‘Booker T Washington was an ambitious Nigro boy. His great ambition was to obtain enough education to read common books and newspapers!’ This is how the first essay from the first chapter of my 10th Std begins, as taught by Kunhiraman sir.
I joined GVHSS Iriyanni post completion of my 7th Std at GUPS Kanathur. During the transition period, I heard from a few seniors about a proficient, stringent and slim teacher named ‘Kunhiraman mash’. During that time, we considered ‘cane-stick’ as a symbol of ‘austerity’ and heard from seniors that he always carries one in hand as his deadly weapon! I set my mind to face the ‘most dangerous teacher ever’ and started attending his Biology classes in 8th C Std. I had an inborn inclination towards Biology as Late: Krishnan master (who is my most-respected teacher ever) sowed the seeds of passion towards science in me during my years at GUPS Kanathur. Kunhiraman sir’s lecture and narration infiltrated in to my brain and heart as well. Contrary to my assumptions, for 3 consecutive years I never had a situation to listen to even a single hard-hitting word from him. He nurtured me for 3 years with immense amount of affection and attention. He exuded enthusiasm in me to fertilize my skills. I was free to talk to him the unfiltered version of my intuitions as if I could speak to my parents. I was always conscious, responsive and responsible to him to keep up the dream-rapport which I had with him during my days at GVHSS Iriyanni even though I was not-so-good at academics. It helped me to get myself groomed and organized as a better student.
Kunhiraman sir was the class teacher who taught us English and Biology in 10th A Std. English was just another boring subject for me till I got Kunhiraman sir as my English teacher. Most of the English teachers I have seen believed in reading the chapter aloud and persuading us to mug up the para-graphical answers even without minding to let us assimilate the gist of it. Students had to use their brain as a warehouse than as a refinery! When I recall, I could listen to some teachers who taught me English in Malayalam, which resulted in implanting poor English efficiency among students including in me. But, as Kunhiraman sir came in as my English teacher, things started to change. Slowly and steadily begin to get acquainted and then familiarized with the Language. English periods were no more an ideal time for an afternoon nap. His pedagogy in English grammar was highly appreciable as he ensured that students are followed as he writes and dismantles the words on black board into white dust downward. I'm not trying to overrate an invaded British language here. But, emphasizing on the importance of this beautiful language due to it's high utility in this era.
Kunhiraman sir’s daughter Ramya was my brother’s classmate; and, Kunhiraman sir’s wife Minikutty teacher was my first teacher who fixed writing-slate and its pencil in my hands on my first day at 1st Std at GUPS Kanathur 2 decades before!
The success of a teacher lies in being someone who explores himself beyond the framework of just a seasoned tutor to one who could impart values into the hearts of his students. Followed by Motherhood and fatherhood, teaching has a luxurious key role in developing persons and thereby the society. I’m privileged to have Kunhiraman sir as my teacher and the flame of fire he kindled and gifted to me will be carried along with me as long as I live my days. Sir, you being my 'first' English teacher, let me humbly dedicate each word I wrote here to you! Happy retirement and may God shower bliss and happiness in to your retirement life.