Teachers' Day

I have never had any regard for the teacher as sacred, none for the student as a devout. The relationship between a teacher and student eludes categorisation. This relationship is heavily pedagogical, instantly romantic, and in any case, best left vague. We are engaged in a pas de deux; the teacher displays poise and steadies the student, and the student performs slow, erratic, elegant variations. The teacher plays the committed lover - loyal in their presence, in their address, in their intention, in their concern. The student is at all costs promiscuous - running wild, experimenting, choosing from an array of options, indiscriminately, inconsistently. When the student utters a question, it is not to the teacher but of the world at large. When the teacher responds, it is never to the student, but for the future that is imminent. This forms the principle cultural model for free relationships between us, the old and the young. Our relationship has gallantry, respect, ardent love and adoration, bashfulness, reciprocal love, and wishful looks. And this is what I have shared with these two old folks. Humble as they are, today I name you for the devastatingly poetic impact you have had on my life. Happy teachers' day you pesky elders - Keval Arora, Anuradha Kapur

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