Guru purnima, this special full-moon day
A day of gratitude and remembrance
Not that life-debts and knowledge dues can be ever repaid
Gratitude bridging many lifetimes
First remembering the parent, and both the mothers, the giver of life and the one who shaped life,
Then the triumvirate of Gods, and the Remover of Obstacles you annote as your personal deity,
And yes, the learned sage prehistoric that you trace your lineage to, somewhat reluctantly
Wondering if anything you’ve done this lifetime,
Anything you’ve ever done, justifies a linkage, however tenuous.
Remembering the forefathers, all the names you can remember
the geneline, strong on obdurance and integrity
Which you think you’ve somewhat inherited, toned down to this world we live in,
And steel backbone, to enable you to stand tall
And the other, diplomatic, which you wish you had.
And the many many teachers who’ve lit your way.
Miss Ganguly in Class 1, and that prize for being good,
What a gesture for a child coping with life events.
All the teachers you helped you struggle with the vagaries of language
And the mysteries of science
And build an abiding interest in current affairs.
Even if chemistry formulae had to be written on walls and trembling Hindi underlined
Thinking of how 5 years of school and 2 years of the pg
Were the only place you ever learnt anything,
Even if the later lessons were real-life, grow-up-quick
Lessons that repeated over and over again, until you’d get them right
And yes, the arts, colors and tone and rhythm
Indebted forever to the one who painted new vistas
Subluminal lessons of persistence and patience and doing-over and experimentation.
Hundred-eight repetitions of the *sargam*
And now the teachers in distant lands, how generous they’ve been
A stumbling, falling into the sea of verse and prose
Amazing, but they’ve kept you afloat
Sane. In line.
So yes, a day of gratitude and respect
So many teachers, so many lifetimes
Not enough words.