The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.”
-William Arthur Ward
When you look back on your life as a student, how many of your teachers do you remember? You obviously don’t remember every teacher that taught you, but some stay with you and don’t fade away like the others. What is different about these teachers that you remember them even today? These are teachers who inspired you, who have been instrumental in shaping your future, who have been mentors, and who have played a key role in making you what you are today. You Moved My Life is a book about such teachers. The book is a collection of 39 touching stories by eminent people about teachers who left an indelible imprint on their minds. Compiled and edited by Viney Kirpal, the book is a tribute to all teachers who transformed the lives of their now famous students.
The teachers that this books talks about are no ordinary teachers, but teachers who went beyond just teaching in the classroom to inspire their students to reach for the unreachable. As you read each story you realise how important it is to have teachers who are dedicated and passionate about teaching and learning themselves. When you are young and full of life and you find a teacher who walks the extra mile with you, encourages you and is there when you most need her you are sure to develop into a beautiful human being.
One of the most famous names writing about his teacher in the book is R.K. Lakshman. Lakshman narrates a nice little story of his teacher who helped him realise that his destiny was to become an artist. You get glimpses of other teachers as you get by each story. You meet Ms. Manek Sunderji who taught Lila Poonawalla, Chairperson, Delaval Pvt. Ltd. Poonawalla says about her teacher, ‘She made me believe that each one of us has a huge reservoir of untapped potential for achievements, success, happiness, health and greater prosperity’. Ms. Sunderji’s concept of self-discipline taught Lila Poonawalla the ability to do things on time. Then there is engineer Rangnekar’s Sanskrit teacher who taught not just the language but aroused curiosity about the language in his student. If a teacher is able to kindle curiosity in a student, the student will himself learn from every opportunity that comes his way in order to satisfy his thirst for knowledge. And isn’t that the role of a teacher? Dr. Savanur learnt from his teacher, Mr. Shirkhande, that education does not only mean answering questions but also questioning the answers.
The 39 stories that form a part of You Moved My Life are divided into two parts. While the first part has people talking about their teachers in school, the second deals with teachers who made an impression on their students in colleges and universities. Viney Kirpal and Shridhar B Gokhale talk about their teacher S Nagarajan. Kirpal learnt that humility and learning go hand in hand from her teacher and Gokhale learnt to think independently. Viney Kirpal goes on to say, ‘His sharp, critical observations, his command over the English language, his meticulous guidance taught me a great many things which I have tried to remember as a PhD guide. In later years I did become a researcher and people say that I made a mark. If that is true, I can say to the whole wide world that to a large measure, that was the potter’s doing.’ This part of the book will also see you laugh with Professor Hoshang Moogat, drink ‘coffee with Archie’ and play some ‘perfect music’ with Mr. Harold Joseph.
You Moved My Life is the perfect gift for a dear teacher.