With Immanuel Suresh (picture by Subhrajit Ghosal) at National Institute of Design Convocation 2017, and Helena Perheentupa in Helsinki in 2012

Parents are any child’s first love and then come teachers. If parents teach you how to stand and how to walk, teachers show you in which direction to walk. In the years when you are just becoming an adult (in college), teachers go much beyond their role as educators. They become your friends, your mentors, your sounding boards; you pick and choose pieces from them and make them a part of your personality. Good teachers teach you effortlessly; it’s a pleasure to be in their company and you learn without realizing. 

I guess that’s true for anyone who influences you at that tender age. I was surprised to learn that teachers could be your age, or close to your age, and you could learn from them and also relate to them as equals. This was also the culture at NID at that time. We never called anyone Sir, or Madam – everyone was called by their names. It’s highly awkward initially, since you confuse your respect for them with how you address them, but soon you learn the distinction. You learn that people need to earn your respect with their knowledge and your affection by their behavior. This helps you judge people in life and brings a kind of disenchantment for titles, age and other superfluous things that people bother about. 

And when teachers go they leave a huge void, which is indescribable, no matter how you think. You don’t know how to react or respond… no one does. You know this will happen again and again and all you can do is just promise yourself to be in touch with those who are here and now. Love and affection causes pain. But we are human and we have to endure this pain. 

Sudhir Sharma, Editor-in-Chief

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