Yesterday was a very special day for me. I found a very special friend through Facebook. Thank you Facebook. From the very day I opened an account in Facebook I have been trying unsuccessfully to find my friends and a favourite college teacher. As usual my sweet sons nagged me saying all my friends would be as computer illiterate as me and I can't expect to find any of them in the Facebook. Undeterred I kept trying. Today it suddenly flashed through my thought that I was doing it the wrong way using their maiden names I'm familiar with. After all most women change their surnames after marriage whereas I was trying with their maiden names. With renewed hope I tried for the one person I most wanted to find with her marital name. Lo and behold I got her in my very first attempt. I could not believe my eyes for some time when I saw her photo in which she looks exactly as she was when I last saw her some forty years ago. Then I sent a friend request and was delighted to get it confirmed soon.
It is as if time has stood still for me as far as college days are concerned. Pasumai nirainda ninaivugal. பசுமை நிறைந்த நினைவுகள்
She had a very short but most memorable stint in our college as our Maths teacher. And teaching Maths she did in an exceptionally good way. She is only about five years older than us. So we could relate to her as if she was our friend. Those were days when a group of us girls followed her wherever she went -- to the library, to the staff room, to the auditorium all in the guise of getting some doubts cleared in our most favourite subject-- Maths. But we won't stop with Maths. Our college rules were very strict that we should talk, even outside the classrooms, with each other leave alone with teachers, in English only. But flouting the rules had its own charms.
Other teachers would pass by throwing angry and jealous looks. The librarian would send a note stating that 'your voices can be heard inside the library and disturb others who are doing serious reading for which the library is meant-read better get out of here'. We would carry on undeterred.
Once there was a bus strike and we were left with no option but to walk the 3 or 4 km to our homes. She also offered to join us upto her place. We still remember the padayatra across the Vaigai River bridge from Fatima college to Arasaradi. Yes we started calling it a padayatra and started longing for more such bus strikes. And our wishes were fulfilled more than once.The distance would fly by in no time. (As we used to sing in the college during Christmas time-- It's a long road to freedom, a winding steep and high; But when you walk in love with the wind on your wings and cover the earth with the songs you sing the miles fly by.)
I can hear my sons saying 'amma you are repeating it for the hundredth time.'
When she got married and left the college to join her husband who was employed in Bangalore we bade farewell with heavy hearts. One of our classmates went to Bangalore during vacation to visit her relatives there. She naturally visited our teacher there. We didn't have phones at home, let alone a mobile and were forced to wait till the college reopening date. And then we made her recall the entire conversation verbatim that took place at the teacher's house in Bangalore with 'once more' requests at some points.
Whenever I made any presentation at the classroom or took classes for juniors on the occasions of Teachers' Days my friends used to tease me saying that my style was similar to that of this teacher. I would take it as a compliment.
All this and more scenes both involving this teacher and other instances started pouring into my mind within no time as if it was only yesterday that they happened.
Thanks once again to Facebook that enabled me to establish contact, after forty years, with my beloved teacher.
Now my sons have to take back their comments at least partially on our generation's tech-savviness.
I shall be happy if I could contact any of my friends I have mentioned above so that I can renew friendship boast of newly established contacts with our beloved teacher.