The Burmese leader Aung San Suu Kyi is on a four-day visit to India. In her interview with Nirupama Subramanian of The Hindu, the Nobel laureate remembers her association with K. Rangaswamy, a political correspondent of the paper in Delhi, during her growing-up years in the capital.
“I got to know [Mr. Rangaswamy’s] daughter at school. We were together at the Convent of Jesus and Mary. Kamla and I were in the same class and then we also went to Lady Shri Ram College together the same year. We both took political science honours, and that’s how I became friendly with them.
“But I became particularly friendly with Uncle Rangaswamy when I was preparing for my Oxford entrance…. Uncle Rangaswamy knew, because I was in and out of his house all the time, that I did not have a teacher and that I wanted to take this exam in three months.
“So he said he would teach me!
“Some people were rather scared of him, because Uncle Rangaswamy has a rather formidable exterior. But I thought he was very sweet, and he was very, very sweet to me.
“He said to me one day, which I shall never forget and which I think was so admirable about him, he said: “I’ve taught you all I can, I can’t teach you anymore, but you’re the best student I’ve ever had, so I’ll find you a teacher.” And he got a contact of his — an old student of his for all I know — a mathematics teacher. He told her to continue to teach me the rest of the curriculum, which she did, and then I managed to just scrape through the exams, and I made it to Oxford that year instead of having to wait another year. It was because of Uncle Rangaswami.
“He had enough faith in me. He said “I’ll teach you”, but I’ll never forget the way he said “I’ve taught you all I know.” I was so fond of him. I wish he were alive now. I’m sure he’d have had a lot to say to me!”
Read the full interview: Aung San Suu Kyi
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This is the most touching tribute to a teacher I have read after APJ Abdul Kalam saying that he became a space scientist because of the school teacher (in Rameswaram?) who taught him maths and the way he remembered Vikram Sarabhai with reverence….especially in an era where very few acknowledge the contribution of a teacher or a mentor in their profession who shaped them. And such teacherfs and mentors are also becoming extinct.
such teachers are not extinct. they are there in every school; ask any great man, he has a teacher.
mine was “is no one joining the army”
Those days ‘The Hindu’ had brilliant journalists. These days, it has semi-literate journalists!