I Still Remember Her
Rahul was returning from the U.S.A. He had his daughter beside him, sleeping, while Rahul was recollecting all his old memories. He wanted to meet many people in India because he was returning after a very long time. The list of people was headed by Miss Maria, his Chemistry teacher.
Rahul was fourteen years old when he was sent to a boarding school by his parents, in Mussourie. His parents were working and could not take the responsibility of teaching him. Rahul was forced to go to the boarding school and had no choice.
Rahul would hate his boarding school. He would hate to attend classes. He would neither eat his food nor would he like to jell with his friends. Rahul, who was the topper in his previous school, dipped in his studies miserably. One fine day, a fairy, in the form of human, came into his life.
Rahul was sitting in his class, missing his mother, when the Principal entered the class with a beautiful, young and elegant looking lady beside him. Rahul saw her, and there was a sudden smile on his face. The Principal told the students that the lady beside him was their new Chemistry teacher, Miss Maria. She introduced herself and began to teach. Rahul was very impressed with the way she taught, her dressing sense, her way of talking and her conduct. Rahul suddenly felt alive.
As time passed by, Rahul developed a liking towards her. He would wait for her to leave from the staff campus, where she lived, and at the same time even Rahul would get onto his bike. They both would spend some time together. One day, when Miss Maria was ill, and she had no one around; Rahul went and took good care of her. He arranged for a doctor for her and soon she was back to normal. Miss Maria had a trademark statement which she would always repeat: “Rahul, you like branded clothes, branded food and branded shoes. But you have to invest into your studies and work hard for all these. If you don’t, you won’t have any choice but to do window shopping of all these.” These words motivated him and keeping this in mind, Rahul was again the topper in his class.
One day Rahul went to call Miss Maria in her room in the staff campus, but he saw that her room was locked. He found out from other teachers that Miss Maria had left the school. Rahul was terribly depressed because he had lost his only companion. He tried to find out where she had gone, but failed to do so. Rahul’s board exams were round the corner. He was so depressed that he lost interest in studies. But then he remembered the words of Miss Maria. So Rahul pulled up his socks and studied hard. Consequently, he topped his board exams.
After his tenth, Rahul went in search of Miss Maria, but there was no clue of her. He waited in the hope that someday, sometime he would come across her. He waited for many years, but then he gave up and went to the U.S.A. for further studies.
Rahul went to Mumbai, where a reunion of his school was being held, and he thought of asking someone there, in the hope that somebody might know about Miss Maria. He asked one of his friends and came to know that Miss Maria was DEAD! She was, at that time, diagnosed with blood caner and had died within a couple of days. Rahul was extremely shocked with this news and immediately took his daughter to Mussourie.
Rahul found the graveyard in which Miss Maria was buried. He took his daughter and told her the whole life story of his life: how he was bad in studies, how Miss Maria came and taught him the lessons of life, and how he came to know that Miss Maria was no more. Rahul also told his daughter, “My darling MARIA, Miss Maria would always tell me that if you like branded clothes, branded food and branded shoes, you have to invest into your studies and work hard for all these. If you don’t, you won’t have any choice but to do window shopping of all these. Never forget these words sweetheart.”