Pandit Ram Sumer Dube

Kamlesh Tiwari

Shree Kamlesh Tiwari joined the Indian Revenue Service in 1971 and superannuated in 2007. At an early age Kamlesh to play the flute under the tutelage of Pandit Bholanath ji of Allahabad and his famous disciple Pandit Hari Prasad Chaurasia. Kamlesh was accepted as Pandit Hari Prasad Chaurasia's disciple after a stern test in 1972. During his service years Kamlesh got several opportunities to perform at official and informal functions. Kamlesh is currently a graded artist of vocal and flute with All India Radio (AIR) Allahabad. Music runs in the family. Kamlesh’s father was also an All India Radio artist at Allahabad. Post retirement Kamlesh lives with his spouse at Allahabad.

Of all the teachers, who exerted unforgettable influence on my life, Pandit Ram Sumer Dube comes to my mind as the one who had the greatest impact on me. He was the Head Master of Middle School Sujanganj, Jaunpur, U.P. In the nineteen fifties, middle school was second tier of schooling between primary and high school.

I studied in the Middle School during 1957-59. Though Panditji used to supervise studies of all classes from 6th to 8th, but he used to teach personally all subjects of 8th standard, which was the final passing out examination. His favourite subjects were Hindi, History, Geography and Maths. I have to yet to see a teacher who was so spontaneous, so erudite and yet so humble, affectionate by nature!

A medium sized person of fair complexion, dressed in spotlessly clean Dhoti-Kurta Kurta, Panditji looked like an ancient Rishi. He was punctual to the core and used to reach school dot on time and used to oversee the conduct of the morning Prayers under his watchful eyes. I was the prayer group leader, adjudged as having a sweet voice, singing...tvameva maataa cha pitaa tvameva....

Kind and compassionate to all, particularly to physically weak children, he was a tough disciplinarian and would brook no mischief either from his students or the teaching or support staff. Every one used to revere him in awe and touch his feet. Even elderly citizens of the area used to stop and pay their respects to him, when he used to pass by the bazaar or township. I have seen people of all ages and social strata paying obescience to him for his sterling qualities of learning, character and Humility.

There are umpteen stories about his vast knowledge of many subjects. He used to to teach history, Geography and Hindi totally extempore. He had a photographic memory, and would explain the subject so lucidly that you will never forget it. I remember my graduation classes of Ancient History and Geography in Allahabad University and immediately I used to recollect that Panditji had already taught these details in 8th Standard, so magical was his understanding and communication skills.

I cannot conclude this small narration without recounting some tale of kindness showered by him on me, as his favourite student. Besides being a committed teacher, he was also an extraordinarily compassionate human being.

During final, rigorous 8th class examination preparations, he called my father and told him that I was physically weak and as such needed extra nutritious diet of milk and fruits. He also gave me personal pep talk, just a few days before the final exams, that being the son of a highly learned family, I must give my best to keep the flag of the family and school reputation high.

With his inspiring words for excellence, I did my best and secured the Second Rank in the merit list, by securing second highest marks in the 8th standard of District Board Examination. That entitled me a scholarship of Rs. 10 per month in High school for 2 years. For my parents, family, school, people of our locality, it was the proudest moment! Later on, based on the High School examination, I secured 9th rank in UP and consequential National Scholarship up to B.A.


Indeed, the teachers of those days had the respect of the entire mohalla, if not the city.

Sir , your description of your revered pandit ji is really impressive. Incidentally, olden people used to say that education of middle school was the toughest . In 60s also , junior high school board exam was there in some schools in Lucknow but I think it was not as rigorous as middle school.
No doubt , this kind of disciplined grooming shaped your bright career.

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