My teachers, my guides

Tapas Sarkar

Tapas Sarkar, born 1955, attended New Barackpore Boy's High School, Kolkata and graduated from Acharya Prafulla Chandra College, Kolkata in 1974. He joined the Customs & Central Excise Department in 1976 as Inspector at Agartala, Tripura. He has been posted at Tezpur, Shillong, Guawahti, and Kolkata up to 2001. In 2002, on promotion as Assistant Commissioner, he joined at Ahmedabad. He further served at Pune, Mumbai, Sangli and Kolhapur until voluntary retirement in 2011. He now leads a retired life at Kolkata with his family.

Memories of childhood were the dreams that stayed with you after you woke.

Teachers are one of the most significant role models in every one's life. There is always a very strict teacher in whose class nobody dares to talk or do any notorious deeds. There's always a very well dressed lady teacher whom every one adores. There is always a very lenient teacher whose class is always very noisy.

Thus every teacher is special and these categories exist in everybody's list but there is one teacher who is most special and remains in our memory all our life.

Here comes my favourite teacher, Pandit Priya Lal Pal. A man of dedication, discipline and duty in true sense. I belonged to a middle class family where I had four siblings. Everyone understood that the financial freedom was limited.

Owing to the Hermes' blessings I was extremely mischievous as well as very intelligent at the same time. My mother was on her toes all day worrying and wondering what next mischief is on my cards.

Finally she thought the only way she can discipline me was to put me under the supervision of Pandit Priya Lal Pal who happened to be my English teacher also. Amongst all his students I was his toughest challenge as well as his secret most favourite student due to my intelligence.

One incident I would like to share which shows how compassionate and empathetic he was towards me. I used to cycle 11 kms to Sir's house which used to drain out all my energy. Hence one day he told me to stay back till my final exams and study under his guidance. In the bargain of a tough teacher I was blessed by a father figure.

His way of teaching the difference between good and bad was extraordinary. He used to keep a bottle of Horlicks in the cupboard of the same room where he used to take tuitions. My eyes fell on that bottle. I instigated all my equally naughty buddies to savoir the Horlicks from the cupboard in his absence.

We all finished almost half of the bottle and wiped our faces clean. Soon, this became our only interest to visit Sir's house for tuition. One day he very calmly put the Horlicks bottle on the table and said just giving a glance at me that he know who is the ghost who loves this Horlicks so much. So now onwards it's on the table and I could have as much as I liked.

I then realised how beautifully he taught me to be honest without hurting my feelings in front of everyone. A true teacher always boosts the moral of their students.

I was also blessed to have great mentors like Mr. Subhash Mathur sir in my service life. Their memories remain as the sweetest souvenir of my life.


"Hence one day he told me to stay back till my final exams and study under his guidance." Wow, what dedication!

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