In Whispers

Teachers’ Day Special: Sadhguru’s Prank and a Teacher He Never Forgets

“Youth and Truth” is a movement to inspire and empower India’s youth. As part of this, Sadhguru traveled to various schools and colleges to interact with the students. On Teachers’ Day, Sadhguru visited Demonstration Multipurpose School in Mysuru, where he shared the stage with his former English teacher Saraswati, and recalled an incident that left an indelible mark on him as a young boy.

Sadhguru: I have to admit that I was not much of a student. I came to school only when it was a must. I was in a different school every year. The very fact that I spent two years at this school means that I enjoyed this school the most!

I must share how I remember Saraswati…

We were in 10th-C[1]. Actually, many times the headmaster thought of hacking this entire section and throwing us into a lake or something. It did not happen, but he had the thought. We knew that we were getting a new English teacher. She came a month or two after the term had started. The first day she came to us, I was outside with a couple of the boys. We were wondering who this new teacher was because no teacher really wanted to come into our class.

I remember Saraswati wearing a heavily starched white cotton saree with some butta [2], walking like a peacock. We carefully examined her and discussed, “Where is she coming from? Where has she taught before?”

“No, she just graduated.”

“Oh! Can she handle us? She is just out of college.”

We were the first class that she handled, and, being a new teacher, I am sure she was nervous. She walked across the room. I was at the last table. We wanted to do something to disrupt her life. She was talking to the class and probably wanted to reach out to the last bench and show that she is a concerned teacher. She was facing the other side and leaning on my table, so I felt inspired. I opened my pen and let out the ink on her starched white saree, which very readily absorbed all of it. Of course, she did not notice. Some of the students were giggling. Then she went.

Probably someone in the staff room would have told her about the big patch of ink on her saree. After lunch hour, when I was in the classroom, I was asked to come to the staff room. I thought, “One more suspension.” Because in those two years, I was suspended at least six times.

I went there, and she asked me for my pen. I gave it to her. I thought she was going to confiscate my empty pen as proof. She took out an ink bottle, filled it, and gave it back to me. I said, “Thank you, ma'am,” and went back to the class. That one thing made me never forgot that one teacher.

[1] 10th standard/grade, Section C.
[2] Decorative motif.