The first and most important thing about this article is that the contents appearing here has been fictionalized to give it a story impression, and thus it is not necessarily directed or implied to anyone particularly – including myself. Secondly, since this is an unedited version, I guess, there might be some mistakes which might have crept in. But, since, this is not my primary job, I would not consider giving it a second look.
There were approximately 150 students, but still crammed in a big class room – some murmuring, some whispering, some giggling in some crude and sometimes even cruel jokes on their friends. As I entered the class the entire milieu took a shape as if the world had stopped moving at least for that moment – there was a pin-drop-silence and all stood up from their warm benches in the cold morning to which they were glued to – like for more than hour I guess. And, I was like “What?!” – “Common man!, this is just a class not an international military parade that was engaged in some joint annual military exercise – who had to follow order in succession.”
This is a daily routine for these students who are all destined to become a good doctor one day, and I could guess that everybody was working hard and pushing themselves to their limit to be one. They might had that enthusiasm that might be pushing them hard to rote, memorize and understand whatever comes their way, which I guessed might be for that D-day – day when they would have those wonderful letters before their name – “Dr.”
The unseasoned faces and their countenance reflected somewhat confused, somewhat little bit apprehensive and thoughtful, while some looked curious, which I guess might be because for the first time since their entry into medical college they got to see a new face in the faculty members. The entire environment looked somewhat overwhelming taking all these things into account– all of a sudden changing environment – which is quite obvious.
I took the microphone and checked if everything was working fine. In fact, it was a big room and I surmised they would not had been able to listen what I had to say even if I would have tried to speak at the top of my lungs. But, fortunately, the system was all working fine. And, how it could not be? – After all, it was a big medical college. The room was designed in a way that lectern on the lowest position while the benches and desks were arranged in rows and columns in ascending order gaining height which made the lowest bench and desk on the topmost level. It was designed so that even the backbenchers could be able to see the speaker clearly on the lectern.
As I began to speak on that little hanging microphone round my head, it became even more apparent that those hundreds of faces started paying more attention and the heads those were turned sidewise were then still and fixed straight as if somebody had nailed it to their neck and they can’t move it anyway – doesn’t matter how hard they try.
I introduced myself, “Hi everyone, this is Rajesh Chaudhary, your new faculty member in Department of Biochemistry, and from now on I will basically be teaching you medical biochemistry.” It sounded like a nerd professor introducing themselves in some cheesy Bollywood movie. There was no response at all – all still in the same fixed, stoic and stolid in their appearances and action. In fact, this happens when you got to meet somebody whom you are completely not that conversant to.
It even happened to us when we were students, and mostly because these moments are usually filled with mixed feeling – a feeling which says, “Apart from being a teacher, what kind of person he/she is?, “Will s/he might have some bad perceptions and image towards me if I start to speak and chat in the first introductory class instead of listening to?, Will s/he be friendly to us down the line or is s/he someone with really really bad temper who will kick me out of the class as I opened my mouth without any valid reason?.”
And, the feeling keeps on reeling in mind which is often vacillating – until you hark back to the two people (one optimistic and another pessimistic) fighting inside you. So, having experienced that, I noticed what might be going in their mind at that moment. Therefore, to release them from those shackles of so called “reverence”, I said, “Guys, I am just like you beside the fact that I have finished what you are engaged to right now.” So, stop giving me that weird look and that so called touch of reverence to seniority, and relax! Just relax!
The class broke into a sudden boisterous laughter. I guess, the phrase “weird look and touch of reverence” clicked them somehow or might be they were quick to realize their body language. They looked more relaxed afterwards and they managed to ease their body and tried to get posture in whichever they were comfortable sitting as I moved with my introductory class.
Today (Friday, April 12, 2013) I was assigned as an invigilator in the examination class room for “Chapter completion test”. Tea and breakfast were offered in a while and some of us (those in invigilation team) start grabbing our shares and start munching on it. Even today when I am offered with some food in the middle of work, I feel uncomfortable to start munching it on in front of those hundreds of students whose mind might have been wondering “God dam! Why do I have to suffer this, thinking every bit of things what I had memorized including all those drawings that I have to illustrate while they are enjoying foods and drinks sitting there comfortably?, “Why I am not there instead of him enjoying and relishing on those savoring foods?” And the mind keeps saying, “Whatever, don’t worry, one day I will also have that day or may be even days better than that when I will be in that place.”
It’s a different feeling when you become a teacher. You got to recall all your days of sufferings and tribulations which somehow fortunately passed – those examination days which use to appear to be like years during that exam duration. It’s a feeling that says, “You should be kind to students at least to those who are serious and well behaved, and its basically because you visualize yourself in their position and your state of mind during that time (few years back).
I think, it’s time to conclude it though the story doesn’t ends here. This is just short account of what I have experienced with lick of fictionalization. I wish one day it turn out to be my book – what a wonderful day it might be when there would be hundreds invitees convened to celebrate a big book launch…………… . Just joking!