To Sir, With Love

In this irreverent era, it is unusual to find an endearing reverence towards a teacher by students of his school. Students of Don Bosco School, Guwahati are waiting with bated breath for their favourite teacher’s wedding, writes Mohan R. Raghavan

All of us have our favourite teachers from school. But with the Bosconians of Guwahati, there is an unusual excitement while students eagerly await their favourite teacher’s wedding.

In this irreverent era, it is unusual to find such an endearing reverence towards a teacher by students of his school. Overwhelming. Why such a huge popularity for a single teacher? Is he being a friend? What is it that evokes such an interest in a teacher’s wedding of all events in the school?

Anupam Sir is either one of the best teachers Don Bosco Guwahati has ever had, or it may just be mine and thousands of other Bosconians hallucinations. He is without a doubt, the best teacher I’ve come across yet. And no, I’m not exaggerating. All the Bosconians who have come across him can say I’m right.

I won’t say he is a perfect teacher, as we humans are flawed in countless ways, but he is definitely a close second. He’s witty, charming, charismatic, appealing and young at heart. He makes almost every 40-minute class of his worthwhile. He’s beyond the modern day’s teacher. He’s a counselor, takes initiative in each and every student of his; he’s a role model and also a friend. He’s very close to his students, has fun with them and everything.

But, when he says “open your books, let’s study”, he really means it.  He balances everything so precisely. No one can take that quality away from him. Another great quality of his is punctuality. He has consistently been coming to work for the past six years without taking any leave. Not one. That’s a near impossible for we, students today but yet he makes it seem so easy. He sets examples towards his students. He’s respected in DB and always will be.

Sir’s only weakness is his need to watch every single movie that releases. If we Bosconians have to find out whether a movie is good and should we watch it or not, we just ask Sir and find out. There’s Anupam Sir for you.

Just like small children are always hopped up for candy, everyone wants to get their hands on his wedding invitation which is on the 4th of this month. Of course, it’s not everyday that your teacher gets married, does he? Even the bosconians he taught 10-11 years ago are keen to attend his wedding. Just the other day, a student happened to call sir on his phone and said, “Anupam Sir, I heard recently that you’re getting married soon? I’m hopping on the next plane to Guwahati to attend your wedding”. Just imagine the impact our beloved sir had on his students. Even today bosconians not only remember him, but also stay in frequent touch. To-be Mrs Anupam Acharjee, presently Miss Gauri Choudhary, is going to marry a great human being. She couldn’t have found a better person to spend her life with.

Anupam Sir has left a mark on the school no one but bosconians can understand. His main criteria  isn’t teaching, which is rather impeccable I must say, his main criteria is to nurture Bosconians, turn the raw materials into diamonds. He has made that quite clear during his stay at DB.

The other day, when it appeared on Facebook, “Anupam Acharjee is engaged”, the number of likes that appeared was perhaps faster than dominos. Within a matter of minutes there were about 300-400 likes. I was online on the occasion and it was a sight to see. The number of people that liked and commented within such a short span of time was jaw-dropping. I mean, millions of users on Facebook change their relationship status everyday. My friend from a different school was with me at the time and asked “What’s so special about this guy?” I told him, “You wouldn’t understand”.

Acharjee, on the other hand, says, “I am able to reach their heart. I am not only teaching them their subjects but teaching values of life. When I take a class, I also discuss issues of life, things which make a person happy.”

The news of the wedding at the moment is going viral. He is getting a phenomenal response on facebook and on sms. In fact, for a moment, he was planning to change his number. He has reverence for some of his old school teachers and he still goes to meet them. “Today, we have access to facebook and twitter and reverence can be expressed faster.”

Vikramaditya Chowdhury, a law student says, “He took interest in his students. He has his own charm and I would like even my grandchildren to meet him.” His priority, of course, is to get an invite for his Sir’s wedding.

Another alumnus Kaushik Barua who is presently doing his MBBS in Pune recalls his experience with Anupam Sir. He writes, “It was January 2002. The first day of the scholastic year and that familiar excitement prevailed among us, the newly promoted class VII students. Eagerly looking forward to our first year in a boys' high school, accompanied by an occult feeling of being among the seniors in their aggressive early teens, we started playing the guessing game as to who among the elite faculty of Don Bosco High School will be our class teacher.

The intense noise filling the classroom was abruptly halted by the entry of a young man, whom none had seen before in school. Attired in a golden brown suit, he looked stern n walked in with firm steps which was enough to maintain the requisite 'pin drop silence'. His eyes glanced at the sixty odd students. "I don't want any noise when I am inside the classroom" were Mr. Anupam Acharjee's first words to his first batch of students.

Eleven years have passed since that day. I revere Anupam Sir today as not only a teacher, but also as a guide, a mentor and a very close friend. I, and my fellow classmates from school, fondly remember him as the teacher who could be strict as well as cordial with his students in class. He shared a rapport with his pupils like none other of the same designation as his. And I consider myself extremely lucky to be among his closest and favourite students. He taught us maths and science and while doing so, updated us about the latest movies. He helped us organize our school events and helmed us through our tougher times, which often came in the form of exams. But at the pinnacle of all, he taught us to be what we are today.

The countdown to the big day begin. Even if I don’t get an invite, I will surely gatecrash. As many others will.

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Mohan R. Raghavan, a class 9 student of Don Bosco Guwahati loves playing basketball, reading novels and sing from time to time.  If destiny is in his hands, he would love to be a successful news anchor one day.