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We had just started with our first semester of the class tenth and we were excited to learn the concepts of different subjects.
I had opted for the Science stream and was hoping to get good teachers to guide me further. My best friend Reena too had opted for Science and her aim was to get admission in one of the prestigious Medical Colleges of the country. She came from a medico family and everyone expected that she would make it in the first go.
We got good teachers for almost all the subjects. We were hoping our previous Physics teacher would be teaching us again. But a news was doing rounds in school that our teacher had fallen sick and a new teacher was coming as a replacement.
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We waited with bated breath for the new Physics teacher. We got the surprise of our lives when a male teacher entered our class. It was a bolt from the blue, as ours was an all-girls convent where no male teachers taught. It was a rule that no male teachers would be hired. Mr. Khanna with several degrees beside his name was our new teacher. We couldn’t understand why such a qualified person had come to teach in a school. Why our nuns had developed such a change of heart.
The real reason was that he was suffering from a medical ailment due to which he could not go far from his home and was only allowed light work. Hearing of his problems our principal had given him the job of teaching. He was a Physics graduate that made it easier as they needed a stop gap arrangement.
A short, middle aged man with a bushy moustache. His teaching was dull. At times he got confused and couldn’t answer our queries. The girls ragged him but he could hardly fathom that he was being ragged. He was a big fan of Newton and he quoted him off and on. He was named Mr. Newton by our class. He somehow developed some kind of prejudice against my friend Reena and ticked on something or the other. Reena was made of different material and she too misbehaved with him. She became indolent in Mr. Khanna’s class. The more he reprimanded her the more she infuriated him. It was like Newton’s third law of motion “To every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.”
Reena detested him from the core of her heart. Mr. Khanna complained to the principal as her grades were falling drastically. She had been a good student and was doing well in her other subjects but no one could understand her behavior. The principal called her parents and spoke to them. She was reprimanded in front of them. She was asked to work and follow the school rules. The principal asked her to go and apologize to the Physics teacher.
That mortified her as she felt he was to blame. But now she had to do the needful. I tried to reason with her but it seemed to be on deaf ears. I had never seen this side of her behavior as she had always been soft spoken and well behaved.
She went in Mr. Khanna ‘s room during recess to apologize. We were a bit scared at what might take place and again she may get ruffled. But as soon as she came out, she looked mollified. She looked different and as soon as she sat down, she cried unabashedly. I was taken aback but it seemed her soul was purged and this was a form of catharsis.
From the next day, she had changed over a new leaf. She started listening intently to his lectures and soon she made progress and started doing well. We were surprised at this transition but she wouldn’t breathe out a word. Soon as our term was coming to an end we heard Mr. Khanna was getting married. We were happy for him as he had become like a friend for us. He enjoyed talking to us. But as soon as Reena heard this news she was in a shock. I couldn’t understand her crazy behavior.
Then she confessed that she had developed a crush on our Physics teacher and hated anyone else entering his life. He got married and brought sweet meats for us, showed us his marriage pictures. We congratulated him but Reena didn’t speak to him. He coaxed her to break her Sphinx like silence but she didn’t. He kept quiet. Soon he procured a good job in a boarding school in the Doon Valley.
We decided to give him a grand farewell. He had taken pains to help us with our studies. He had become a friend, philosopher and guide. We gifted him a momento and wished him luck but the best gift he received was from Reena. She gave him a fountain pen embossed with her name, so he would always remember her as that someone special which she said with a twinkle in her eyes.
He was choked with emotion and hugged her. And she sang ‘To Sir with love’ in her mellifluous voice. They both followed Newton’s third law of motion-hate-love. She too was going to start a fresh chapter in life, he gave her the life lesson which transformed her.
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Education administrator at Urban Campus, Content Writer, Content Developer, working from home as proof-reader,
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