And I Never Looked Back..
by Dr. Ashok K Chhabra
(Hisar (Haryana), India)
Although it is 40 years old event, I still remember the day when I was punished for securing merely 7 marks out of 100 in mathematics in pre-board exams of matriculation. It was customary for me to be failure in math and topper from the bottom. Mathematics always remained a thorny subject for me. Once our regular math teacher went on a short leave and another teacher Mr. Maini was assigned the task of teaching us. He taught us algebra for 3-4 days. He also explained some shortcuts to solve theorems and arithmetic problems using algebra. Till date, I do not have any reasonable explanation of his method of teaching that intercalated the basics of mathematics in my mind. I was amazed to see the change in me and my understanding in mathematics. I started solving myself not only simple questions but the complicated ones that others were unable to solve. I built confidence within a short span of 3 days. Thereafter, I never looked back. I was proud of myself seeing the result of my Haryana Board exams particularly the marks that I obtained in mathematics. I secured 137 out of 150. No one believed it easily. But I knew the magic behind it. It was all due to Mr. Maini's sincere dedicated efforts towards teaching. I still salute him because he altered my life from a fragile human being to a confident personality. After that, I moved ahead only in my life and achieved many academic heights at State and National Level.
The second episode that I wish to share relates to my Art Class. We, Sarvesh Thakur, Ajit Rathee and I were good friends (classmates). All of us were known to have creative hand in art. Our drawing teacher had high appreciation for us. Once, an inter-state on-the-spot painting competition was organized in the school. We three were assigned the job to decorate the hall and allotted a wall each. The decoration on the fourth wall of the hall was reserved for the drawing teacher himself. We worked hard and left no stone unturned to decorate the hall. A day before the function, the school Principal visited the hall to see the arrangements that we made to make the show a grand success. We also accompanied him. I was happy to see that some of my good paintings were also exhibited on the wall assigned to our drawing teacher. But at the same time, it was shocking to me when I noticed that my names from the paintings were rubbed out and instead the drawing teacher marked his name on each. I got very much disappointed.
Later, I explained the matter to my class teacher. She consoled and hugged me with affection and advised me not to be pessimistic but boosted me to feel proud that the drawing teacher has admired me and my quality of work by giving his names to my creations. I understood what the teacher wanted to convey me. I was encouraged and boosted to know the analysis of my teacher. It was a big lesson for me that gave me the message to think positive and be optimistic in life to accomplish success in diverse circumstances. These were truly treasured episodes for me that proved to be turning points in my life. Now I am contented to accomplish my responsibilities to motivate my students by dispensing the wealth of inspiration that I had acquired from my esteemed teachers. ***