Aparna Bisht, a final year M.Sc. Physics student at NITK Surathkal, is the winner of Internshala Guest Article Contest organised on the occasion of Teacher’s Day this year. Below is her article on “The person who taught me best”.
There is no denying in what Alex Haley said, “Nobody can do for little children what grandparents do. Grandparents sort of sprinkle stardust over the lives of little children.” Yes, he was my shining star and forever shall be.
I don’t remember being born in a cradle beside my mother. I don’t remember her lullabies. I don’t remember being carried around my dad’s shoulders. I don’t remember the warmth of my biological parents’ laps. These are not symptoms of memory loss. These spaces have been overfilled by my grandfather. My mother-father-guide-mentor-MY LOVE!
My grandfather retired from the Communications Department of our Police Force a few months before my birth, so I became his prime occupation. I vividly remember the numerous afternoons that I spent lying cross legged on his cot and sucking at my milk bottle. He would then sing me to sleep. I remember being carried around the marketplace on his shoulders and being the centre of attraction for the well acquainted shopkeepers. I remember the harsh winter days when he would make me snug by burning coal and wrap me up in his fur coat. I remember the first day of school when holding his finger I entered the portals of my kinder garden, he was equally nervous as I. I remember him waiting outside my classroom with a smiling face after the school got over every day.
His memories are the essence of my childhood happiness. He was a perfectionist, very particular about the size and shape of all alphabets that I registered on my homework pages. He would make me practice writing alphabets numerous times before I finally wrote them down in my fair notes, in nursery grade! I was not given a sharpener in my pencil box kit. He sharpened the pencil lead each day with a knife. My pencil was tied with a twine to my pencil box so that I may not lose it. By the time I reached first grade, I was thorough with tables till 20!
He was a versatile craftsman. He could repair transistors, clocks, watches, worn out shoes, clothes, washing machines, umbrellas! He had prepared a red coloured antiseptic solution that was the first thing we looked forward to after getting hurt. He was indeed resourceful. The best thing that he has taught me is to value the small things in life and to be organized. He walked an extra half mile to procure a dozen eggs at one rupee less. He daily calculated his expenditure of the day religiously. The clocks in our house still have the small chits that he pasted on them after a new battery would replace the old one, stating the date!
Indeed my craving for perfection, my penchant for seeking happiness in small things, my belief on thoughtful spending and my ideas of life, I owe them to him. His lessons on practicing moderation in life are the best lessons that I learnt in my formative years.