There once lived an old man. He was tall, fair and handsome. His warm smile and the sparkle in his eyes instantly lit up even the most somber of people. He looked frail, even from my early memories. He is my first teacher.
There once lived an old man. He taught for a living. I learnt my first rhymes and songs from him. I also learnt about animals and birds, plants and flowers. He taught me my manners and disciplined me. Most importantly, he taught me the power of a prayer. He is my first teacher.
There once lived an old man. He was an epitome of selflessness. Kindness and compassion were always visible in his eyes, always; until the moment they shut permanently. Every living soul he encountered was treated with atmost respect. ‘There is a God within each one of us’ he would say. He is my first teacher.
There once lived an old man who read to me on most evenings. Many a cold evenings were spent in the warmth of his embrace. Those evenings are the fondest memories from my childhood and it is in that cozy room of his, that I learnt many a life’s lesson. I was special to him. He is my first teacher.
There once lived an old man who braved Parkinsons and wobbly limbs to pay me regular visits in my boarding school. ‘I am proud of you’ he would say, after a short meeting with the head of my alma mater. He is my first teacher.
There once lived an old man who turned out to be my biggest mentor through my adolescence. ‘Remember no matter the height of the tide, your strength will help you sail through’, he would say. I looked onto him as my role-model. He is my first teacher.
There once lived an old man, who always reminded me to stand by my ideals. ‘You are a woman; people are never going let you grow. You will be expected to do things beyond your competence. Don’t give in. You are precious. When you believe in something, stand up for it’, he once advised, shortly after I entered college. He was my philosopher who was far liberal for his times. He is my first teacher.
There once lived an old man whose intellect slowly deteriorated as days progressed erasing the memories of his life completely lived. Through the many bouts of forgetfulness, his lessons deluged. ‘You all are not here to live in another man’s shadow. No man on earth is worthy of a woman’s sacrifice’, he once mumbled to a group of his descendants. He is my first teacher.
There once lived an old man who breathed his last with the infectious smile still on his lips. However, he failed to fathom his memories would forever haunt his youngest and favorite grand-daughter. He is my first teacher and forever will remain my demigod.