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Remembering My Father

Updated on December 17, 2016

Respect to the Teachers in the Past

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Institution Campus Environment Now and in the Past

Recent growing incidents of violence on many school and college campuses leading to the manhandling of teachers sadden me very much. We are terrified all the more when we hear the news of students entering their campus with guns and engage in a shooting spree. But it gives me the rare opportunity to occasionally look back to the fifties only to lament how those happy days forging excellent relations between the teacher and the taught or even his parents have gradually become a thing of the past.. Let me try to relate a story in flashback.

We were then residing in a small town in West Bengal where my father was principal of a local college. Young and upright he was as much close to his students as he was strict in enforcing the rules and regulations of the institute. He could not compromise with any malpractices which the students and their parents accepted gracefully. So when the news spread like wildfire that he would be punished by one examinee, incidentally a final year student of the college who had sufficient political and financial clout with huge followers in the town, that everyone was shocked and anxious for his safety. The said student was the son of a senior physician of the locality. My father during the course of a sudden invigilation had caught him in the act of copying expelling him from the examination hall- an incident that reportedly enraged him to take revenge on the teacher.


Mother's Worries and Father's Steadfastness

The news dealt a severe blow to our family as my mother, a nervous home maker,

http://arunkanti.hubpages.com/hub/PORTRAIT-OF-AMOTHER

almost fainted hearing the ominous report. We three brothers were below teens and could not understand much the implication of the same. But as we had already been initiated to the detective stories I took up the gauntlet to give the necessary support to my father by brandishing the toy revolver at once. My father was, however, seen to be unruffled despite the hot discussions around him and he chose to ignore the whole thing, much to our surprise. Our immediate neighbors who were very close to us and fond of my father could not rule out the possibility of a sudden attack during his long rickshaw journey to his college and back. So they advised a local young boy to accompany my father for a few days as an escort. Although my father strongly resisted such a plan he had to accede to it subsequently as my mother kept on building pressure to at least have such a minimum security during such a crucial period.


A few days flew by without any incident but we could not rest assured that my father was safe. On the contrary our psychological fear drove us to a point when my mother began to have nightmares about such a portentous happening. We stopped going to school to give my mother company and muster sufficient support from our peers who vowed to give the enemy a lesson of his life time. A few of them collected stones as a standby should other materials for the impending fight fell short of the requirement.

My father was extremely popular with the students. Unlike the present day coaching practices he would sit with any student any time to help him or her in studies without charging any money. He would take part in Cricket, Badminton or Table tennis with them and morning jogging with many students was a daily ritual. Despite his very busy academic and non academic schedules he would never think twice before deciding to go to a hospital to see ailing students. Accompanied by my mother he would be seen even to visit burning ghats to console the parents of a deceased student. Thus he did not allow any barrier to grow between him and his beloved students who on their part would treat him like a highly loved and respected teacher.


Last but not the least although the worthy teacher and the physician died long back the student now is an important figure of the town and he fondly remembers those days when he had gone astray and later retraced the steps shown by his accomplished father and his favorite teacher. But the most tragic part of the drama was that we were deprived of the scope to test our gun, pistol and other ammunition at the unexpected turn of events and sudden fall of the drop scene!


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A few days later it was a Sunday morning and my father was busy in his study room. We heard a thumping noise on the stairs. As we lived on the first floor of a two storied building we felt that a few persons were coming upstairs noisily. We were scared stiff at the thought of a sinister design on the part of the accused who had planned to attack my father. As the news reached my mother she became mum and hid herself away in the prayer room in search of safety for her husband. I took a position near the door leading to my father’s room with my pistol tucked away in my pocket when my elder brother positioned himself near the stairs to gauge the oncoming activities . The visitors almost had reached the entrance to my father’s room when suddenly my elder brother gave me a nudge to immediately proceed further near my father and he followed their steps minutely to thwart any attack on my father by hook or by crook. Armed with a hand fan, scale and my favorite gun my father had gifted me on my last birthday we got ourselves in all readiness to nip any untoward incident in the bud. Surprisingly,my father, a remarkably poised gentleman,however, remained very cool and only glued to his papers and until a hefty figure fell on his feet he seemed not to care a bit. We found much to our bewilderment an old gentleman commanding the accompanying young person in a high pitched tone to immediately beg the teacher’s pardon or face dire consequences. My father was a bit startled as he was not prepared for such an unseemly incident as the student told him weeping ”Sir, believe me, I have the highest regard for you and it is only the handiwork of a few of my adversaries who have spread such a malicious rumor only to tarnish my image in the town and as soon as my father has heard the news he has advised me to see you forthwith and make amends. He will not spare me unless you pardon me,” Not satisfied with his son’s words the visibly irate father had decided to give him company to see for himself the veracity of the news. Sensing the gravity of the situation my father soon hugged the student saying ” I know my students who may do something wrong but can not cause any harm to me and if I am in trouble they will do everything to save me. So when the news reached my ears I simply ignored the matter”. Soon the physician guardian joined and quipped “ You are not only a very revered teacher of the town but also our pride possession. So when I heard the filthy rumor and sensed that the whole town was fuming, I decided to lose no time to act as a guardian of my son and defender of the prestige of our esteemed institution. We are with you in your proper administration of the college.”


