We had a teacher in school that most students dreaded. Nagpal Miss! She used to teach the secondary school students. V being in the secondary school, I knew most of the things she was famous for.
She was queer although she wasn't the punishing type. She had a typical way of scolding students when they misbehaved or didn't do their homework. The manner in which she said anything used to be funny for others and deeply embarrassing for the recipient.
She first taught us English in 6th class. When we came to know she was gonna be our teacher, everyone was shivering. Like if you talked during her period she would make you stand up in the class and say 'tumhara mooh toh cello tape se chipkana hoga' and when the talking got better of her patience, she actually sent the class monitor to bring a cello tape and do the needful.
Some more famous dialogues of hers.
'Hang him upside down out of the window.'
'tumhara naam toh simran hona chahiye, ladki jaise rote ho.'
'baal jungli jaise badh gaye hai. Girls give me your rubber bands. I am going to tie pony tails for him.'
'teri chuddi itni tight hai ki baithne par phatt jayegi.'
'Wipe that perpetual grin off your face. You are not a dolphin.'
'Why didn't you do your homework? Haath pe mehendi hai kya?'
'Dabba lana bhulte nahi toh homework karne kaise bhulte ho?'
And on top of it, she had a booming voice, which intimidated us further. No wonder, for her class, the students used to be most sincere and the quietest.
She was one of my favorite and best teachers in the school. She taught with utter sincerity and dedication. The only problem with her was that she made herself look so tough that students never dared to raise their hands to clear their doubts. Later, when we were in 10th, our previous principal retired and she sat in the headmistress' chair. The whole school looked like a graveyard for some days. Not many were happy with the choice of their principal.
As it so happened, she was also our class teacher and she taught us not one or two but five subjects in all, History, Civics, Geography, Economics and English. This was the time we saw her closely as she used to spend a maximum of periods with us. At times, we had 3 of her lectures back to back. She still had the comic way of shouting at students, but this time it was more playful, and somewhere even we saw her wonderful teaching skills behind the terror.
If there's one teacher I truly respect and admire, it is our Nagpal Miss. She was true to her profession, and passionate about "educating" students. There were a few teachers who were rude, biased and cheap. One told us during our class, 'I am not here to teach you. I take my salary and go home. You can join other coaching classes and pass your board exams. I am least bothered about completing your syllabus.'
Nagpal Miss, though she said all these things, there was never a hint of curtness in it. One moment she shouted at you and the very next if you asked for some doubt, she'd take pains to explain and make you understand.
Last I heard from a friend that Nagpal Miss had survived a heart attack. I just wish she keeps in good health.
There are a few people who are genuine and really care for what they do. It is, however, very difficult to find to such people nowadays. We hardly take efforts to approach people who seem harsh and rigid. Not that everyone turns out like her though.