Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Seeking Miss DeSouza

Back in the days when I was  in class 2,   which is like more than 50 years ago, we had a class teacher called Miss DeSouza.  

She was a no nonsense, exemplary strict teacher, very much looked up to by various parents.  Good teaching, great homeworks,  attentive corrections,  and there was nothing that a tough rap of a ruler on her desk couldn't achieve.  Lots of naughty people in class, but they all fell in line when it was necessary .   Being made to stand outside her class was a shameful thing,  and nobody dared talk there through the sides of their mouth.  

She was amazing in the way she taught us subtraction-with-carry, something I had a natural aversion for, but ended up learning well.  There was so much excellent poetry she taught us, and she actually instilled a confidence in us, that allowed us to stand up and attempt an answer in class, without getting whispered help from the back.  She taught us to recite poems, read out stuff loudly to the class,  and we learned  to say Thank you and Sorry,  like we meant it, and not because it was in fashion.  Physical Ed classes were fun, and we played tough. 

The one thing we feared , was being rapped with a wooden foot ruler on the open palm of our hands, for making a noise in class, not doing homework without adequate explanation as to why , using bad words,  telling lies,  and so on.  Some folks who used words I never understood and could never repeat, had to wash their mouths with soap.

And the parents loved her.

Why do I remember her ?

Because I think she is sorely needed today. 

We have several so called leaders, who make outrageous comments insulting the womenfolk of this country.  We have so many leaders who think campaigning for an election is a series of gunda style threats being constantly enunciated in bad language, as their flunkies stand by.

We have so many so called leaders who blatantly lie in public  while bargaining for enhancement of individual worth in private, and totally mess up their additions and subtractions.

And so many , who appear daily on television,  in teams, where they cannot and d not follow simple rules and manners required of participants in debates.  They accuse, outshout, drown out their so called opponents, ignore the anchor person requesting them to speak one by one, barge in whenever they want with defensive talk, and personally run the other people down.

Reminds me of fights in maidans amidst kids, from different gangs, all trying to occupy the same grounds for the same game.

We have come to a point as a society, that we are cynical about so many things that are announced. Every time a new rule or regulation or requirement is announced,  the predominant feeling is that "here is one more thing someone will cheat and get done by paying someone" while I stand everlastingly in line, listening to someone say "Come tomorrow".   So many folks in power, lie so much, that we find it difficult to believe when some truly honest person makes some public promises.

And yet, we continue, election after election, to vote in folks, so many of whom think nothing of changing colors at will.  We are told this is democracy at work in the worlds largest democracy, we pat ourselves on the back, look up, and trudge over to the voting booth on election day, only to find that lakhs of names, hitherto likely to vote intelligently,  have been summarily removed from the elections rolls.

How I wish there was a Miss Desouza  who would straighten out these erring leaders making outrageous comments about womenfolk, with a rap of her deadly ruler on their greasy palms.

How I wish there was a Miss Desouza, who simply threw out and disqualified chaps and ladies, treating debates like an akhada without rules  .

I revel in visions of fellows quaking in their boots every time she rapped her table with the ruler and asked for quiet . I long for scenarios where these unworthies would stand outside, fingers on lips,  while the public passed by noticing that they were punished , and since it was by Miss DeSouza, they must have done grievous wrong.  And I look forward to the possibility of seeing several folks being forced to wash their mouths with soap.

And yes, for those who were thoughtful, civil, and followers of rules, Miss DeSouza would be a great guide, teacher and supporter.

I keep looking for her. I don't seem to find her.

Maybe we need to all have a  Miss Desouza within us ?

It is a tough call. And one can always hope.

But would be nice if our politicians and candidates had alwys, a Miss DeSouza within them...... 



  1. So true... Given the sorry state of affairs in the country we need someone like Mrs d souza. Reminds me of an old saying...spare the rod and spoil the child!

  2. Replies
    1. Shaivi, i often wonder how i remember this particular teacher so well.....

  3. Oh yes
    I agree with you
    Have a wonderful day
    and this one
    always enjoys reading what you share...

  4. Joining in the search...she sounds pretty awesome. Could we find a few for everywhere, please? Not just politics!

    1. Sangi, yes she was ! And wouldnt I love it if one could find her again !

  5. Forget about a DeSouza in each person...if there is one DeSouza in each family, that would have made a hell lot of difference...yes, we can hope..

  6. Teachers like that are few and rare. I too had one with similar characteristics. I don't remember her name now but her face is still clear to me and stands out even after half a century.