A few days ago, I met a friend. An old friend. A friend who was once my teacher. Not a very liberal teacher, but a fun teacher never the less. Komilla Aunty, as we all addressed her, taught me to appreciate the humour in Edward Lear's poetry, the flow of events in Prophet Mohammed's life and the task of researching your subject through encyclopaedias. I probably would have never known of these joyful secrets, were it not for her and Shiv Niketan, my school, then.
Komilla Aunty made us write a journal every morning. It later became a habit for many years thereafter, until someone pryed into my diary one fine (for them of course) day. One of my last memories with Komilla Aunty, before I passed out of the school and she moved to newpaper office, is a picture of her sitting with mom along the log table in my class room. The stools used to be low and they would often talk after school hours, like this, when I would pass time wandering around the empty courtyard, as I was restricted from entereing the same room as them.
When Komilla Aunty had gone on a break, one time, it was Namita Aunty who made up for the absence of a class teacher. While Komilla Aunty gave us stars for doing well, Namita Aunty drew 'smileys'. Komilla Aunty would make a birthday boy/ girl stand before the classroom and have everyone share one nice memory they has of the boy/girl to make his day even more special. Namita Aunty used to bring chocolates for the birthday boys and girls along witha little sharpner in the form of teddy bears or hippos.
There was one time when Komilla Aunty went on her annual break, but this time she didnt come back. There was no offcial good-bye. Mummy said she had begun to work with a newspaper. I once say her thereafter at a birthday party. It felt nice.
I recently searched "Komilla Raute" on facebook. And the search didnt heed any results. I was slightly disppointed. But then I search just "Komilla" and there she was... a picture of hers. She still looks like what she did many years ago.
Then she was teacher, she always will be; but now she is my friend ( as Face Book puts it), she always was.