Saturday, July 23, 2011

To Our Teacher, with Love

This afternoon as I sit for my daily writing exercise of inscribing at least a thousand words, the meaningless free-writing exercise start to take a tangible shape, the nebulous impressions solidify under the postmeridian lull, and I see before me the vignettes of the day past. Yesterday our creative writing teacher finished her allotted classes and bade us goodbye; her place would be taken by a new teacher who would finish the course.

It was an exceedingly emotional day for us and everybody was touched by our teacher’s presence. In her final speech our teacher stated that just as her students have been touched by her presence, she had also been touched by her students, and that she would always remember the faces. ‘Always,’ I cannot believe I am using it; she said we should jettison this word from our dictionary and leave a life without generalizations, since they do nothing to improve our writing.

After the conclusion of the class we took pictures and when our teacher finally left, I sensed a deep sadness in her pupils, a look of a fond-somebody leaving behind a thing she adores. And it was those slightly red eyes together with the collective algo we felt in our minds as we wished her well that made me think about the vastness of the human heart— an universe unto itself able to gather under its wooly blanket all the allotropies and homologies of mortal existence. There is so much goodness and brotherhood in the world and it takes a singular incident, one divine alchemic touch hailing from the deep recesses to transform the quisquiliae to solid gold.

I don’t mean to say that the world is a better place now than ever, but yesterday, I felt, albeit momentarily, that differences are creations of the human critical self, that underneath the death and pain and ugliness, we are all good. In many cases, however, the layers of sediments are too deep to be disentombed, and we end up never discovering the good in us partly due to apathy, and partly due to a closed-up emotional life. But to me emotions are the S and P of existence, the building bricks of my creative life. And I am always fascinated by the depth of human emotion.

It’s amazing that the people I have met only four weeks ago are now an intrinsic part of my social life. We have had confrontations in class, have criticized one another, displayed vivid evidences of the algedonic polarity of existence; and yet, at the end of the day, under the brooding light of a pedagogue, we unite, huddle and smile at a camera. I thought that yesterday I had seen the basic constituents of the human mind, the organic anti-normal part we hate to show. After the flash we all went back to our customary self, but the capture stored in its vial the truest and the unstained of human sentiments.

I will remember the goodness of these faces oft seen in the last few weeks, faces that will soon be lost in the trifle of time and the bustle of life. I agree that my differences with many of them have precipitated unkind sentiments in me; I had often opted for the negative prescription that I ought not to have been part of the class after all. I was dubious as to what I learned from my class, I was undecided on the average pedagogical exercises and their improving my writing skills. But now, I feel the brain cells are inflated to the point of bursting with wisdom gained from bi-weekly classes at a British establishment in an Indian town.

The bonds we strike over coffee or over a casual conversation have the sinews of ivy, they tie you; and even though several social bonds never bear sweet fruit and we are often forced to give-up friends or acquaintances for differences of opinion, we do remember the good ones. And on certain solid afternoons when the sky is covered with a cumulous sheet and the room smells of perfumed candles, the crop up, and you feel happy that you had the pleasure of their company.