The Teacher

a poem by Rajah Iyer S

When I was Five
I asked him about School
He said, ‘My Son, Don’t be a Fool
As you need one more Yr to Mature!’

When I was ten I asked for a jump
From Fourth to the Sixth,
He said, I hate anyone jumping the Queues,
Let it be my own School!

When I was Sixteen I sat for the Real Test
That takes me to the colleges in the West!
He cared for my Maths thro’ not my Best
I got thro’ in style to join the Rest!

He loved me more for he thought I have in store
A Mission that will make
A Khadi Clad Teacher of Rich Principles
Retirement with Books, Lakes and Daffodils!

Alas! I didn’t deserve that faith
As the Time would pass and pass
When my wonderful Teacher waited in vain
To only see that He always was in pain!

For want of Money and Comforts, you know,
Of morals and ethical Values No More,
In his own Trusted Students he disciplined,
Time would pass leaving him Disillusioned!

He was Proud that a Doctor student Jehangir
Came one day ‘Sir, I am the Head at West End, New York’
Leave alone the Scientist of our Time, Abul Kalaam, the Great
Fondly mentioned that he schooled from His Place!

But what’s the use the poor Teacher would ask
As his own Students he loved the most
Me and others supposed to love Him w’d endorse
Let him down so badly that broke his Heart!

He passed off peacefully One day at Sixty
When CMs, Teachers, Students, Ministers, gathered
Farewelled him with Half mast of all Flags that mattered
The Final Salute he got is History in Ramnad!

Passed in period is a Quarter Century and now I ask
Is the Teacher who taught you STILL in your Heart?
I say ‘YES’ to myself with tears of Crocodile
Whenever it is convenient to use him for a Mile!

I would sob and sob afterwards at Night
That the Teacher that taught Discipline and Honesty
Is not there anymore to see this Hypocracy
I sob a bit more when I know, The Teacher,
Is also My Father!