! That was so wonderful!! Good teachers are definitely a blessing. I have been blessed with real good teachers as well and owe what I am today, to them. Enjoyed reading and took me down the memory lane with gratitude!! Thanks

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What a beautiful write! Every word of it. I am so impressed that you remember so much too from your school to college and what a blessed student you must have been! What blessed teachers to have had such a sweet student in their classes. Thank you Parikhit — again and again. Your posts are a great pleasure to read – every time! Thank You! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This is such a wonderful ode. Teachers really help so much in shaping the kind of person you are as well as help you through your intellectual journey, like the one you described here. Once I realized the value of my teachers, I am forever grateful for all that they have done for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. What a beautiful tribute to such worthy people! I am so glad you posted this. Good teachers are precious and should be treated as such.

    I do believe there is a terrible dismissal of teachers in America. We simply do not value them as a culture to the extent they should be valued. The job holds little or no prestige, gets no respect. Especially below the university level. This cannot but hurt the nation – to say nothing of generations of people.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Paul. We tend to forget in our apparent busy lives how much our teachers mould us, shaping our thoughts, giving flight to our vivid imagination. I have been lucky to have teachers who continue to be there helping me always.

      I am quite surprised to read that teachers in high schools are valued in the states! Apparently all the movies Hollywood dishes out is an eye wash. I wonder what could be the reason?

      Liked by 1 person

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