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The Story of a Teacher
by Amit Parmessur

Whatever job I had done before I had always been a bit different, trying to bring my own touch if you want. But I had never imagined I could be so impressive a teacher. I should simply say that I’d been a bit more different than usual.

It was a glorious December morning. Sitting in my comfortable terrace armchair I could see the postman leaving a pink envelope in my letter box. He waved at me in his usual friendly manner, going away hurryingly. Abandoning the warmth of my armchair I walked lazily to the gate.

And removing the key of the letter box from beneath a flower pot I was soon opening the letter. It was a card from one of my final year students, wishing me the greatest Christmas ever. Not without some effusive words of gratitude too.

I quickly realised that I must have really left a deep mark upon those students. After all, it was the sixth such card I’d received in merely three days and it was just the second week of the month. “I must have been damn good,” I said to myself.

I went back to my armchair.

“I must’ve been good!” I smiled. “Damn magical.” It must have been some mind-blowing cameo indeed. It all started when I got a phone call confirming that I was appointed in the town’s only school, one with the latest and most impressive tools at the disposal of both staff and students. I proudly made my way to work the next morning, impressed to know that the music teacher I was going to replace was found dead in his bed listening to Celine Dion’s I’m Alive on repeat mode.

As I told you I’d always try to be different. So the very first session I was up there to stir my students and banish any thoughts of their dead teacher. The students were on the verge of removing their exercise books when I stopped them.

“Come on students, take your mischief out of the bag and concentrate,” I said, “come you all and stand in front of the piano. Concentrate and punch it strongly and devour its keys as if they were delicious chocolate biscuits.” It was our piano session. We had a real chocolate party.

Two days later it was the flute session. One student was busy blowing some crap music. I stopped him and ordered everyone to remove their flute. “Take your fingers and carefully close all the holes in the flute until it suffocates and dies,” I said solemnly. They all enjoyed their new status of musical criminals.

I heard the next day that the caretaker was totally baffled to see so many flutes in the dustbin. “They are all dead so he can’t possibly think of selling them,” one student told me.

I liked his logic.

Then I taught the students how to hang their drum from the ceiling and learn boxing at home. I even taught them to take the trumpet, blow into it once and throw it calmly over the roof at home. We also learned how to mould the triangle into a perfect square to compose a peppy song la John Deacon.

The students were just relishing it and thoughts of their previous teacher were as remote as the chance of two suns in one sky. I also ordered them to listen repeatedly to famous songs until the singers would tire out and would no longer sing. I was even thinking of teaching them how to grab their expensive guitar, crushing it on the floor, strangling their sadness with the strings. I just didn’t have time as a sweet letter told me that I was fired, with immediate effect.

I went home dead and downloaded I’m Alive.