Today I received sad news that one of my favorite teachers in high school had passed away. As children, we spend almost as much time with our teachers as we do with our parents. The teachers who have had tremendous influence on us are far and few and N. Rajendran Sir (whom we used to fondly refer him as NR Sir) was one of them. He created such a ripple effect with students that there is not a day that goes by without thinking about him. I tutor Math almost on a regular basis and I owe everything I learned in Math to NR Sir. I have lost close ones before, but have never felt such sadness and grief as I feel today. I really adored you Sir, and I will always. The infectious zeal with which NR Sir have taught so many of us continues to energize us even today.
I was failing miserably in my IX grade in Math and was promoted to X with warning meaning I barely passed my Math in IX. In our school, Our X grade students were segregated based on our performance in our IX grade and luckily for us, NR sir was the assigned teacher. We weren't sure what to expect of him as we never had classes with him or had an opportunity to interact with him. He sported a big moustache which made him look scary. After I had classes with him , I soon got over the moustache part and realized that he was a wonderful teacher who was able to connect us really with the Math concepts. He used to make us do so many problems over and over that our hands used to hurt by the time we were done. I was sitting in the first row right in front of him, and for some reason he used to pick on me as well and asked me to go to the board and solve a problem. I had low self esteem up until that point of time . His teaching boosted my self esteem big time.He always used to have chalk piece with him which he used to throw at someone who is not paying attention. He wanted to do everything under his control to help out students and am thankful he took me under his wings to help me understand appreciate and enjoy Math to the fullest. I moved from barely passing in IX to being top of the class in his tests. I never had the passion to be the first or anything but getting a pat in the back meant a lot to me . I remember few tests which I didn't do too well, He was very angry at me and I was mad at myself for not giving my best and made sure I didn't slack off after that. He was eminently fair, honest to the point of bluntness, ever helpful, but would brook no nonsense that would disrupt his classroom routine. NR sir always exhibited extra bit of life in whatever he did and had the rare capacity to instill some of that in others he met.
I fall short of words to express my grief on the sad demise of our beloved NR Sir. I am what I am today only because of him. The right way to pay tribute to him is to face this news boldly and go ahead and do a great job as his student and carry forward his legacy.
I hope his family can take solace in the fact that such a great man is surely looking down on them from the highest pinnacle of heaven.
Rest in peace NR Sir, you're probably lecturing God right now or having a breakfast with your Math teachers.
I am thankful to one of our seniors Sukumar Rajagopal for sharing his picture. Few years back he also honored this wonderful teacher..and am attaching herewith the video of the same (with his permission).