The choice was clear..
The risk was that if I missed my flight back, I would surely miss my long haul back home to US. The opportunity was that my eighth grade class teacher had just moved to Siliguri and if I could align all my flights, I had a window of opportunity of about an hour and a half to see her. After 1980. That is almost 38 years if you are keeping count.
After much dilly dallying, I decided to take the risk. How cool would it be for me to say that in one single calendar year, I met 9 out of 10 of my home room teachers of my life? (The tenth one is a very different equation; more on her later). Plus my goal for this trip to India was to take care of my dad and with any extra time, I was to meet my old teachers.
That decision took me to a flight to Bagdogra and then a pre-paid taxi later. I was standing face to face with the lady who was my class room teacher of eighth grade. It was instant magic. It was almost half an hour of just running thru our old teachers and students from our school, that I remembered to ask her if I could wash my face. (It was a hot day here and the pre paid taxi was non AC).
We were the second batch in Miss Nandita Gurung’s long teaching career. Obviously, we had a lot of fond memories of other teachers, our school, our head master and some of the students. But the best part was me learning Miss Gurung’s personal background.
A highlight of the day was meeting her husband – Mr. Uday Gurung. We talked about a lot of things and we had a lot of connections – from motorcycle riding to mixology. (I am now intrigued about the motorcycle ride from Leh to Ladakh). What was most impressive to me was how Mr. Gurung had fought back cancer successfully.
Siliguri is my sister’s town. After getting married, she moved to Siliguri. I have come here many times. I even have pictures of goats waiting to cross the runway after the plane cleared from over 20 years back. My sister moved out about 10 years back.
It was just great to visit to a town that I had some familiarity with. With a teacher that have a lot to be thankful for.
Picked up quite a few tips about the mountain areas from Mr.and Mrs. Gurung. Natasha is the mountain person at home. Maybe, I can entice her to visit this part of the world soon!!