I eagerly stared at the door of the classroom that morning. It was a very cold morning as the Kerala rains have never failed to arrive exactly on the day school reopens after the summer vacation. The newly stitched school uniform has already got wet and the classroom became the podium for the monsoon sneezes and coughs.
I heard about him through my senior friends who had studied in the new school which I joined for my 11th and 12th standard. On the first day of my 11th standard class, I felt as if I was eagerly waiting to watch a movie for which I heard rave reviews. Students talked about him with so much love and respect and he was the only reason to join a new school after my 10th standard. I knew his name but I wasn’t sure whether he would be my class teacher.
The first thing which I did after reaching the school was to enquire to the peons who my class teacher was. I checked the list pasted on every class room door of the first floor of the school.Finally,I saw the list on which I saw his name next to the column Class Teacher – Riyaz.K.I immediately searched for my name in the students list and my joy saw no boundaries.
I kept on staring at the door and a short man, in a checked shirt, walked into the classroom with a smile. After his first class, I agreed with my friends who talked about him. He taught us computer science transpicuously that I realized my innate liking towards algorithms and programming.
Though his beard gave him a serious look, it was just a camouflage to make students feel him as a strict teacher. If I, along with so many other students, ever had the urge to explore algorithms and programming, he was the reason behind such a craving.
It took only minutes to become his pampered kid which I still consider as a personal pride. But my heart did miss a beat when the list of students for his 12th standard class was announced. I listened sharply to the names of the students he was reading out and I didn’t hear my name. I looked at him and he threw back a smiling wink and read out my name in the end and I sighed.
He taught us only for two years as we had to move on with our lives after 12th standard. It has been ten years after stepping out of the school but his love and care for the students never ceased.
Toast to the man who taught me algorithms and programming,
to the man who taught me what simplicity is,
to the man who stood down to earth even being rich in knowledge,
to the man who stood beside me like a Father during my downtimes,
to the man who joined me like a Friend for every prank I did,
to the man who gave me all the freedom and support in school,
to the man who gave me the support and encouragement to grow up in life,
to the man who has spread knowledge and happiness in the lives of numerous students.
Happy Teachers Day, Riyaz Sir!!
No more in your class but I will be always your student.
With lots of love,
Yet another student of yours