I was attending Wonderleaf Club session hosted on the occasion of Teacher’s Day. Ahanna, a sweet 9 year old, was hosting and she asked me about my favourite teacher. This tickled my memory and took me back to the time when I was six and I fell in love for the first time.
Sitting on the short school table chair, I was struggling to copy from the board. She was rubbing off what there on the board, I was lagging behind, I hadn’t completed copying it. I looked up and froze. There stood this beautiful lady, tall, slender with long thick plated hair reaching way below her waistline, wearing a blue, flower printed saree. She stood facing the blackboard, scribbling away.
I called out to her. The lady came by my side and looked at my notebook. Seeing how flustered I was, she said, “You need to write quicker.” Mesmerized by her smile, her hair, and her kindness…I was floored and didn’t know what to respond.
Swooning over her, I never again made an excuse about not going to school. Furthermore, my brother, 10 years older than me, was now always ready to drop me to school. Chest bursting in excitement, every time she looked at me or came over to speak to me. Never knew I was in love. I wish she knew.
What all we do for love
My memories of her very vivid. One weekend, I wanted to meet her so badly that I pursued my parents to find her home, like right now! As a result, my parents and I set out. We searched for her home, walking and enquiring at every street in the vicinity of her home and we finally found her home. And we rang the bell and waited. My heart raced and my knees grew weak in anticipation of that moment she would open the door. And she did! Happy and shy, I rushed to hide behind my mom. Blushing and embarrassed, I just won’t come out of hiding. Oh! I just loved this woman. I was all of 6 years old and 3 feet high.
The time passes by but the love remained
Soon years passed and I had a change of class teacher. I missed her, she made me happy. Memories of her were very deeply etched in my mind.
Time went by. About 30 years from then, I was on a trip to Bangalore from Chennai. As I was driving through the streets of Bangalore, I noticed a woman, she looked familiar. Driving a little ahead, I stopped my vehicle, stepped out, and jogged towards her. I called out in excitement “Rathi Ma’m alle?” (Aren’t you Rathi Ma’m). She stopped walking, turned around, and looked at me for a bit. Growing impatient, I asked her, “Do you remember me?” And she waited another few seconds and she said, “Jim Paul”?
It just hits you, when you know that you are memory so deeply etched in her heart too. I was dear to her and I was in love with her.