Mrs Davis and her bodyguard

Mrs Davis and her bodyguard

Representative image. Credit: Pixabay Photo

A long time back, when Raj Kapoor’s Indo-Russian venture Mera Naam Joker was released, we went to see the first show on the first day with our son, a grade one student, and daughter, in kindergarten. The next day, I noticed my children talking conspiratorially. My son was nudging his sister to tell me something he seemed hesitant to say. When asked, he simply shook his head, while his sister merrily blurted out, ’Bhai ko pyar ho gaya’! I was stunned and equally amused at this confession. Upon being coaxed, he told me very earnestly that like Rishi Kapoor in the film, he too was in love with his teacher. This teacher of his happened to be a dear friend of mine and a colleague. Parents used to line up early in the morning during Admission every year vying for her section. She was the epitome of grace, affection, patience and a very popular teacher. She had a fitting name too― Grace Davis!

One day as I was teaching in my class, I was thoroughly perplexed to see Mrs Davis heading to the principal’s chamber with a big register in hand and my son in tow. He was a teacher’s pet, so a visit to the principal seemed quite strange. I waited eagerly that evening for my son to return. When quizzed, he revealed that his teacher was scared of going alone to the principal, so she was taking him as her bodyguard! Not long after, all we teachers learnt the truth behind this― the naughtiest in class used to be her bodyguard always. Her company would ensure the unmanageable antics of the naughty ones were effectively put an end to. We couldn’t help but salute her cleverness!

Mrs Davis was one teacher whose scale never touched a child. It was her disappointment that was considered the greatest punishment by her pupils. Their love for her extended to her outfits too, which though simple, were elegant and impressive. Even when my daughter became her student the same kind of adoration and hero-worship continued. During Christmas, the tiny-tots would give their teacher hand-made greeting cards and would yearn for their favourite time of the year, where she unfailingly directed them in a merry performance on the Annual Day.

One could see a flower from them on her desk every single day. Today though, those flowers line her grave, where she rests in peace. In heaven too, I think she must be a teacher. To all those little angels, including my son--her ardent fan, her favourite bodyguard.