My dearest teacher from primary school in Nagpur,
left this mortal world, early last month.
'Madam V' killed a part of my personality with her,
but much against her wishes, she didn't entirely die.
She lives in this writer, and countless of his batchmates.
Madam V was poise and grace in flesh and blood.
She rapped my knuckles ruthlessly for unfinished homework,
but the medal she gave me for winning a vocal competition, has outlived those bruises.
Her eyes conveyed warmth and wrath impartially.
An average child coming to Nagpur from a much smaller town,
could've easily withered away in the cultural shock and academic pressures of a 'big city'.
She pointed at my bleak future in Maths, but urged me to sing, sing and sing.
She knew what each of us kids was great at, while tasking us to catch up with our weaknesses.
She helped a child survive. She saved the man he'd grow up to be. She saved a life.
She cut the recess of two more like me.
She sat back with us to work upon our cursive writing,
to dot our 'i's and cross our 't's.
She is every loop and slant my hand writes today.
She rivalled mom in storytelling skills...
... an art somehow related to my bread and butter.
Ma'am, too bad you thought this world was no longer fit for you,
for you made us fit for the world.
Too bad you chose to cease to be,
for you shaped our very being.
Too bad you chose to die,
for you won't die, until I do!
... Or maybe not, because I've passed on to someone else,
a little of what you passed on to me.
You won't die until that chain dies.
Teachers don't die.
Teachers can't die.