TODAY -

On Ms. Biswas' demise : Saluting Scholars' Home's Ms. A. Biswas

Ningombam Bupenda Meitei *

Ms. A. Biswas
Ms. A. Biswas



Yesterday, I came to learn about the sudden demise of my well learned and experienced colleague, namely, Ms. Anuroopa Biswas, a teacher to many, an ace quizzer to many schools of national repute, a motherly woman to her students, an understanding human to her colleagues, a responsible daughter to her mother, and above all a living example of complete sacrifice for the students and the school she had served. Hearing the saddest news, I remained speechless and was drenched deeply with emotions and memories. The news, even today to me, is unbelievable.

Ms. Biswas, whom I knew, was the lady of principles and the philosophy of her principles was founded precisely on the betterment of her students. She was a personality with her self created and polished class that inclusively loved, cared and touched upon the entire spectrum of students ranging from the topper to the absentees. She was a teacher with style and her style was to unfailingly wear grace and smile whenever and wherever she moved and strolled. The strings of her glasses made her way of wearing spectacles not only spectacularly unique but also represented the aura of a traditional English ( not English language, but a high English lady intellectual ) woman with wisdom. I must admit that she was wise and experienced enough to read the minds and feel the pulse of her students both in and out of the classroom. Her anger was extremely difficult to be noticed as it was filled not merely with anger but also blended with smile on her face and eyes, and it was such a reflection of her inner voice of her longing to enlighten her students that became vivid on her face and in her voice, and such reflection of her true nature did make no one to become the Columbus, in the sense of discovering, of her anger on her students. From her, I used to hear the words like 'children', 'students', and not any other word that would hurt the soft emotions of her students. She was very mindful of the words and the content of her advice for her students, and she herself exemplify the meanings of her own advice to her students, and I did witness one such example of hers. She, to my own close observation, was a thoroughly professional woman, in terms of the profession she had sacrificed for is concerned, and a colleague of mine whom many others too can look up to her consistent usage of English in conversation not only with students but also with teachers in the staff room. Even, in the recess and after the official school hour when some teachers including me ( as I was new, so I took a lot of time to prepare a big chart before filling up for report cards ) were staying back, sometime till 5 to 6 pm, she always used to converse in English. Excepting her conversation in Bangla, which I could understand to a great extent, with Ms. Lily of the Principal's Office and Sir Ganguly da, Ms. A.Biswas' life itself was also a living example exemplifying the significance of English as a language in the world of 21st century.

Her mannerism, etiquettes, and maintenance of public decorum not only in formal functions but also in informal congregations, were the classic and intrinsic characters of hers that qualify sufficiently Ms. A.Biswas to be 'the Ms. A.Biswas'. She was a beautician of not her, but for the nature and the school, that she made small events, like a mere prize distribution of students in a morning assembly, very meticulously beautiful and carefully well crafted, she ensured that the minutest part of morning assembly duty too went with a well rehearsed non-erroneous presentation, and in a nutshell, she wanted no mistakes but she also believed in achieving the beauty of truth through an honest hard work, no matter how many times one had to face the heat of failure.

Ms. A. Biswas and her quiz, all together became not a separate world from her school teaching, but a coherently blooming world in which not only her school that she taught, but also with many other schools of the country had risen to realise the almost synonymous existence of Ms. A.Biswas and the world of quiz.

I remember one incident with her. She was assigned to escort the school quiz and debating team for the All India level competition, participated by all the top schools of India, held at R.I.M.C, Dehradun. I was summoned by the Principal madam Chhaya Khanna in her office and was instructed to get ready to take the school teams for the competition. I was new to the school, but, I led the teams which were supposed to be sent with Ms. A.Biswas. She too was telling me, both outside the Principal's office and in Senior Head Mistress' office, what I, as a teacher-in-charge, should do. I did understand her advice, but I almost forgot, when I reached the venue, what and how to proceed as a teacher-in-charge in R.I.M.C except behaving in the most gentlemanly manner that I could, and almost, my students who were supposedly to be escorted by me indeed took care of me, making me understand that my students, groomed by Ms. A.Biswas, were smarter than me and that smartness was discovered by the schools of national repute when the school quiz team of Scholars Home, bagged the top position. Later, those students who constituted the team told me that my presence became a good omen for them to win. It could also be a co-incidence, but the point is, the success of the team could not have been possible at all without the guidance and morale boosting by Ms. A.Biswas who literally became the source of confidence for her students. This is why, I salute her selfless contribution.

I am no one to comment on her teaching in the classroom, as many students of hers who have spread across the globe, on the land, on and underneath the oceans, and in the sky, and yet to be out of the Earth in the solar system, would say without an iota of doubt that her teaching was deeply influencing, thoroughly academic, and individually unique that all in unison have made her students excel in all the manoeuvres of human life on this planet.

Her cautious role as House Mistress of Vikram House, instilled the sporting spirit and good will gesture with fair competition in not only promoting but also enriching the true sportsman's spirit among not only the students but also teachers like me who, as a teacher-in-charge of Gaurav House ( my green house ) used to observe her way of approach in making her House better and indeed the best. She was so keen to update herself on any new event happening in almost every nook and corner of the world. She herself was full of optimism and vibrating positive energies that became the aura of her personality and meaning to her life.

Today, she is no more. At her not so old age to take the last breath, and even she had not retired from her service to mankind, the death became the inevitable to cut short her service and life, but more than that, her life became her service of teaching. Teaching was her service, and students and school were her life. Like St. Mother Teresa's sacrifice for humanity, she chose to dedicate her whole life for the sake of students and school. Even, she attended the last working day in the school before her last breath. Her life not only in school but also at her home, became almost only and only for the students and school, and she left her service to mankind not as a dying human, but as a brave human who, till her last breath, was discussing about the welfare of her students and school, and this ultimate and total sacrifice of hers has made not only me but also the entire mankind to salute our great and loving teacher, the honoured Ms. A.Biswas.

As long as schools and students remain on this Mother Earth, Ms. A.Biswas lives not only with the present generation but also with many future generations to come.

I salute my great colleague and am proud of having interacted and worked with her at Scholars' Home, Dehradun, a school of national repute that has students from across the country including many from Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, and other North East Indian states.

the 15th of September, 2014, Monday, Imphal.


* Ningombam Bupenda Meitei wrote this article for e-pao.net
Ningombam Bupenda Meitei taught physics and mathematics at Scholars' Home, Dehradun.
This article was posted on September 16, 2014.


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