Ravi Speaks:“An Old Mathematics Teacher Gave Me Free Home Tuition.”

 Ravi Speaks: 


 Kotru-Sir was the name of the Mathematics Teacher who was around 70 years of age. He was serving in a private school named “Alexander Memorial High School”-Residency Road-Jammu. This was the school where my mother also was a teacher and used to teach linguistics mainly. She was also their cultural program in charge and conducted various co-curricular activity-linked events of the school. This was in 1976-around 54 years back story.

 Math's Teacher Depiction.


Odd Is Always Numero Uno.

I was studying in the ninth standard that year and the stress in that year for the Matriculation-preparation had already started. Those years parents would lay all possible efforts on their children to give their best in their Matriculation exams and ensure that their wards secure the best of rankings in that year. Since it was thought that the matriculation marks would decide for the future course of their wards-whether to go in for the medical or non-medical sciences to be pursued in the higher classes. I was not bad in mathematics but yes wanted a sideway extra-guide who could monitor my progress not only in mathematics but also in other subjects like science and physiology. My mother had requested Kotru-Sir to spare out about half an hour and teach me at his residence. Kotru-Sir had agreed and had directed me to come to his residence at 5.30 AM very early in the morning.

Home Tuition.

Valuable Quote.

He was putting up in Panjtirthi -near Bus Stand and I was in Julaka Mohalla-which was around 15 minutes walk from my place. So, I started going to him in the early hours and he would teach me for an hour complete and also give me some homework in addition to what I used to get as the homework from the school. It was a very big problem for me to get up at around 5.00 AM and get ready for home tuition. My mother would wake me up and I was forced to go in the morning hours to my teacher’s residence. Normally it used to be all dark even when I reached his residence especially in November and the rest of the winters right till early March. I remember on my way to his place invariably dogs’ squad near the Old Secretariate area would bark at me and run after me and I used to get horrified by their joint barking and would try to save myself from their attacks. I had a black belt which I used to keep in my right hand and the moment I could feel the dog squad following me I used to take out the belt and start moving it in circles showing them the same. This circular movement of the belt with speed would put some fear into those canines and their following me would stop and even their barking on me would also diminish considerably.

Valuable Quote.

Now, look at the irony after facing so many hurdles on my way towards my teacher’s residence-I used to get unusual treatment from my dear teacher as well. He was very nice till the time I was proving to be effective in giving a positive response to his teachings. The moment I was not doing the right sum or not understanding what he wanted to convey -he too would either slap my face or put the pencil into my fingers and press them very badly-which would give me very unbearable pain and tears used to come to my eyes. He seemed to have some satisfaction with that and I started developing a unique type of hatred for him. On one side he was kind enough that he did not take any money from my mother and on the other side, he seemed to be very harsh and strong enough to reprimand to an extent that I realized that I would not be in a position to continue with him anymore. I started reporting to my mother about his punishing me and even hurting me physically for even a small mistake which he could have avoided. She always would tell me that I was wrong and not doing his work properly and if was punishing me it was for my good only.

Valuable Quote.

Valuable Quote.

So, I continued despite all this for around a couple of months till the beginning of February and finally told my mother that I would not be going to him anymore. I had realized that he too was trying to put in all possible ways to dissuade me from continuing any more-perhaps the reason for that was- he could not tell my mother that he would not be teaching me any freer. And why should he be putting such an extra effort at such an age for me that too disturbing his early morning and keeping himself busy with me for a complete hour? I again tried to convince my mother on these lines and she too realized that he would not be teaching me like this free of cost for longer periods.


It Is About Maths.

So finally, it was decided that I would not be going to him in the early morning hours anymore and would study of my own for the preparation of my tenth standard course. Let me emphasize one thing that he was such a trained mathematics teacher that I too gained a lot from him and what I realized after I left him that I had developed a special confidence level for the maths especially-since he used to give me innumerable sums and I was just busy doing my sums of maths always. This practice made me very confident. Even in Matriculation exams it because of my lackadaisical-approach in the finals, I left 20 marks of Trigonometry and 10 marks of Algebra, and still out of 200 maximum marks I could get 160 marks despite not attempting the thirty marks altogether. This was possible only because of his hard teaching efforts and my being lucky to learn from him. Perhaps it was because of his overall monitoring of me for a couple of months during that year- I could secure 75% marks in Matric and that paved my way for the further courses to be pursued at the college and the university levels.

Mathematics Depiction.

Unfortunately, it was immediately after I appeared in B.Sc final I came to know that Kotru Sir had expired. I used to find him so disciplined that he used to do all his works himself without asking his son or his grandchildren to help him-since they were also there with him. He used to wear a Phiren during those cold months and also had a Kangri with him in the early hours under his Phiren-when he used to teach me. He used to prepare his cup of tea early morning himself without bothering his children and get ready by around 7.30 AM early morning for the school which was quite a distance from his residence in Panjtirthi to Residency Road. He used to keep a small bag made of cloth in his hand and also smoked Bidi.

Valuable Quote.

I remember in 1977 after my results were out, he had especially enquired about my marks and was very happy after listening to my results and had congratulated my mother. I feel my confidence especially in maths was ignited by him and that helped a great deal in my overall personality as well in the later phase of my life. “May God give His best to him-wherever he is-Amen!!”




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