“Every truth has four corners: as a teacher I give you one corner, and it is for you to find the other three” – Confucius

Today on teachers day 2011 I commence a nostalgic trip down to my school days and write reverentially on my high school teacher Sir Amaranth Fernandes. My school St. Francis De’Sales High School (SFS) Nagpur was founded way back in 1870 a school known to be the best in the town in sports, extracurricular activities and academics. Our school motto ‘Sapere Aude’ is a Latin phrase which means ‘dare to be wise’.

SFS

Horace the Roman lyric poet articulates – Dare to be wise! Begin now. The man who puts off the day when he will live rightly is like the peasant who waits for the river to drain away. But it flows on, and will flow on forever”.

His Inspirational Traits

Teachers like Sir Amaranth are indeed rare. They not only teach brilliantly but make a lifelong impact on a pupil’s character and personality. Sir Amaranth was a ruggedly handsome and had a tough guy image – a real Master who also happened to be a Old boy of our school. I was lucky to have him as my class teacher in the final years of school. A stern demeanor belied his kind & understanding nature. In class he was always on the dot immaculately attired in a suit. He was a gifted teacher with an open mind who shared fascinating anecdotes from his personal life. It brought us closer to him & inspired us to vibe with him.

Sir Amaranth was amazingly versatile – he majestically commanded our entire school drill and annual march past rehearsals himself demonstrating to us the correct movements. In the evenings he transformed to a ‘tough fierce boxing sir’ to train our budding boxers. His class discipline was always perfect as he inspired awe and respect and the long canes kept in the classroom corner were never ever used 🙂

What Students Say

While writing this blog I rang-up a class mate and namesake Dilip a a daredevil fighter pilot and war hero of the ’71 war and asked him to share his thoughts on his best teacher. His immediate response – “we are indeed blessed to have our lives touched by a teacher

Our Sir

like Sir Amaranth” and went on about how Sir had made a difference in our professional as well as personal lives.

I then called up another classmate Ravi (always a topper) presently in Delhi who said all our school teachers were ‘truly great teachers

but Sir Amaranth was someone very special. His board work was meticulous and he taught math’s with absolute clarity’. Next was Duggy Vaz our senior and an outstanding natural athlete, a center-forward in football and hockey he too fondly remembers – ‘Sir Amaranth as an organizer par excellence be it our annual concerts, sports meet or elocution competitions. Sir led from the front. He was a teacher who stood out among all’.

A Global Mindset

Sir taught geometry – the theorems and the riders almost like an artist. His geography class was mesmerizing as he shared rare insights from across the world – a preview of the globalized world.

Good Bye Sir

Many years later I had a chance meeting with Sir who was on a visit to Pune to meet his sister. He had just retired. He recognized me instantly and met me with great warmth and affection. Sir Amaranth’s eyes sparkled with pride when I told him I am in the Army. After a long chat I saluted Sir Goodbye – that’s when he blessed me.

Sadly Sir passed away a few years ago – leaving with us ex-students his ideals and his vision.

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About dilipnaidu

An open mind! Love to share my thoughts and a keenness to learn. An engineer and a MBA I had a wonderful innings in the Army and later moved to consultancy and teaching. My current interests are reading, music, growing culinary herbs, playing golf and yoga. I am serious on "Living life less seriously". A warm welcome to you be well and be cheerful always.

21 responses »

  1. girish says:

    I Thank you from the bottom of my heart for you being a versatile with lots of Godly qualities and this article has an impact on my mind that how sir Amarnath has had a positive change in your life.

    With least exaggeration I wish to say that you are our wonderful teacher from whom we learn tremendous good things from your abundance of knowledge , a humble and legend person with many qulities we wish to imbibe from you.

    Thank you sir,

    With deep regards,

    Girish kohli

    Like

  2. Every student should be lucky enough to have a teacher like him at least once in their life. What a wonderful tribute to a special man.

    Like

  3. Navin Kumar says:

    Respected Sir,
    “Guru Gobind dou khade kaake lagoo paaye, balihari Guru aapne Gobind diyo bataaye”, a popular couplet by Kabir which desrcibes the importance of a teacher in our lives. After parents it is the teacher who instills the right values in a child.And as we grow up we learn almost every essential life skill from our teachers.

    Strategic Management was quite an alien subject for me before I started attending your classes. We all learned the nuances of SM almost effortlessly under your guidance.Again SHRM was also taught by you in a very lucid manner. Couldn’t have agreed more with Kamini & Reshma that your style of teaching is DIFFERENT and you really inspire your students to learn.

    I consider myself fortunate to be your student.
    Happy Teacher’s Day Sir!!

    Like

    • Dilip says:

      Dear Navin,

      Great to read the thoughts of the mystic poet Kabir… my sir in this article highlights the values he instilled in us.

