Back in 2013, I had arranged my most daring meeting of all time. Except that it was just between two folks. I always wanted it to be executed and there I was welcoming nervousness as I began to pick up the right words before confronting him.
In my Alma mater, the rule states that the designated school prefect should be a House Representative of at least one of the eight houses. After my short stint in Kanchenjunga House, I moved to Nilgiri House to look over the house affairs. It was mine and Sawal’s responsibility to take the challenges that the house members (boys from classes 7 & 8 ) were facing and share the solutions to the challenges. They could share about dining hall issues, academics problems, eve teasing, incomprehensible lectures from class teachers or ask for suggestions to implement inside the school on any areas. Most of these issues were common in their age groups and my friends from similar positions in other houses reported the same which could be solved through a group discussion. But there was one problem that even I had experienced when I was of their age: the inability to talk to your teacher regarding his certain acts that really bothered us because we feared that pinpointing senior’s mistakes was a heinous crime. For me, that attitude never came across my head after I talked to Mr. Parshu Narayan Chaudhary (Head of House of Nilgiri House).
I remember when I asked for some of his time to discuss on some issues raised by the house members. He gladly called me after 1st supper. I reached there at 1820.
“Welcome, Manasbi,” my optional mathematics teacher from 2008-2011 greeted me.
“Good evening, sir!” I wished him, “May I come in?”
“Yeah, do come in.”
I entered his HOH’s room calculating the anxiety that had built up within me after he answered the bell ring.
“We conducted a house meeting with the brothers and noted some issues that had to do with the house administration. But first, I would like to say something.” I briefed the purpose to my teacher.
I slowly began to let go of the fear inside me. The fear that it is untolerable for someone way senior than you to make someone else pinpoint some of his fallacies. The fear that it is better to keep your mouth shut than speak something unwelcoming to the senior. The fear that a student should first examine where his experiences put him before he judges his teacher.
When I wasn’t a prefect, I thought that the house representative’s role to quietly analyze the issues rather than taking immediate action was not justified. Maybe that was why I made it my duty to take the matters in my hand and discuss it no matter the consequences.
Mr. PN Chaudhary and I talked for about forty minutes and as time passed, I became more and more open to highlight all the issues raised during my meeting with the brothers. Later, we sorted some possible strategies to tackle the issues which my teacher carried out fully. He decided to hold a meeting with the students after our meeting was over.
To be honest, I had never in my life felt so relieved. It was a joy to watch my teacher listening to some of the fallacies that his administration had. I had doubts that he would listen so serenely and feared that he would yell at my immaturity. But what I had thought were just my fragments of imagination. I reached the conclusion that even teachers can patiently listen to what their students have to say. And, that teachers are also just normal human beings like us who make mistakes and are very open to listen to others even if that ‘others’ are way junior than him. I learned that it was better to tackle the concerned authority than to backbite their problems which most of us often do.
When our talk concluded, I was proud that I carried out a task was rested upon my shoulder. I was delighted to be a part of it. Most important of all, a feeling of belonging embraced the talk. The talk was more like a father-son/close friends chitchat. I knew that next time I was to face similar situation, I would be more than happy to play an active part.
As I walked out of the room, Mr PN Chaudhary thanked me for the effort that I had put in to muster words to tackle this awkward situation. I clearly remember his words to this very day and I quote “There is one thing that I must appreciate about you guys (the whole 3000D batch). Everywhere I have gone inside the school, there is only the talk of your batch. And the kind of interaction that you have held with me is the first of its kind and is largely appreciated in my circle. The revolution your batch has been bringing is unprecedented as I have not seen this level of enthusiasm in any of the previous batches. Keep it up, guys.” His words quadrupled the ecstasy that I had just experienced.
PS: The views that I present here are solely mine and are based on a true experience. I would like to apologize for any inconvenience caused to anyone whatsoever.