Saturday, July 10, 2010

Paku pass ho gaya

In the year 1992 in the month of October my elder son's quarterly examinations were going on. Next day he had his Sanskrit  exam. I was in extreme  tension  because he was very weak in languages. I forced him little hard so that he could pass in language subjects and I needed more time to help him in his study - at least 2 hours.

That evening my husband returned from office with a guest. He introduced him to me "My college friend Mr. J.P.Dwivedi.............he is here for some official work." I hid my tension about my son's exam the next day and very politely  welcomed him and after formal greetings I came to the kitchen to prepare tea and snacks.

With the tea tray when I entered  in the living room my younger son Piku was sitting on his lap. He was asking him "Where is your dada (elder brother)".  Piku told him that dada was reading 'pathantu....pathantu'.  "What's that?"  He questioned. Nobody could understand what Piku wanted to express. I explained him "Tomorrow my elder son will be taking his Sanskrit exam so he was trying to memorize the 'shabd roop and dhatu roop'  (part of Sanskrit Grammar)." "Oh! he means पठति, पठतः, पठन्ति' (pathati...pathatha...pathanti.....)" Bhaisahab said. My husband told me to prepare dinner. Meanwhile Sen family came.  Every one was busy with tea and chatting.

Now I had to prepare dinner for our guest. Time passed and I had a tension for exam. My son needed my help. My mind raced - what might happen if he is not able to secure pass marks?  In the  parents- teachers meeting his teacher and his father both will scold me. Oh! forget it, nobody will understand my problem. I came in the kitchen and concentrated in cooking. My husband came into the kitchen and said "Sanyals have come, so please make another round of tea." Then he asked me "Where is Dwivedi gone?" I was surprised "I don't know, he is your friend and you were sitting with him, not me."

More then two hours passed. I finished my cooking and called everyone for dinner. I came to my kids room and saw an amazing scene. The gentleman (Mr. Dwivedi) was sitting on the study table and Piku was hanging on his shoulder. Dwivedi and my elder son Paku were talking happily. Amazing!!! It seemed that they knew each other since long.  I called them for dinner. My tension remained inside me.

Time passed. After a couple of weeks there was the dreaded 'Parents - Teachers Meeting.' I and my kids went to the school. I was mentally  prepared to listen to a lot of complaints about our elder son from his class teacher Mrs. Shreenivasan . When I entered the classroom Mrs. Shreevasan was surrounded by parents. I said "Good morning." She raised her head and said " Oh! Mrs. Banerjee...before I show you the result, would you please meet with Mrs. Verma in room number 17? She wants to talk to you."  Me and my son looked at each other. A kind of hopelessness showed up on our faces. Mrs. Verma was his Sanskrit teacher. We went to room number 17. Mrs. Verma joyfully welcomed us and said "Look!  Mrs. Banerjee...I thought that your son could never do well in languages - specially Sanskrit, and I have to struggle to give him minimum pass mark. I am happy that I was wrong. He can do excellent if he wishes so. Now you just see he has got full marks in Sanskrit.  I have cut half a mark because of his poor hand writing ." He got nineteen and half out of twenty. This is first time that he has scored excellent in a language paper.

I remembered Mr. J.P. Dwivedi said that night that Sanskrit was his favorite subject and by mistake he had become an engineer. He had taught Paku for a little less than two hours that day - that too casually - and now he got excellent marks in Sanskrit.

I realised that day, that a good teacher can make any child excellent.