This post is for my absolute favourite teacher in the world- My Dad!
Umm..not citing his name as the best teacher for general things you learn from parents like how to live, love & care (Yes! He’s taught all that too!) but for literally being the best teacher through the years.
My Dad’s been teaching me since I-can’t-even-remember-when. Every year as my syllabus changed, he had to (read: was forced to) read it too, coz being the lazy bum that I am, I used to do just one casual reading & consider it done (..& obviously I didn’t remember any of it an hour later!). He used to sit with me before every test & exam, & do it with me.
There’s this one incident that I remember vividly. (Shruti, you might’ve even heard this one from me before). I had my Sanskrit half-yearly exam the next day & midway through noon I was busy playing with my cousins who had come over. When my dad came back home from work, he asked about what my scenario with the preparation was, I was quick to reply with a “Papa, wo to ho gaya..”.Then when he decided to quiz me with some questions; within 5 minutes I had tears running down my face & a blank look with no answers. He then took me up to the terrace & instead of scolding, sat down with me & got me started with balak ke shabd roop (ermm..its the basic grammar in Sanskrit. I had not bothered to learn ANYTHING!). This was quite some work for him too, coz he knows zilch in Sanskrit! I can still picture us sitting there-me on a ragged old dari & him, in front of me with the book, sitting on an old piece of bedding, & both of us reciting “Balakah, Baalakau, Baalaka”!
But then, by the end of the day, I had done enough to last me that exam (& quite a few exams in the coming years too!)
....That’s the kind of teacher my Dad is. :-)
And now, that I’m in his field, I get to know more & more about his knowledge n teaching skills each day. Believe it or not, questions that he says are important have a habit of turning up on the exam the next day.
There’s this other incident that is my favourite. (You might’ve heard about this one too, Shruti)
It was right before my AIIMS pre-med entrance exam. We were standing outside the centre & I was busy doing some last moment cramming. Out of nowhere, he told me that Thalidomide, was a drug that had re-entered the market recently as it had found new use in Multiple Myeloma.
**What was a drug that had re-entered the market recently as it had found use in what!!**Seeing the blank look on my face, he said, “Just remember that the drug caused Phocomelia i.e. seal like limbs,in the fetus… So it was withdrawn from the market earlier. & is now used for MM”. Now being the stubborn ass I am, do you even think I bothered with all these new names!
But then, there I was in the Exam hall & Ha! It was right there, “Thalidomide in utero causes:..” My heart skipped a beat! I knew this! I tried to recollect, but it wouldn’t come to me…(You see, I hadn’t made any effort to learn it!) Couldn’t make out what the answer was. But in the excitement, that I at least knew the name of the drug, I marked an answer (which turned out to be wrong!!)
And then in my First year Per-Univs, one night before the Anat exam, I was studying at Ritu’s place. As I talked to Pa, he said that they had a full question on ‘Arches of the foot’ in their Pre-Univs. So that was an important topic, I ought to study it too.
I didn’t. Ritu did.
Voila. The first question, carrying 10 marks was… [No prize for guessing what that was!]
He somehow has this knack of knowing what might be there in the next day’s paper! (Last year, he even got Bhavesh a 4 mark question in the Boards!! He’d just told him the thing before leaving for the exam centre!)
Okay, not only this, he’s also an amazing teacher otherwise. Never knew about his knowledge till I started with Medicine. Clinics with him are awesome. Ask him anything off-hand & he’ll explain it to you really well. (Once taught a topic in Gynae too.. :)). Even at classes, he’s one of the good teachers. Plus, he’s always there to clear my concepts of the tracts in the spinal cord and diabetes insipidus!
He loves teaching. Even if its dud students like yours truly.
In fact, he’s the one I hold responsible for me-making-it-through into Medical! He did more Zoology than me in my pre-med days. There are some things that he told me back then (like all about Adrenals on a trip back home from Jaipur), that have been helping me till this day!
Not many can boast of a combo of an amazing dad & an awesome teacher!
Am really really lucky to have him!! I’d be screwed otherwise! Bigtime!