A mentor or a guide.
However you may address them. I’m sure all of us have one or more of such people in our life who guide us in our toughest times just like a sliver of light on the darkest paths.
Fortunately, I’ve had a few mentors in my life who have actually help me understand the real me and offered a helping hand everytime in need.
“Who is your favorite teacher? ”
A pretty common question that we have heard more than once. For me, after my mother, it’s always been Mrs. Anjali Nath, my English teacher at school. Of course, English teachers are always the best.. ☺ Being in their good books.. not that easy..
She was one a kind. I’ve never met someone like her again in my life.
Given that my class was small in number, it was still difficult to impart individual assistance to each and every student. That’s exactly what we all need at some point or the other. She was the one who attended to this need of all the students. Being one of the those who spoke very little, I attracted a tiny teeny bit of extra attention from her (which I actually enjoyed a lot..☺).
Not only was she good at appreciating one’s capability that set them apart from others, she was quicker to identify their weakest spots and repairing them without making you feel the slightest pinch of inferiority. It was because of her that I realized her the pleasure I enjoyed in writing. She was the first one who appreciated and recognized my interests and efforts. Apart from boosting my morale, she made me realize that there was something in me to be proud of.
Unfortunately, my public speaking skills weren’t as sharp as my writing. I confined myself in a large nutshell. But then, she never gave up until she broke down my comfortable shield. Occasionally, she came up with some creative ways to get me started. I still remember, back in my 6th grade, when she called me up to the front and expected me point out the strengths and weaknesses of a fellow classmate. Although I was taken aback, I was surprised at myself when I was able to do it the very next time. That’s when I realized how important was it to communicate.
Given an opportunity, I never volunteered to answer any of those open ended questions in the classroom. She once said, “Although you never answer them, that slight twinkle in your eye that appears while you listen to an answer, appreciates the speaker more than anything”. Adding value to all those little gestures and actions, no one could do it better than her.
She once described me as a sponge. Yes! a sponge!
“Mrudula, you are like that sponge sitting in the corner. Although you rarely open up, you have that capacity to absorb anything and everything that comes your way”.
That was the magic she could create with her words. That knack of understanding a person in and out, as well as catering to their needs and offering a shoulder to lean on in your difficult times. That’s what set her apart from all the others.
The most beautiful stroke of luck or a blessing in disguise. I’m not sure what can describe her presence in my life. But yes, she will always remain as the best guide who shaped me into a better personality.
Although it’s a bit delayed, I would like to wish all the women out there, a very Happy Women’s day. To all those women who have influenced someone’s life, thank you, for being who you are.