Monday, March 05, 2007

Bose Miss

Someone recently told me how my blogs and stories are always about some point in time and rarely about someone. So here's to one of the finest human beings that I have known.

We knew all about her even in standard 3. The transition from Primary to Middle school was not only a matter of changing buildings, there was more to it. We had heard tales of her strictness and her love, of her collection of comic books and the year end party at her home, of her excellence as a teacher of English grammar and Mathematics, of the small hikes that she took her class to and most importantly of her approach to teaching, of changing students forever for the better. So when I was assigned Class IV-B, I knew I was one of the few fortunate ones.

The class was divided into 2 groups named Rose and Lotus if I remember correctly. There were the Red Stars and the Black Stars for your performances in the class tests and your house got points for the same. There was ample incentive to finish the test or any assignment before time. You could then submit your copy and take the keys from her to unlock the cupboard which had the best and the most varied collection of comics that a 4th grader could ever come across. Tintin, Asterix and Archies rubbed shoulders with Nagraj, Chacha Choudari and Super Commando Dhruv. Throw in a few Tinkle, Champak, ChandaMama and some other story books and you have an amazing collection to devour for the entire year. Once every week (or twice maybe) she had the last 2 classes of the day and invariably one of them would be spent outside the class room, playing Dodgeball, Langdi-choo, and all sorts of wierd games. Then there were the Samosa and Jalebi parties which she arranged for in the class room without any notice and quite frequently. Everybody loved her. She was the oldest teacher in school. When we were in 4th grade, our school had completed 25 years. So too had she and we remember the sense of pride in each of us as she was called to the podium to speak about the school on the occasion of the its silver jubilee celebrations. She was easliy the most loved and respected teacher that I ever knew. Till 3rd standard my best performance in class was a mere 69%. In IV-B, I stood second in class and got 84%, the turning point as far as my academics in school were concerned, one which sadly I could never better. The position I mean, not the percentage!

I remember the last day. The famed last day of IV-B when she took all of us to her home. We watched two movies (Deewar. Not the best movie for the occasion though! and another one which I dont remember), played games, all 50 of us, ate Khichdi , I played a few tunes on my Casio SA-1 which I had taken there and came back by the evening. Its been so many years but I can still remember it, not clearly but enough to feel it.

I still have the english grammar copy. The table of tenses; present, past, future and the perfects and the participles, active and passive voice, gerunds and propositions, subject verb agreement, clauses. Important parts underlined in Red ink. It was very much my Wren & Martin. I never needed any and I would like to think I have done just fine. The last time I talked to her was probably class 7 or so. Then we changed buildings and somehow amidst everything, I no longer met her.

She was a lady with a golden heart. For the first month she was very strict and would scold us at the slightest of mistakes. That was her style, to get her students to love and respect her. After the first month, you would never want to hurt her or do anything she wouldnt approve of. She was the best. The best teacher I have ever had, and probably one of the best human beings I have come across. Her name was Mrs. Dora Bose. We called her Bose Miss. The next time I go home, I would try to meet her. Its difficult to say after all these years what would happen but I am sure she would remember the name at least.


Shreyas said...

ofcourse you write well always...but this one felt like it was written in one go...was it?

Atish Dipankar said...

ya, in fact it was... :)

ajit said...

atish - the other movie was 'Ajooba'. Also there was Pakodas to go with the Khichdi tht day :)

Atish said...

@ajit.. yes indeed u're right.. and how the hell did u find this blog !

dsa said...

hey atish....did u by any chance studied in gyan niketan school patna...coz u share name with my friend with whom i lost touch....if yes then email me at

Tathabrata Bhattacharya said...

Sorry Atish,
Bose Miss passed away this year and I guess (and sincerely hope), her Sai was glad to have her next to Him.