Monday, April 14, 2008

Mount Assisi School: Father Job!

There are some teachers who impart a lasting love for knowledge. One of them was Reverend Father Job Edakulathoor, the Principal of our school (Mount Assisi School, Bhagalpur) and also our English teacher.

Father Job was a remarkable figure. When we discussed the poetry of William Wordsworth or P.B. Shelley or Nissim Ezekiel we could see the love for the language dripping out of every word that escaped his mouth. I still have memories of him riding on the imaginary horse a la Lochinvar (so faithful in love, so dauntless in war), rushing off to rescue fair Ellen. Oh how his eyes would glow with emotion when we read Shylock's speech from The Merchant of Venice!

In class Father Job was a great friend and a fellow lover of the language. But, outside class, when we pushed the envelope (quite) a bit, he was famous for his little pinch on the ear of the errant pupil.

Outside school he was an entirely different person. His love for the latest Bollywood potboiler, especially the Amitabh Bachchan movies, was well-known. On more than one occasion, when leaving a movie theater in the evening, I saw Father Job in his leather jacket, with a motorcycle helmet in his hand, waiting for the night show to start.

For us kids, in our early teens, Father Job was a great source of inspiration. We will always admire him for being a great teacher, and also for assembling a great ensemble (Mr. Javed Hasan, Mr. Animesh Majumdar, Mr. Satish Jha) around him. To this day when I am enjoying a good book I am thankful to him for showing us the pleasure to be found in great literature.

So, Father Job, wherever you are, here are a few lines for you:

He rode all unarm'd, and he rode all alone.
So faithful in love, and so dauntless in war,
There never was knight like the young Lochinvar.

Monday, April 7, 2008

The Long Sleep

My blogging is no different from several of my other endeavours: started with more optimism than stamina. So, after three articles, it went dormant.

I have decided to revive it. Hopefully, this time it will not need life-support after a few posts. Also, I plan to write on a variety of education-related issues, not just higher education. My next few posts will be about my school education, the great, the not so great and lousy teachers I had in school and college.

So, stay tuned.