Ode to our teacher

That Miss Kharel is no more has not sunken in as yet though it has been around three months since her untimely demise due to pneumonia.

We were back in school and all prepared for the test she had scheduled on the day our school reopened. Miss Kharel was a fragile woman and we hoped that she would be absent on the day of the test so that we could get one more day to prepare for the dreaded test. But we had no idea that she wouldn’t be around ever again, and that the one-day we so wished for would last forever.

I still expect her to enter the class in her quiet way and start teaching despite the noisy, disobedient mob of students. Many times, I talk about her like I talk about any other teacher and refer to Optional Maths class as ‘Miss Kharel’s class’.

Often, when we think of teachers, the first thing that comes to our minds is the image of a strict person with a ruler in one hand and multiplication tables in the other. Not a person whom you would really miss when s/he is not around. But somehow, once you get used to someone, it is hard not to miss them in their absence.

Miss Kharel had been teaching for a long time and we had unconsciously expected her to be there forever. We had always taken her soft, quiet nature for granted and now I regret not having looked upon her as someone other than a teacher. She may no longer be with us, but I believe a person does not really die as long as s/he has left memories of her behind. We still remember our Optional Maths teacher, Miss Sarita Kharel.

— Rhea Gurung, Class X, St Mary’s High School