What do you do when the person who inspired you, the person who stood by you all the time, the person whom you had the highest regard for, the person from whom you emulated, the person who brought out the best in you, the person who loved you, is no more?
Our English teacher, Lisa ma’am has passed from the sufferings of this world. The news has hit all of us like a bombshell. We are devastated by the news of her death and are currently struggling to accept the fact that she really is no more. When I first heard the news, I felt empty. No tears, no hysterics. My reaction was stone cold. I simply could NOT digest the fact. She had been the constant source of motivation and guidance for every single one of us. She had taught us not just the English language, but the values of perfection and commitment. She pushed us on to bring out our full potential and made us raise the bar every single time. She had laughed with us, cried with us, fought with us and had been there for us when no one else was.
I was reminded of the immense power of words when I sat down and read a poem which she had written for all of us. The stone cold facade of mine drifted off and before I knew it, I was crying. The sole reason I was motivated to keep writing was Lisa ma’am. She has developed in me an undying love for English, writing and literature. How many times have I sat in her class, enraptured by her rendition of Mark Antony’s speech, seeing the Ancient Mariner come alive, my hair on end, when she delivered lines from famous plays. She brought the world to the classroom. English class was the most awaited one. Her authority on the English language was unfathomable. How many times I have swelled with pride when she asked me to write out an article or a report for the school magazine, unable to comprehend the amount of trust and confidence she had in me. She has dealt with all my silly poems and childish articles, always correcting me when I’m wrong and encouraging me to raise my standards. She had promised me that the day I write a book, she would edit it for me. I remember telling her that if she was the one editing my work, it would definitely turn out to be a bestseller.
She was a person we always looked up to. She showered love on every one of us. She actually used to address us with words like ‘baby doll’, ‘darling’, ‘putta (meaning darling in kannada)’, ‘hero’ and ‘sweetie’. Her smile, her voice, her witty remarks, her constant admonishing, everything about her is etched in our minds forever. If we ever acted like halfwits in her class, or if we were too sleepy and unresponsive, she would make us all stand and make us do Jumping Jacks. She could write pages worth of quality material on anything under the sun. We learnt the values of perfection, commitment and determination from her.
She lit our souls with her fire. Even though her fire has flicked out, it lives on in every one of us. She is present in every word I write, every poem I bleed, every paragraph I weave. I think I speak for everyone who knew her when I say that we will put our hearts and souls into living up to her expectations, we will make her proud and we will never ever do anything that she would disapprove of. It is extremely saddening to think that a person of such high value has left us. Actually, I’m pretty sure she’s looking down at all of her ‘baby dolls’ and watching over our every step, always there to pick us up when we stumble. Lisa ma’am is immortal in all our hearts.
May her soul rest in peace. We love her with all our hearts and souls. English will never be the same without her.
Signing off because the screen is getting too blurry,