I may not remember what my teacher said but I will never forget his voice.
To the world you were a teacher… but for me, you were and will always remain a hero Sir. Your purpose was to prepare students who would create their own identity….
For the Mother’s International School, Mr. R.C. Shekhar was a very strict and stern Vice Principal. There was a sense of awe when all of us just heard his name. And this feeling continued for so many years…. till I reached Class XI-A, humanities section. It was here we got to known that Shekhar Sir would be teaching us History. Oh God!!! I was scared…. Believe me!
My first interaction with Sir in the class…. He knew all our names,,, aah!! He just knew all about us. For the first time, I saw that unforgettable smile. The smile that was a so honest… it just reached his eyes and our hearts. He was a teacher par excellence and how punctual… Wow!! All his commitments, all his teaching work and all his administrative skills were to be admired. For all of us in the Arts Section, Shekhar Sir was no more a name synonymous with terror…. Haha!!! Yes, that’s how Sir was to most of the other students in the school. He was a wonderful, pleasant teacher who taught extremely well and made us laugh all the time.
Once, I was about to enter the Assembly Hall when I heard Shekhar Sir call my name. I gathered some courage to just look at him… and he said, “Jab dekho daant dikhalati rehti hai”. Without a pause, I choked. I didn’t know how to react. After the assembly, I went upstairs crying loudly. Madhulika Ma’am was shocked to see me crying. When she learnt what had happened, she went to Sir to ask him why he scolded me… he laughed aloud and called me to his room and said, “It was a compliment”. Shekhar Sir was an example of how teachers can change lives with just the right mix of chalk, emotions and challenges.
I never visited school after I learnt Sir had left MIS. To me and most of us, who knew Shekhar Sir, MIS was about Shekhar Sir, his forceful voice and his walk in the corridors.
And then, as life moved on, he always remained in my mind till I went to meet him one day of Gyan Bharti School. I was a bit hesitant when someone asked me to write my name for him. I wrote Shalu Malhotra and then, just erased Malhotra to write Shalu Bhandari. A fear in my mind… a thought that… does he remember me???!!! And to my surprise, Sir called me to his room, and I was greeted by him with a big smile. He said, “I remember your handwriting. “Tu sirf Shalu bhi likhti to bhi main pehchaan jaata.” I realized that though life had moved on, but a few relations just remain the same. Time doesn’t change people and doesn’t change feelings in certain cases. This indeed was once such relation of me with my Sir.
Sir, I miss you each moment and each day. I can never forget that last time I talked to you. I can never forget the last sentence you said me….. It was our batch celebrating 25 years of passing out of school. A few batchmates went to his office to invite him. I had some commitment, I couldn’t go that day. I asked my batchmate Manish Saxena to hand over the phone to Sir. If I knew this was the last time I would hear his voice, no matter what, I would have been there to meet him.
“Kaisi hai tu,,,kyun nahin aayi aaj?”
“Sir, Avani isn’t well and Ayush has exams. Main nahin pahunch paayi par aapne zaroor pahunchna hai 26th ko.”
“Main nahin aayunga… tu kyun nahin aayi…..”
His last words to me. These words and his voice echoes in my ears….
Sir, I will always regret that I couldn’t meet you that day.
And then, I get a call from Saurabh a few days later that Sir is hospitalized and extremely unwell. And then, that sad sad sad news of Sir passing away….
Sir, you remain in my heart forever. I will be ever so grateful to MIS that you were my teacher.
Sir… As a teacher you affected Eternity. I can never mark where you influence stops….
RIP Sir, We all love you.