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    • ARUN KANTI profile image
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      ARUN KANTI CHATTERJEE 3 years ago from KOLKATA

      I shall definitely go through your hubs. You are a prolific writer and I gain a lot reading your write ups and comments with proper usage of words.Thankyou.

    • Doris Dancy profile image

      Doris H. Dancy 3 years ago from Yorktown, Virginia

      ARUN, I so agree with you. I will be more than happy to read more of your hubs because I miss the era of respect as well. I spent most of my career teaching English at a high school (Grade 12) and loved every moment of it. Today, I think it would be very different. If you get a chance, read my hub that I dedicated to my grandmother. I think you will enjoy it. Be blessed.

    • ARUN KANTI profile image
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      ARUN KANTI CHATTERJEE 3 years ago from KOLKATA

      Doris Dancy -If you go through my hubs you will notice that I fondly recount incidents from my childhood when the world was a more decent place. Respect to the teachers and the elderly persons is now almost a thing of the past and how we wish we could bring back those joyful and happy days! Thank you very much for your rich comments. God bless.

    • Doris Dancy profile image

      Doris H. Dancy 3 years ago from Yorktown, Virginia

      What a wonderful story. There are so many students today who need to not only read your work, but also understand the power of respecting those who are available to help educate them. Thank you for sharing such a powerful and necessary story.

    • ARUN KANTI profile image
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      ARUN KANTI CHATTERJEE 3 years ago from KOLKATA

      @Denise Handlon-Thank you very much for stopping by and making such wonderful comments. I am proud of my parents who left for heavenly abode untimely. I have portrayed my mother in another hub.

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 3 years ago from North Carolina

      What a marvelous recount of your father's position and the folly that arose from his values and standards. I thoroughly enjoyed it from beginning to end.

      It is indeed a shame that the position of Teacher is no longer revered in this country, and in many places in the world. Mostly, I see the world begging for education and the children of the U.S. disrespecting their opportunity. They are clueless as to how difficult it is for other students to become educated.

      I have deep respect for teachers. Some people have born teaching tendencies, such as my father, my children and myself. Others have learned the art of teaching. I feel it is a shame that they have so many adversities that play against their desires to teach. My brother, daughter, nephew and cousins have gone into the teaching profession. It is highly regarded in our family.

      Delightful hub, Arun Kanti. Rated UP/U/F/A/I and sharing.

    • ARUN KANTI profile image
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      ARUN KANTI CHATTERJEE 3 years ago from KOLKATA

      @Vellur- Gone are those days when we had those teachers who were dedicated and caring! Thank you very much for your visit and appropriate comments.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 3 years ago from Dubai

      Your father must have been a great teacher. Thank you for sharing this story, great hub. Voted up.

    • ARUN KANTI profile image
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      ARUN KANTI CHATTERJEE 3 years ago from KOLKATA

      @Penny G - Gone are those days when we had such men of character and an excellent relationship between the teacher and the taught.Now social degradation has set in worsening such relation. Your wonderful comments give me solace and source of strength as you are truly on a mission for God.

    • Penny G profile image

      Penny Godfirnon 3 years ago from Southern Iowa

      It would seem your Dear Father lives on in the lessons taught and through the once rebellious young man who if not for your Fathers lead my have been social outcast. Today your Fathers Character lives on in the community through this man. I would have been proud to have been called daughter by your great Father. Blessing sent your way.

    • ARUN KANTI profile image
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      ARUN KANTI CHATTERJEE 4 years ago from KOLKATA

      @Felisa Daskeo--Thank you very much for stopping by and making such kind comments. In fact I am proud of my parents who left for heavenly abode very untimely. I have portrayed my mother in another hub. May God bless you.

    • Felisa Daskeo profile image

      Felisa Daskeo 4 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      Wow, I just finished reading your story and I enjoyed it too the last word. You write very well and I love the way you told a past experience that is worth telling the world. You must be very proud of your father.

