Posted by: Monideepa Tarafdar | January 27, 2010

The other side of the table

I look at the rows of anxious faces across the table in front of me, the hands writing furiously, the frowns terse with concentration. I remember how it felt to be sitting in their places, how vital it used to be, to get the answers right, to get the highest grade possible, to make it to every honors list there was, to get the dream job. Today I recognize that none of that is as important as it seemed in those days. In the face of everything else that came after – the wonder-filled joy when my children were born, the fragile preciousness of the life built with a loving partner, the crippling pain when a dear one died, the thrill-laden dawning that I am free to choose and follow my own dreams – no, none of those other things are central. However, for all the years that they seem to be so, for me then, and for them now, it helps beyond measure to have someone to have patience and cheer on. My teachers did it for me; sitting on the other side of the table, I am happy that I am there to do it for them.

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