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.