Saturday, September 5, 2009

On Teachers' Day: A fascination with life

I cannot think of anything that Ma'am is not interested in. Be it cricket, photography, fiction, poetry, trees, crossword puzzles, classical music, jazz, handicrafts,clothes, birds, politics, travel, art, and so much more, she will always have some fascinating nugget to share with you, if not actual expertise.
Her intellectual stature and achievements are formidable. Her greatest gift to her students is, however, far beyond erudition. It is the gift of responding to the world around one with enthusiasm. Her matter-of-fact responses to the toughest of personal problems also becomes a source of strength. She has the much needed ability to reach the core of a problem, to eliminate all irrelevant side issues, and to focus on what is really important.
I don't think that Ma'am thinks of herself as a style icon, but, in her own way she has most definitely been one to many of her students. In a recent post, Kiran asks, who are your well dressed icons? I didn't really have to think very much to realise that my icon was Ma'am!
She wears the most amazing handloom sarees with elegance and grace, in both silk and cotton and even the occasional polycot in rainy weather. She has a collection of necklaces and bangles that accentuate each saree, many of them from different parts of the world, each with its own story. She has even gone and bought an expensive silk saree to match a beautiful malachite necklace that she acquired on one of her many travels, leaving the salesman quite surprised.
( Peripatetic is a word that often comes to mind when I think of her.) An exhibition of her various bangles and beads would be most educational. Many of her sarees are works of art.
Talking of art, she has known many artists, authors, dancers,actors, musicians. A visit to her home is always enriching- the paintings, books, photographs and music that abound are a feast for the soul. And talking of feasts, meals with her are always exciting: there is often something exotic from another part of the globe, or a traditional pickle that I've never had before. Our conversations across the dining table can continue long after the meal is over- we finally clear up after lunch to discover that it's time for tea. And yes, her teas are interesting too!
Teachers' Day is a wonderful opportunity to share you with all my friends on the blogosphere, Dr.Anandalakshmy. Here's wishing you a wonderful Teachers' Day 2009.


Natasha said...

Your Ma'am sounds the most wonderful person in the world. You are lucky to have known her, and she is lucky to have you as a friend.

BTW - I am curious. Which college did you go to which had art galleries within walking distance.

starry eyed said...

Lucky you to have had this Ma'am! Teachers who touch our hearts are remembered way more than those who fint-tune our brains!

starry eyed said...


Sue said...

Hurrah for ma'am! I've always loved the sound of her. :)

Anonymous said...

Since I am a fan of the handloom sari and the accessories that go with them, I enjoyed reading this even more :)

dipali said...

@Rayna M.- I went to Lady Irwin College in New Delhi-it's on Sikandra Road, with Kamani Auditorium, Triveni Kala Sangam, Lalit Kala Akademi, Sapru House, The Sriram Centre for the performing Arts, The Ficci Auditorium all within easy walking distance.

Yes, knowing Ma'am is a privilege indeed:)

@starry eyed: Absolutely!

@Sue: Yes, next time you're in Chennai you must meet her.

@indianhomemaker: Handloom rocks:)

Unknown said...

Hey Dipali I love the way you style yourself when you wear sarees . Your Ma'am must have touched a million chords in you to elicit this wonderful post to her.

Anonymous said...

What touching tributes to Ma'am. She sounds like a wonderful person. I hope to learn a little of that grace and zeal for life.

Unknown said...

Hi Dipali...This is Brinda SIngh. I loved what you wrote about Anand. Just to add to that.... what I love about Anand is how the years have made her even more exciting....she is one of the most 'open' persons I know.....she is able to see and understand all points of view without 'judgement'.... is the same inside and outside and is able to see beauty and 'wonder' in everything that comes her way. I have known her for 37 years and hope that a tiny bit of her is now part of my DNA.....

Nino's Mum said...

:) I love the sound of Ma'am, and her look and feel too!
Beautiful memories: truly time-proof. Now if I can just find someone like Dr.Anandalakshmy for Nino.

sraikh said...

She sounds like such a wonderful lady.

PS:How is the arm now?

dipali said...

@eve's lungs: Thanks. She is wonderful:)
@erasundar:Yes, there is so much in her that inspires.
@Brinda: How wonderful to see you here, Brinda! I've known her for 37 years as well, since I joined college in 1972, and I know that she's an integral part of several of the lives she's touched. The passing years have actually enhanced her amazing spirit. And of course she is part of our mental and spiritual DNA!
@Nino's Mom: That would be a wonderful blessing indeed!
@sraikh: She is!!!
The arm is waiting for early October to be released from the cast.

Hip Grandma said...

Nice tribute to your teacher.The kind only a dedicated and devoted student can give.Kudos to your teacher who inspired this post from you.

Indian in NZ said...

What a lovely post ! Does she read your blog ?