    • ARUN KANTI profile image
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      ARUN KANTI CHATTERJEE 4 years ago from KOLKATA

      DDE-Thank you very much for your visit and such apt comments.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Respect in the day of today is a thing of the past, it is sad to see how teachers are treated and the changes are tremendous. You have accomplished an interesting insight of this Hub title

    • ARUN KANTI profile image
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      ARUN KANTI CHATTERJEE 4 years ago from KOLKATA

      Vinaya- Bowing to parents, elders, or for that matter, all seniors including teachers , is an important matter of the Hindus. Children are taught to bow to elders from an early age. It is a sign of submission and a way to show respect. Unfortunately the teachers today are mostly not respectable and can not draw such respect from the students. Thank you for your valuable input.

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 4 years ago from Nepal

      Hindu culture gives great importance to teachers and gurus.

      One of the popular verse in Hinduism says

      Guru is Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva; Guru is the almighty.

    • ARUN KANTI profile image
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      ARUN KANTI CHATTERJEE 4 years ago from KOLKATA

      Rajan-While teachers today are mostly not as much dedicated as they were in our school and college years, parents of the students also do not like to interact regularly with the teachers and give them the respect the profession demands. The only sufferer is the student who neither learns his subjects properly nor the need for respect to the teachers. The teachers in our college would rue the declining moral values among the students and advised us to stick to them for that would ensure the emergence of a true human being.Thanks for your visit and valuable input.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      This incident really shows the high esteem the teachers of those days were held in! A very valuable lesson here because it shows that the parents too held the teacher in awesome respect and so the students too had no choice but to follow likewise.

      Unlike today, when parents have no respect for the teacher and the students go many steps forward leading to many unfortunate incidents. Preaching has to start at home for things to change!

      Thanks for sharing this story, Arun.

      Voted up.

    • ARUN KANTI profile image
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      ARUN KANTI CHATTERJEE 4 years ago from KOLKATA

      Second Language-Thanks for your visit and comment.

    • ARUN KANTI profile image
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      ARUN KANTI CHATTERJEE 4 years ago from KOLKATA

      Paul Kuehn-I am very glad to know that you have found the story interesting.The relationship between teachers and parents is an extemely poweful component of the success of a student. So both should strive to have good communication between them which can only bring benefits to the students.Now parents teachers associations are being formed for the purpose.Thank you for your visit and such thought provoking comments.

    • ARUN KANTI profile image
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      ARUN KANTI CHATTERJEE 4 years ago from KOLKATA

      Raymond Bureau-Thank you very much for your visit and wise comments which have only enriched my story.

    • Raymond Bureau profile image

      Raymond Bureau 4 years ago

      Sometimes, I wonder why I still like teaching. Then, I see the struggling kids finally understand the lessons. I see the smiles when they get their scores back, and I enjoy the out-of-class conversations with them about the ball game or the latest movie. These things make the hassles easier to handle.

    • Second Language profile image

      Anita Rai 4 years ago

      Sorry to be so politically incorrect as well, but the flight of men from the teaching profession (and from parenting) has definitely led to the lack of discipline in schools.

      Male teachers can have an electrifying effect on student discipline that can rarely be matched, except for perhaps one nun that I can think of, whose authority was not defined by her use of "the strap", but was not hurt by it, either!

    • Paul Kuehn profile image

      Paul Richard Kuehn 4 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      Arun Kanti,

      I really enjoyed reading this interesting and excellent story about your father's teaching experiences. Children today don't respect teachers as much as in the past because the parents of today don't hold the teachers in as high regard as before. It's really a shame and I don't know how this culture is going to change. Voted up and sharing with followers.

    • ARUN KANTI profile image
      Author

      ARUN KANTI CHATTERJEE 4 years ago from KOLKATA

      Joe-Although I do not claim to be a good writer your wonderful summing up of the happening lends credence to the fact I somehow have successfully narrated the incident to put on record a few of my father's extra ordinary traits from my observation at a very tender age of only 5 or 6 years. He was the Head of the dept of Chemistry and Vice principal of the college and pased away when only 40 years. He was not only a great teacher but also a loving husband and a father.Thank you very much for your visit and such wise comments.

    • hawaiianodysseus profile image

      Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

      Arun Kanti, you are a master at recounting an incident from several decades ago when the world was a more proper and decent place. You weaved this true events tale from the perspective of a young boy while drawing us in with great empathy for your family--the grave concern for and safety of your father; the anxiety of your mother; the heroic vigilance of your brother and you, and the great level of respect and honor the people had for your father, and he for them. I was so impressed with this Hub that I am readily sharing it, voting it up and more, and tweeting it. Aloha, my friend, and have a wonderful Friday and weekend!

      Joe

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