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Teaching or Sowing Weeds

Updated on June 3, 2017
Gyanendra Mocktan profile image

Gyanendra was born in Assam. He studied in Catholic School in Tezpur. He returned to his ancestor's land 30 years ago. Great time with life.

Boudhanath Stupa
Boudhanath Stupa | Source

My Everyday Journey

I ride the blue microbus from Boudhanath to Ghanta Ghar, when I have to go to Thamel to meet my old friends in Tourism Business.

Last Monday morning, I did the same. After winding through the dusty roads, the microbus reached near the Ghanta Ghar within half an hour.

'Ghantaghar.' the driver said.Soon, the bus came to stand still. And I got down.

'Chha' I said.

Soon, the bus came to stand still. And I got down.

The microbus leaving me on the on the footpath, it turned to the left entering Durbar Marga only to turn right to Ratna Park after a short drive.

Then I waited for the vehicles plying from Ram Shah Path to pass through. As it became free, I crossed the road to walk towards the north along the Durbar Marga.

The first College of Nepal. Trichandra
The first College of Nepal. Trichandra | Source
King Mahendra Shah, the legend of Nepal
King Mahendra Shah, the legend of Nepal | Source

A Legend

As I was striding along the pavement, I passed by the entrance of Jamma Mosque on my right and across the road was extension building of the Trichandra, the first college of Nepal founded during the Rana Rule.

I turn my head to the left. I could get a glimpse of students going up and down inside the campus. They seemed to be busy pursuing knowledge from each other.

Those dry trees withstanding the wintry weather along the wall were the witness who had seen the famed poet Laximi Prasad, once an English teacher there. Perhaps only a few students might know about his presence these days.

As gain my pace, I left those scenes behind. Meanwhile, I turned my head straight in the front to get the view of the statue of King Mahendra. As I reached nearer, the statue becames larger and larger standing tall and eternally looking at the south.

After a short pace, again I stood still for a moment waiting for the traffic light in the front for the vehicles to stop and the green light for the pedestrians to cross the road on my left. As the green signal appeared on the post, I walked along with other passersby.

And then I turned right again. The Wood Land Hotel was still there on my left. IMuseum on towards Narahity Musium. Once it was a palace for kings and queens.

Life Goes On

And on the next day, as I was making a round of Boudhanath Stupa, early morning, I met my dad’s friend who offered me for a cup of tea in a restaurant for a cup of tea.

After a short march towards his home, we got into the restaurant located on the bustling vegetable marketplace on the wayside. Each one of us took our seat on the chair and the table in between. Then we ordered for tea.

After a short while, a lady wearing Sherpa dress appeared with tea with a smile on her face.

As we began sipping hot tea, I could see folks getting refreshed. On the other hand, everyone's mind was warmed up with the upcoming local election after 20 years.

The Nima, the owner of the restaurant also joined us. Then their tea talk began. Nima started the show of his new party. He started telling how he had struggled to reach up to that level in politics. How he got involved in politics at an early age right from his school days.

While Nima was telling about himself, I was listening to him keenly. After Nima’s talk was over, I asked his village and the school he had attended. He came from the same area of my village.

I also came to know how he was compelled to join communist force while in the school. As he grew up he became a Maoist commander for his village.

Past Makes Our Present

Then I became more curious and I tried to dig out more about him.

‘Do you know Sabin from Samudratar?

‘Sabin was my class friend.’ He replied.

‘The army had killed him.’ He said.

‘On that fateful night, he was asleep in his bed on the 2nd floor. He came to know of the army had already rounded his house. Instantly, he jerked from his bed and jumped out from the window to escape.

‘As he landed on the ground, the army nabbed him by his collar. He could not run away. They informed his parents that he would be taken for interrogation.

‘The next day his dead body was found lying on the bank of the river further down from his village.’ He told. His face looked intense.

Look for opportunity to grow

A student found my key
A student found my key | Source

Face the Challenge

I was not surprised to hear that. I had known about the event long before.

I asked him if I could be useful to him.

‘If you want to soar higher and higher not only in politics but also in life, you should learn English’ I suggested him.

While looking at his face, I imagined myself that one day he could see the world through the English words. He could read Guffadi in Kathmandu Post every Saturday. But I left on his decision to choose for the change.

Nima agreed to learn English. But he said he would after the local election were over.

As agreed upon, the following evening, I sat on his motorbike and Nima drove to find the English teacher’s home in Maharajgunj. Unfortunately, we found the English teacher’s gate locked.

Learning For Life

Way back in 1992, I worked in my Tourism office in Thamel during the day. In order to supplement my income, I spent my time tutoring the kids at my rented flat in the morning and in the evening.

Some children came in the morning, some in the evening. Obviously, their mind being serene and supple, they learned fast.

Besides those kids, Sabin, a college dropout who had repeatedly failed in his English paper had attended my class. His turn was after the kids were gone home. His wish was to pass through the college examination at any cost. Before taking him in, he had agreed to study hard.

He was tall and thin, carrying always a mild smile with spectacles resting on his hooked nose.

Talents are to share, not to bury them


Get into the Self

In order to help him drive his attention back to learning and stay focused on his dream, I repeated the words of the previous class and made him read the same passage aloud, and explain the meaning of those words again.

Concentrate! | Source

The Wandering Mind

After the end of the month, the notebook was filled with words he did not know. His mind was flooded with politics only. Those events he had been through right from his childhood had left a deep scar on his mind.

He used to share with me in between the gap during the class.

‘Sir, I lifted up my friend, he slung the garland of shoes on the statue of the king….. ta ta ta tra…..!The noise came from behind. The bullet got my friend and he fell down. The mob had run for their lives. I too dashed towards the hotel on my left leaving my wounded friend behind.’

Give me strength!
Give me strength! | Source

Ward Off Weeds

‘Teachers had planted weeds in his mind when he was supposed to explore knowledge?’ I thought to myself.

And the night fell. After having dinner, I went to bed quietly.

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Should a teacher use the students' mind for his/her own narrow political gain?

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Kathmandu, Nepal


Submit a Comment

  • Gyanendra Mocktan profile image

    gyanendra mocktan 7 months ago

    Thank you Saila Shesadiji

  • ShailaSheshadri profile image

    ShailaSheshadri 7 months ago from Bengaluru

    Good article.

  • Gyanendra Mocktan profile image

    gyanendra mocktan 7 months ago

    How to wake up their student's brains is possibly the greatest challenge. And the avoid shutting them down is another talent which the rarest gift in a teacher which I have found rare a teacher in my part of the world. But I am optimistic. Changes are taking place gradually.

  • Kathryn L Hill profile image

    Kathryn L Hill 7 months ago from LA

    Do you think teachers, in general, know how to wake up their students' brains and try to avoid shutting them down?

  • Kathryn L Hill profile image

    Kathryn L Hill 8 months ago from LA

    One cannot learn when the mind is all balled up. You wrote,

    "Obviously, their (the children's) mind being serene and supple, they learned fast."

    Thank you for a very intriguing, interesting and revealing article.