The 5th of September. Remembered as Teachers' Day for school students all over India, but for Loyolites, it's a different take. Every day is Teacher's Day. Thats how much our teachers are revered by us. For us, our teachers were not just mentors or role-models, they were camaraderies too. Where else would you find students rubbing shoulders with their teachers, sharing anecdotes, and being buddies. (I speak for the 80s batches)
And not once did we have to lower our eyes and mumble Good Mornings and scramble away like frightened rabbits. Yes, I have seen this in another school where I had applied for Plus Two course and seeing their students doing what I had described above, I scuttled that school. That was the day I realized how lucky we Loyolites were, when it came to Teacher-Student relations.
You may harbour grudges, criticisms for 10 years while in school, but the moment you step out and join another institution, that's when a Loyolite's eyes get opened. And that gratitude we have to our teachers is timeless, is infinite! Whether it be sports, science, arts, literature, drama, economics, or just plain lessons in life, Loyola's teachers have played a major role in shaping us to what we are today.
Tom Chackalackal, an 86er, remembers his batch's 25th reunion where he got to thank his teachers personally. He says, "The sincerity and dedication that our teachers showed is beyond comparison. They are without any doubt, the very backbone of all our successes. In particular, I'll never forget Santha Miss. She is one of my idol teachers who did not give up but pushed me to get to greater levels and yes, I also owe my handwriting to her". Tom is now the Asia-Pacific Director (Manufacturing Business Strategy & Capacity Planning) of the Ford Motor Company.
Now, if you were to meet any old boy, they would all have the same story to tell. And that my friends, is the best testimony to our alma mater's teaching fraternity. As Indians across the globe remember their teachers, let us say a little prayer to thank God we got to study in Loyola!
As an aside, let me mention that Loyola has an equally popular non-teaching entity. For example, any guesses as to why Joseph uncle gets the loudest applause in a school gathering? Well that calls for another article!
As this year's Teacher's Day comes to a close, we end with a quote from Prathap Suthan, a 77er and a world-renowned Ad Guru who now heads his agency Bang In The Middle.
"Life is the best teacher
And we will forever remain
its faithful students.
In this syllabus,
the lessons are real,
and the exams full of pain"