The teacher who changed my Bangla totally
It was the afternoon of 10th February 2008. My name was announced and within a few seconds I was on stage to deliver my thank you speech at the “YES Convention 2007-08” in the plenary hall of Bangladesh-China Friendship Conference Centre. Oh my God! 3,000 eyes of 1,500 distinguished people were glued on me, which also included the eyes of some really eminent persons!! No way!!! I can't do this. But I had no other option left than giving the speech. And I had to speak in front of them. Guess what was my situation at that time! Though I was not that nervous but certainly under huge pressure, as I had to deliver that speech in complete Bangla.
Moreover, as this is the month of February, a month that gifted us Bangla, our mother tongue, I'm sure nobody was in a mood to hear English in the middle of my speech. Well, though I'm not so good in English, I'm terribly bad in Bangla (at least most of the people I know have this opinion), which always tends to become even worse during my speech (I sometimes wonder whether I have Banglaphobia). I was praying, “Oh God! Whatever happens, please don't let me speak any English in between my speech which will sound absolutely Banglish in front of all these people”. Ah, within a couple of minutes, my nightmares were over and guess what? I spoke 100% Bangla on the stage on that day! Not even a single word of English!! I was really thankful to the Almighty. But after Him, the person to whom I was really thankful was none other than Mrs. Nupur Gupta, my respected Nupur didimoni (in my school we used to call our madam didimoni), who had changed my knowledge of Bangla totally.
In the year 1997, the very first day when I got admitted in Aparnacharan City Corporation Girls' High School, Chittagong, I met this aspiring, loving and really caring lady. She was the class teacher in my class when I was a student of class six and taught us English. She was impressed by my academic performance. Because, she didn't yet discover my incredibly awesome (!!!) knowledge of Bangla. Though she was always impressed by my performance until the great, grand final exam of class eight, but I was the one because of whom she always had a tough time in our class. And why not, I was the naughtiest one in class; she always had a hard time to control the class because of mainly two reasons. Firstly, because of my superb contribution in the field of “Badmaishi” like creating troubles for others, disturbing teachers (and sometimes pointing out at teacher's mistakes!) and secondly and more importantly, I was simply like a chatter-box (I think I still am), as I was used to talking restlessly all the time in class! But even after all these things, she never ever beat me. She always tried her best to make me understand something that was not clear to me. In fact, though she always warned me that she would call my parents if I don't change myself, but, I don't know why, she never did so. May be, it was because she loved me very much. But things suddenly changed after the final exam of class eight.
So, what really happened in the final exam of class eight? Readers, please fasten your seat belts. Because, the information I'm going to disclose is unbelievably terrible and absolutely true. And this is the first time that I'm disclosing it to people; I didn't even told it to any of my friends! Well, here it is…in the final examination of class eight, I got only 3 out of 25 marks in Bangla language objective question and that also after taking help from others! Just imagine!! It was the lowest ever marks in that subject in this school by any student and that also in class eight! And to make it even worse, the Bangla teacher, who was also my mom's teacher when she (my mom) was a student of this school, called my mom up to show my disastrous result! Oh God, you preserved this day for me! But who knew that things were going change soon? By that time I simply became like a political hero in my school by the virtue of such a fabulous performance!
Anyway, I had to go through some really humiliating advice, intolerable comments from my friends and absolutely unacceptable looks from the parents of my classmates. But this time around, Nupur didimoni started to take our Bangla class. And what she did in class nine and class ten, nobody can imagine.
She was one of the most dedicated teachers in that school (still is), who taught us the basics of Bangla grammar, letter writing, formal application and essay writing and so on. She never ever forgot to check the mistakes we made in our write-ups. My handwriting was particularly bad but she managed to make it better. I was terribly bad in memorizing the proverbs, but she always turned the proverbs into fun so that her students never forgot them or faced trouble while learning. Sometimes I just wondered whether she had any magic touch with which she made our lessons very enjoyable.
I obtained moderate marks in my S.S.C. exam. Though I didn't manage A+ in Bangla and English, but got A in both subjects, which was not that bad in that year, at least for a student like me!
But I turned the tables of all expectations in my H.S.C. result where I got A+ in both Bangla and English! Sounds quite shocking, isn't it? I can't express in words how happy was Nupur didimoni after knowing about my result. I think this was the greatest gift I've ever given her. The smile which was brought by my result on her face was priceless. I believe many expensive gifts couldn't bring on such a smile.
Now I regularly take part in debates, host programmes, but whenever I speak proper Bangla, I simply remember her… love you Nupur didimoni, I love you so much. It would not have been possible for me to be what I am today without your guidance. My be you don't know what you've done for me, but I know what you've done. In fact, this small piece of article is not enough to thank you in comparison to your contribution in my life. I never really feel proud to be your student, but I always feel blessed to be your student. This piece is only to express that I love you didimoni, I love you so much.
( The writer is a student of 3rd year in Department of Law, University of Chittagong)
Footprints to be followed…
Teacher - the very word sketches the portrait of a person in your mind who gives you loads of course-works, plans carefully to spoil every second of your life with quizzes, mid-terms, research papers, projects, presentations and what not! Since my childhood I always thought teachers were meant to be obeyed and feared and the ones from whom you need to keep a very safe distance-always. Luckily enough, my fallacy was proven wrong when I took SOC 101 course with Ms. Gigi Asem.
It was then that I explored how a teacher can also be a friend. With her soft nature and open-minded attitude, she became one of us within a short span of time. She opted not to teach us, but to make us learn - by open discussions, sharing our point of views, making us learn to reveal our inner-selves against social stigmas and taboos of society-she truly gave our inner soul the freedom that is required to utilize our potentials. Her unique teaching method perplexed and amused me at the same time. Ms. Gigi would never make us memorize notes or go through line by line of books; she would always say “I want my students to understand and enjoy my lessons- not memorize or learn forcefully”.
I believe she was successful in her objective, we learned by heart, we got the message she wanted to give us. I believe I overcame my fears, ruled out the irrationalities, explored my inner personality and learnt to love myself, for whatever I am. Gigi Asem left for USA last year, and through this article, I would like her to know, she made a big difference in my life, made me stand upright and respect myself; Mam you've been a splendid mentor, you made us learn the chapters of life.
This article would remain incomplete if I don't mention one other of my teachers. He was a teacher who we all loved; because of his simplicity and gentleness, he earned a distinct level of respect from all his students. His untimely demise has left a deep scar in all our minds, which is never to heal. Dewan Rahat Karim (Mukul) Sir, you will stay everlasting in all our hearts; may his soul rest in peace, Amen.
(R) thedailystar.net 2008