Small wishes

The other day, I wished for a moment I was a photographer.

Swollen, dark grey clouds were moving, attempting to eclipse all light that remained after the sunset. They came to a halt above two trees whose branches were seeking to meet each other. On these branches, I saw some birds perched on the edge, ready to take flight. As the clouds framed the trees, five birds took off into the sky which waited for the downpour with a hushed silence. In that second, I wished I had with me the ability to capture beauty, and preserve it for posterity.

***

Another day at work: working for a professor has its perks. One of the students called me ma’am in a state of confusion. He was unsure – what must he make of this person who looks like one of the students, yet who hands out assignments and grades them, what must he call this person who plays candy crush on her phone in class, and laughs when the students give her vague reasons as to why they were absent on the day of the test. But I cannot deny the small pleasure I felt when he addressed me so, and I wished for a moment I was a teacher.

Everyone has a favourite teacher and a favourite teacher story. My English teacher, Mrs. Nilina, who was the first person to give me a sense of confidence about what I wrote, and who made me look forward to her class every single day. I wish I could tell her how much I love reading, and how I feel a headache coming on if there’s a half-read book lying about on my table, and that I was her fan for the longest time. My History teacher, Mrs. Anita, who told us stories in an unparalleled way. In her words, I lived during the First Sepoy Mutiny of 1857, I watched the temples of the Cholas being built, I rode into India like Babur. I wish I could tell her the love for history she instilled in me never quite went away. My Biotechnology teacher, Mrs. Santhi, who showed me for the first time a teacher who was also a friend. She was the kind smile that encouraged me, she was the firm hand that guided me, she was the adult who was a confidante too. I wish I could tell her, she is who I wish to be someday.

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