While I was watching India lose to Belgium in the QF of the Rio Olympics & shifting between tabs, saw this update on Facebook ‘Menon Sir is no more. This loss is too big for us’
SVG Menon or fondly called Menon sir was our Maths teacher in classes 9th and 10th. He did not teach in our school or any other school, he taught at ‘The Institute’. To call The Institute a coaching class is to demean everything for which Menon sir stood. He encouraged creativity, discipline and yes there was fear…everyone feared him. But the love he had for his students would always beat fear! & then there were occasional kiss on the cheek to express the love…always a fatherly figure who would encourage each of his student to speak his mind without fear….often quoting from Tagore, ‘When the mind is without fear, the head is held high’. He did not teach his students to merely pass exams but taught them there were values in life much beyond what you score…the school ‘प्रेरणा’ which he ran for those who could not afford costly public schools was an inspiration for me and may be it was then that the seeds were sown in me!
Menon sir was my teacher at a time and age which is highly impressionable. Had it not been for his encouragement, I would have given up on writing poetry….am still not good at it, but consider the encouragement a 15–16 year old gets when his very first poem is displayed on the soft board…right there at the entrance for every one to see. It was in February this year, I met him by chance during an evening walk….after seeking his blessings we had a short conversation, he signed off by saying “Whatever you do, keep working for the country!”
(Published on August 15, 2016 after Shri SVG Menon passed away.)