Shree Kant Pandey — my mathematics teacher

Author: 
Keshav Misra

Keshav Prasad Misra completed his post-graduation in Mathematics from the University of Allahabad and also served there as Lecturer in Mathematics for nearly four years. Subsequently, he joined Indian Revenue Service (Customs & Central Excise) and served Government of India in the Department of Revenue for 36 years. After taking voluntary retirement as Chief Commissioner of Customs, he joined the Customs & Central Excise Settlement Commission as a Member and later became it's Vice Chairman. On retirement from the Settelment Commission in 2010, he lives in Mumbai and is enjoying a retired life. He participates in various social activities. He is also associated with the management of a reputed school in Mumbai.

It is very difficult to decide as to who was my favourite teacher, as there have been several teachers at different stages of my student days who were not only outstanding teachers but also commanded the love and respect from students for their helpful nature and pleasant personality.

With such feelings, I am going to mention a few things about one such unforgettable teacher, Shri Shree Kant Pandey ji. Shri Pandey was teaching us Mathematics in Intermediate classes at Government Inter College, Allahabad in early 60's. As students of Maths know, a very tough situation comes in Class XI when altogether new things are introduced. This invariably leads to poor results for many students.

Keshav Prasad Misra attended Government Inter College, Allahabad in the early 1960's.

Shri Pandey knew this very well and so took special care to ensure that no student got disheartened and frustrated at that early stage. He was an expert in making the concepts very simple and clear and in creating an interest in students for a dry subject like Mathematics.

I was a student of Arts and attended Maths classes as an optional subject. For this I had to attend Shri Pandey's classes with science students. Shri Pandey's way of teaching and his encouragement made me an ardent lover of Mathematics which finally led me to go for post-graduation in Mathematics and becoming lecturer in Mathematics at University of Allahabad.

I remain indebted to Shri Pandey for his encouragement and guidance at that stage. There was yet another side of Shri Pandey's personality. He was also Proctor and Vice Principal of the College. He had an awesome personality and was a great disciplinarian. In fact, he appeared to have more say in day-to-day functioning of the College than the Principal. Besides, he was also Warden of the College hostel. Since I was also in the hostel and was doing very well in Mathematics, I had become one of his favourite students. In hostel, as per his orders, dinner had to finish by 8 pm and thereafter every student had to sit down for study and nobody should be found in any other's room. He used to invariably take a round at about 9pm, with his favourite paan in his mouth and wooden footwear (khadaoon, खड़ाऊँ) on his feet, followed by a hostel peon who was suspected by us to be his jasoos (detective).

He used to be mostly in dhoti-kurta at that time and during the summer months in baniyan alone with dhoti. The tak-tak-tak of his khadaoon used to alert everybody but, if even then, someone was caught on the wrong side, he was punished.

This may look quite odd today but the punishment at times included a few slaps by him. All hostel boys were required to go to sleep by 10 pm and were awakened by the hostel peon at 6 am by ringing a big bell in front of each room. Shri Pandey refused to relax this rule even after repeated requests from boys. But he used to help hostel boys in many other ways, sometimes out of way. I now realise the importance of such teachers who are hardly found in present times.

But before we could complete our Intermediate course, Shri S K Pandey (as he was known) was transferred as Deputy Director of Education, UP. All of us felt bad but consoled ourselves by giving him a befitting farewell. I am not aware of his present status but if he is still living, he must be more than 100 years. If not, may his Soul rest in peace.

Such was one of my favourite teachers.

Comments

Amazing that he cold turn an Arts student into a Maths student!

A very very engrossing write up on his favourite teacher, by Shri K P Mishra. Badhai ho Mishraji !

he will definitely feel proud after reading this words of appreciation from an extra ordinary student like u!!!!.simply great.

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