It’s not every day that you receive a Valentine’s Day gift like this. This year, my dear Nepali teacher, Durga ma’am from school, who made me fall in love with Nepali literature, gave me a truly precious gift- a tribute filled with cherished memories. In an article dedicated to me, she recounted a heartfelt memory from when I was in grade 5 or 6. During one of her stories about her service as an educator at an underprivileged school, I had an emotional and vulnerable connection with her and couldn’t help but cry my heart out.
Ma’am and I completely lost touch after I quit Facebook in 2020. But her dedication and compassion never wavered. Though we would occasionally interact through Facebook posts and comments, we hadn’t met in person since my school days ended a decade ago. Although I never intended to lose contact or forget about her, the hustle and bustle of life took over and I overlooked the importance of staying connected.
After publishing an article titled ‘Stella, my Valentine- where are you lost?’ on Facebook, I was surprised to receive messages from my old school friends from around the world who were in search of me. They informed me about the tribute article that ma’am had posted. Upon reading it, I was moved to tears. With the help of my long-lost friends, I was able to reconnect with Durga ma’am over the phone.
Hearing Durga ma’am’s voice after all these years brought back memories of the compassion and love she had always shown me as a student. We both cried tears of joy as we made plans to meet in person the very next day.
On the day of our reunion, the happiness we felt upon seeing each other again was unbridled. We hugged and shared stories about our lives over the past years. Seeing her healthy and graceful, and learning about her continued dedication to education, Nepali literature, social services, and women’s empowerment filled me with pride and inspiration. Ma’am is a true embodiment of women’s empowerment and an example to us all. Ma’am too was incredibly proud of my journey and expressed that my smile had grown even wider and brighter over the years.
The most heartening moment for me was when my beloved ma’am expressed that she remembers me for my values, innocence, and ability to empathize with people and their stories from a very tender age, which I sometimes feel go unnoticed at present.
Though I don’t recollect this particular incident vividly, ma’am reminisced how I was always inquisitive and had a love for storytelling and learning about life experiences from an early age. I felt overjoyed when she recalled how my persistent requests encouraged her to step beyond the realm of academic syllabus and share stories of compassion and inspiration to motivate the students in the class.
In Hindu culture, Lord Durga is revered and worshipped as a symbol of strength, courage, and protection. In my life, Durga ma’am has embodied these values and touched the lives of countless students like me.
The story of the reunion between us served as a powerful reminder to cherish the teachers in my life who have made a profound impact on my journey. As we pursue our passions and strive towards achieving our goals, it can be easy to forget the crucial role that our teachers play in our success. They serve as the bridge between us and the vast world of knowledge helping us to explore new paths and boosting our confidence so that we can realize our full potential.
Life is too short to wait for special occasions like Teacher’s Day or birthdays to show our appreciation for our teachers and mentors. We should make it a priority to stay in touch with our teachers and thank them for their invaluable contributions to our lives. They are the true beacons of light and blessings, without whom we would not be the empowered and wise individuals that we are today.
As I move forward on my journey, I will never forget the impact that Durga ma’am had on my life, and I will continue to hold her in my heart with gratitude and admiration.
Here is the heartfelt article that my teacher wrote for me:
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