To Ma’am With Love

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I was bent picking up strewn toys when the phone rang. I rushed to get it for fear of the sound waking the kids from their nap. The number was unfamiliar. I said “Hello” tentatively. The voice on the other end was clear and measured. Just as I remembered from my school days. My English teacher and a person I had come to admire while in school was at the other end. “M.S” she said. I quite did not know how to react. What do you say to someone for whom you have a special place in your memories. Someone you have not met or talked to in decades.

The conversation flew naturally enough. Abrupt in places, punctuated with pauses and awkward laughs. As I put the phone down, I was already listing the questions I had missed and rueing the unpreparedness of it all. I should have started from the beginning I thought.

I do not do well with phone conversations. Writing seems natural. It permits me the time to think and array my thoughts in order. To reflect and re-order them for the best effect. So here goes.

To my teacher from the 80s and 90s. To the teacher who treated me as a friend. To a person who was the closest as a mentor. To the teacher with whom I felt I could discuss books and teenage gawkishness alike, I am thrilled to hear from you. I am aware we are not friends but I wish we could be.

I would love to show you the person I have become. The paths I have taken since school that have made me the person I am today. A person that owes a measure of gratitude to you for the vestiges of self-esteem that saw me through college and beyond. For reassuring me that I had a gift that I could cherish. That there was something unique about me and my natural aptitude for languages.

Today, I sit at my dining table pondering the vagaries of life. The twists of fate that has made our paths cross again. I hope I can express my gratitude in some tiny way. Till we meet or talk again, I want to tell you that you mean much. Thank you Ma’am.

One comment

  1. “I do not do well with phone conversations. Writing seems natural. It permits me the time to think and array my thoughts in order”
    OMG, that is SO me. I dread it whenever the phone rings. After any phone conversation, I feel terrible – like I just messed it up I prefer email ANY day.

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