I don’t know how to address you. It’s been ages since we last spoke or saw each other. I am not sure if you remember me or not. Our paths never crossed after that couple of beautiful years spent in the class with you. But today, 17 years later, I realize that I still cherish the little moments spent with you. Possibly you were the best that could have happened to the 13-year-old me. The teens had just kicked in and I got into a new school because of dad’s transfer. First look at you got my heart racing. For reasons unknown, I still remember all about that 1st day in the class. When Principal ma’am was introducing me to the new class, the 1st thing I noticed was those 2 strands of hair slipping over your forehead trying to get into your eyes, and you immediately jerked to the right with fingers brushing into the hair. My heart paced faster when Principal ma’am suggested a seat close to yours.
Since then every morning my eyes kept looking for you. If I caught you standing at the corner of a corridor, my fingers quickly brushed the hair. My right leg instantly lifted up and slid behind the left one to wipe the toes of the shoes clean. And the left leg would follow the same too while my hands hastily adjusted the skirt.
When in class, my eyes stayed fixed on you even while talking to my friends. But the moment our eyes met, I would nervously look here and there or straight into the blackboard if nothing else. In fact, the nervous me always escaped making eye contact or any kind of confrontation with you.
But how long could I escape? A week later, Monday was the day of confrontation. Immediately after maths test, while everyone was busy discussing the answers and the class was noisy enough to be called a fish market, one boy of the class approached me with your message. You wanted to meet me at break time. But why didn’t you tell me directly? Why was a messenger sent? With a hundred questions bombarding my mind, the loud discussions turned into murmurs and slowed down into a buzz. With heart in mouth, I waited for lunch break. Taking baby steps towards you, I was still wondering if it was necessary to talk. If only the eyes could speak for us.
Knocking the door I said, “Ma’am please may I come in?”
“Come in Supriti.”
Still frozen to the core, entering the teacher’s room was no more than a nightmare for me! Gathering courage I continued, “You wanted to meet me, ma’am??!”
“Yes. I see a major problem in your answer sheet. You have correctly solved all the difficult problems. But the easier ones? You have committed such silly mistakes. You need to practice more and not be overconfident “
Since then you kept hammering me to practice more n more. Principal ma’am had suggested a seat close to yours because I was the weakest in maths till then. Everybody believed that maths isn’t my cup of tea but you made sure that I start loving maths. It’s you who made me score a 100 in maths. But alas! You weren’t around to celebrate that victory. Dad had been transferred again.
But you weaved magic in my life in just a couple of years. I owe my success in all the competitive exams to you. 17 years back I was always scared to talk to you or confront you but today I am trying to reach out to you. Just to thank you. Thank you for all the scoldings, all the motivations and all the extra efforts you put in to transform the math hater to the math lover person. Today when I sit back, I am not sure if I should address you as Ma’am, counselor, guru, idol or mentor. You have been all of that and much more. Thank you for being a constant support and I repent why I never realised it while being with you. Back then all I had was fear of you but today I just have gratitude and love packed in my heart waiting to find you.