Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Remembering a teacher

If history was a subject that I never worried about in secondary school, it was all because of Velmurugan sir at Mani Higher Secondary School, Coimbatore. It is a long long time since I passed out of that school, but the memories remain like the Cheshire cat grin. When I first joined that school, the name Velmurugan was quaint to me (the first time I heard that name ever) and somehow by the way my classmates pronounced it, I thought his name was 'Belpuri sir'. For a few months, I was so intrigued by the name even though I knew that the name must have been wrong. :-) I was too shy to ask others what his proper name was. :-)

His classes used to be generally in the afternoons, typically the post lunch periods. He never used to look at the book for history, but would start off from where he would have left in the previous class. No books from the students would be open during the class. He was a wonderful story teller with a soft spoken voice and used to have us spell-bound by his description of Indian empires ranging from the Mughal, Chalukya, Chera, Chola, Pandya, Pallava, Rashtrakuta, Vijayanagara, Satavahana etc. Then came the British, the French, the Dutch and the Portugese and the saga of Indian Independence and the two world wars. Dates and names used to flow effortlessly from him with a narration that visualized what might have happened in that time period.

His geography classes used to be drab, but I remember him for his command of history. I missed History and Geography very much when I moved into 11th standard and to a different town as well.

I am out of touch with Coimbatore with rare visits. I still swell with pride on hearing the school name. Velmurugan sir must have retired long ago. Wherever you are, sir, this is my humble way of saying a big "Thank You" for you being a piece of my history.


Annam said...

school life really a jolly life:)

Annam said...

lifela neenga oru varalaru padaipeenga Raam:)

RamMmm said...

அது எவ்வளவு jollyன்னு வெளிய வந்தப்புறம் தான் தெரிஞ்சுது. :-o. varalaaru padaikka ellaam vaendaam, aedho irukkara varaikkum nalla irundhaa seri.

Swaram said...

Wow! Someone who makes a history class, rt after lunch @ that, interesting should be a very nice teacher :) Nice, warm post :)

Btw, I dont understand why history classes r usually after lunch :P

RamMmm said...

He was a really good teacher. Sometimes the "end of period" bell would be a distraction. I have never seen him bark at students or hand-out corporal punishment. (no student rights then anyway :-D. With some teachers, it was fun-o-fun. Caning on the palms/slaps/stand-on-bench/stand outside/chalk-shots. Girls used to escape with only verbal form of punishment)

The sleepers would sleep anyway in the class. :-)

History classes are after lunch to enable you to sleep and relax. :-) After all, history is usually never drab unless you make it.

zeno said...

avarukku phone pottu kekka vendayathu thana neenga verum "puriya" illa bel puriya nu?

managers pathi elam eppa ezhuduvinga?

Srivats said...

THis story has made me so nostalgic, There are sirs and teachers have made our life in simple ways and its hard for us to forget what they have done. I have lost touch with all my teachers, and would be glad to say hi to all of them.

Post lunch session thukkam varama ketrukeenga super! :)

RamMmm said...

@zeno: Oye, avuru nalla manishan pa. appadi ellam thondharavu panna koodathu. Appuram ennai aedhaavadhu vambula maati vidalaamnu paakkara. ezhudharaen oru naalaikku managerungala paththi. :-)

@Srivats: Same with me as well. I had some amazing teachers in 11th and 12th and in college. I just keep thinking that once I go to Coimbatore or Madurai, I'll drop by, introduce myself and see where that world is at, but it is not happening. :(

Uttara said...

Can understand.Same thing happened with my Ex-HOD. Certain people are very special and very gifted as teachers. Oh wait up, this is the guy we all loved,

RamMmm said...

Nice short talk by your ex-HOD Uttara.

Not to sound clichéd, but there is a quote on teachers that goes like this, which is more or less true. 'A Teacher is like a candle that burns itself out so that the rest of the world can see light'.