Tribute to our beloved teacher: Santosh Kumar Mahadeo

It’s been a year, Sir, since you left us to attain the spiritual realm. No words can describe how deprived we feel without you in this world. We still remember the day we learnt with much regret about your demise.

What a foggy day was 07.05.2014! It seemed as if Nature itself was donning a sad dress to bid farewell to one of her dearest sons. Sir, you dedicated your whole life to bring up not only good students but excellent human beings whom you taught to take up their own responsibilities before achieving anything else. The words from one of the weekly articles which you used to write for the Opinion section of Le Matinal are worth quoting:

‘When you can with calm indifference live joy and sorrow, pain and pleasure the accidents of destiny and the earnings of a well-planned life, you have started gaining what I call an identity. Work out character, cultivate the essential worth of living. You are not a fixity, you’re a flux, a flow of beings in which you find the world around you built into your being. Do not freeze into a single milestone. Be the road itself.’

No doubt, Sir, you will eternally remain a perennial source of inspiration to all your students and all those who have known you closely. We would like to dedicate to you on this first anniversary of your liberation from worldly life a piece of prose which one of your students, namely Minta Bedaysee-Seebaluck, had written for an assignment question which asked to “write a passage using rhetorical devices on a person, idea, or ideology in about 300 words.”  This was  the answer:

My Literature teacher appeals the most to me whenever I get the chance to write on a person as is the case at present. I am never weary of expressing my thoughts on a gem like him. I still remember my first meeting with him. His long-sleeved ‘kurta’, his old pair of ‘chappals’, his thick black moustache, his curly, white and grey hair, his mature pair of spectacles – in fact his whole appearance gave me the impression of meeting a sage, a modern sage. His voice, as deep and calm as that of a bard, made me surrender unto him within seconds. This was the one  who I had ever wanted to meet. This was where I have ever wanted to be. This was how I have ever wanted to be taught. My Literature teacher gave me not only a new perspective of Literature but also a new lease of life. Can anyone afford missing his classes?

My Literature teacher had the knack of converting the seemingly most difficult and boring plays, poems, novels into the easiest and most favourite ones. The way he explained each of these made one fall in love with Literature. In fact, Literature classes were awaited just like a lover eagerly longs to meet his beloved. They were a real relief from the bulky and syllabus-oriented subjects. How dearly I wished to do the other subjects with my Literature teacher himself! He had all the qualities of a good pedagogue: he was a joker, a philosopher, a psychologist, an intimate friend, a caring father. How can any loyal student forget such a wonderful teacher?

My Literature teacher was separated from me by the force of circumstances. I had to continue the journey of life on my own. It is quite sad that sometimes you are compelled to live far away from the person whom you love and respect so much and whom you wish to be so close to. However, the timeless gift of instructions my Literature teacher gave me about the constant cultivation of self-knowledge, about living life with full dignity and about doing all actions selflessly have all been treasured in the chest of my heart.

Sir, we sincerely pray that your transcendental journey be full of peace, happiness, joy and laughter.

 

* Published in print edition on 22 May  2015

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