      I acknowledge your kind words with humility and reiterate that its students like you overlook my human inadequacies in class room.

      Thanks friend!

      Like

  4. Geetha says:

    Dear Sir,

    Col. Ajay’s wonderful comments and your reply to him prompt me to recollect what Harry Emerson Fosdick had said:

    “A person completely wrapped up in himself makes a small package… The great day comes when a man begins to get himself off his hands. He has lived, let us say, in a mind like a room surrounded by mirrors. Every way he turned he saw himself. Now, however, some of the mirrors change to windows. He can see through them to objective outlooks that challenge his interests. He begins to get out of himself – no longer the prisoner of self-reflections but a free man in a world where persons, causes, truths, and values exist, worthful for their own sakes. Thus to pass from a mirror-mind to a mind with windows is an essential element in the development of a real personality. Without that experience no one ever achieves a meaningful life. ”

    Your students and we, the visitors to your blog, are indeed fortunate to learn from you!

    Thanks and regards,

    Geetha

    Like

    • Dilip says:

      Thanks Geetha for appreciating Co Ajay’s reply. Harry Emerson’s illustrates the same truth imaginatively for all to understand.

      I am so glad that you have placed this profound statement in this post.

      Thank you very much,
      Best regards

      Like

      • suhas says:

        Hi,
        Read your impromtu, detailed & excellent write up @ an old teacher.
        Good teachers only fade away & you remember them suddenly, as if
        he was teaching you yesterday.
        Well done.. I can imagine the respect he commanded.

        Suhas

        Like

  5. Col brar ajaib singh says:

    dear dilip, it is wonderful to remember how we are shaped in our life by various teachers. right from the mother to different teachers and professors as well as our leaders in the army as well as civil life. you continue learning throughout your life. it is wonderful to be open for freshnes to enter us through all possible doors and windows. our beautiful exisitance provide marvelous opportunities every moment. we need to keep our eys open. you are a wonderful example of being such a great teacher with down to earth grace and humility. well done dilip and continue pouring this nectar to one and all. ajay.

    Like

    • Dilip says:

      Wow Ajay … beautiful thoughts! The essence of learning is explained very well by you – “it is wonderful to be open for freshnes to enter us through all possible doors and windows. our beautiful existence provides marvelous opportunities every moment. we need to keep our eys open”.

      Thank you very much for these insights they do have a spiritual undertone!

      Regards!

      Like

  6. akash says:

    Beloved Sir,

    Wishing you a happy teacher’s day!
    Your practical way of sharing knowledge was really exhilarating for me…

    I am always grateful & thankful to you …

    Thanks & Warm Regards,
    akash

    Like

  7. kamini says:

    Hi Sir,

    Teachers do play a very important part in a persons life …and we were blessed with a teacher like you …

    You have a very unique quality sir . Always encouraged us to think in a different way , During class, we used to come up with very silly ideas and you made sence out those silly ideas also and our ideas did’nt seem silly anymore ….

    Remembering you with respect
    and affection for making each lesson
    for enjoyable session… HAPPY TEACHER’s DAY..!

    Regards ,
    Kamini

    Like

    • Dilip says:

      Hi Kamini … thank you for your kind words … It was good to have you in class and hear your views … I wish you plenty of luck and success in your future.

      Regards!

      Like

  8. Prachiti Talathi Gandhi says:

    First of all Sir, Happy Teacher’s Day! You taught us so many things. I learned from you that there is no age to learn. the more knowledge you gain the more humble you should become.

    Teachers really play an important role in every part of life. I personally believe that the word teacher is to be interpreted as “the one who teaches”. Then this teaching is not necessary to be done in a classroom. On every walk of life we meet so many people, who teach us something, of course if we are open to learning. We should be thankful to all those who have been a part of our life journey.

    Like

    • Dilip says:

      Hello Prachiti … firstly many thanks for your kind words. I entirely agree …. teaching and learning go hand in hand… a person can learn from anyone … in fact life and problems are the greatest teachers … but it is conditional ….the condition is the learner must be willing and keen to learn ….

      thanks and good wishes to you too …cheers

      Like

  9. Reshma Shah says:

    Dear Sir,

    To a Special Teacher

    When i started in school, this day seemed so far away
    Now its here, and i cant believe that time has passed so quickly….

    But through your encouragement and guidance,
    I feel i am ready for tomorrow’s challenges…

    Teachers play such an important part in shaping and guiding,
    Especially teachers like you,
    Thank you for caring so much…

    Without you would not have reached where i am now…..!!!

    You really made a difference in my life….!!!!
    Thank you So Much

    Warm regards,
    Reshma D. Shah

    Like

  10. Vedant says:

    Happy Teachers Day, Sir!!

    Regards
    Vedant

    Like

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