My dear pupil,
Perhaps this is my last long letter to you. My poor health doesn't allow me to write much these days. Sometimes I curse myself for not being able to use a computer keyboard or mobile keypad to type with ease but I am happy that I have maintained my exclusivity. I know I'm the odd man out, perhaps a unique specimen. I appreciate the idea of voice notes, but writing letters has always been my first choice.
I don't know if I was an ideal student in my school days. I lived in a different era. Well, every generation says that. But you know how drastically the world has changed during the last few decades. In our times even transistors were a luxury. A lot has been written and discussed about how these changes have affected every walk of life in some way or the other.
The field of education is no exception.
It has become a game of high commerce and countless views have been expressed in favour of and against this commercialisation.
Let me tell you that Mr. Roy, the teacher who shaped me during my formative years could barely make ends meet. He died a pauper. Teaching was his mission and his passion. In his days, government teachers weren't paid handsomely. Of course they were not barred from giving private tuitions, but they never earned enough to lead a comfortable life. However, the satisfaction they derived from teaching was immense. Mr. Roy wouldn't accept a single rupee from those who couldn't afford to pay his fee(though it was nominal).
I was somewhat luckier. You know that my wife was also a teacher and we didn't really have to struggle much. After retirement, I thought it was time to give back to society, and starting my own study centre with a well-equipped library was a good way of doing it. We aren't getting any younger and we can't defy aging. But we spend our evenings at the centre. We have a number of volunteers who spare their valuable time to teach/guide the students.
I'm really happy to see you at the zenith of your chosen field. From an outstanding chemistry teacher to the owner-director of the most famous science classes in the town, your journey (and progress) has been fabulous. I still remember the day when you approached me for the first classified advertisement of your classes. You couldn't afford to pay for a week-long box-slot in a leading daily hence we had to settle for a less expensive newspaper.
And yesterday I saw your full-page ad in the same leading daily. It really made me proud.
I know you are wise and you don't need to be guided. You're known for your meticulous planning and you execute your plans really well. Today, many reputed science teachers in the town consider it an honour to be associated with your classes.
Your success speaks.
My dear pupil, there's nothing wrong about earning money and enjoying the fruit of your labour. While your success makes me proud, I just have a small suggestion for you, in fact, it's a request. You know our society has a large number of economically backward students. Many of them are talented and intelligent and they can compete with the best if guided and coached properly.
I have risen from a humble background, so have you, hence we can understand it. Let's not forget that someone showed us kindness when we really needed it. Today, it is easily possible for each of our leading tuition classes to impart free coaching to a few students. I'm sure you're more than willing to do your bit. In my view it will greatly enhance your reputation(which is already high). The initiative would certainly be expanded to other parts of the town too.
One of the greatest feelings that a human being can experience is the blessing of helping the needy.
I hope you won't mind my humble suggestion.
Your ailing tracher