Friday, 5 September 2014

Teachers' Day : With Srimant Tripathy Sir

By: Sradha Suman Mahapatra

[With the help of Tanuja Pattnaik and Pooja Pattnaik]

Cakes, balloons, the sacred lamps, a picture of Dr.Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan neatly decorated with yellow and orange marigold flowers and the ceremonial distribution of bundi laddoos at the end are some of my memories of Teachers' Day celebration in my school days. Every year, on the fifth of September, the celebration went on for the whole day; classes were suspended and for one day, teachers told us stories instead of reminding us of the countdown to the next exam or the portion of the syllabus still left to cover. Well, things have changed now. After a less than an hour-long celebration in a small classroom, with speeches of not more than five minutes and a pudia [packet] of samosa and sweets, we rush back to our classes or to laboratories. And so do the teachers [sometimes, without the pudia]. With the changing times and trends, let's know how the celebration of Teachers' Day and the overall student-teacher relationship has changed, with our very own Srimant Tripathy Sir [ Dept of Mathematics and Humanities ], who shares with us his views about this change, his memories from the past and what he wants the future to be. 

Srimant Tripathy Sir
[Dept of Mathematics and Humanities]

SRADHA: [ After briefing him on what CET Rising is and what all it does ] So, Sir we, Tanuja and Pooja and I are here on behalf of the CET Rising team to interview you on the occasion of Teachers' Day.

SRIMANT SIR: Oh ! Teachers' Day Special interview !? [ laughing ]

SRADHA: Yes , sir. [ Smiling ]
Sir, as we all observed, you have always been a very friendly teacher, helping the students with curricular and extra-curricular activities and events, while generally, other teachers do not involve themselves much in such activities. So my question is that Sir, do you agree that with the changing trends, the student-teacher relationship is also changing ? And does it now need extra effort from both the teachers and students' sides ?

SRIMANT SIR: Teacher is the motivating factor in a student's life. A teacher not only clears all the doubts of the student, but also helps the student and motivates the student towards success. Career is a separate part, job is a separate part, personal life is another separate part; but the teacher's thoughts and words must be in the student's mind so that they will keep motivating him or her, time and again. So teacher is basically one of the most important motivating factors for a student. And as far as the teacher-student relationship is concerned, I found that these days it is, umm! I cannot say it is degrading, exactly, but previously it was a good bond and now slowly it is changing; going down. But as far as my relationship with my students is concerned, I'm very freindly with my students; I'm very empathetic towards them. I try to know what is exactly happening in a student's mind and how I can get closer to them by knowing their doubts, their queries, their requirements and problems. Actually, in my student-career, I was very close to my teachers. So when I myself became a teacher I tried to get close to my students too.

SRADHA: Sir, as you said you are very close to your students and obviously, you're emotionally very much attached to them. You must have seen so many batches of students studying here and then moving on after their graduation. So, do you still stay connected with them even after their graduation ?

SRIMANT SIR: Yes, yes. I'm in touch with my students. I'm in contact with them through facebook chats, google talk, and lots of other columns. And I also suggest one thing, here, that students should make their alumni-bond stronger; make it a 'sigma' bond; presently, it is a 'pie' bond. Keep a record of how many alumni members are posted where; some are in the corporate field, some in government jobs, some are in foreign countries. They are in contact with me. So, I suggest you to build a stronger bond so that there can be proper interaction.

SRADHA: Of course, that is necessary. Sir, you teach students about entrepreneurship development and also help them with various curricular and extra-curricular activities. How significant, do you think, are activities like sports, music, literary events etc in an engineering college like CET ?

SRIMANT SIR: See, all are unique in their own way. So, you have to discover what kind of extra-curricular activities can be done by you, can be done by you willingly. You have to discover your talent and your interest. If not discovered, they cannot be garnished. So talents need to discovered and then converted into performance. How you discover your talent and how you convert it into performance depends on you. Teacher is, again, there to help you; to show you your path.

SRADHA: Do you think more can be done to encourage students in this area, from the teachers' side ?

SRIMANT SIR: More can be done, of course, if teachers' involvement is maximized. Not only me; only I cannot motivate all the students, students in this huge mass, because my involvement is limited to certain areas. But students must be motivated every time, in every class. And again, teachers themselves must be motivated too. It should be a factor. Students.. all students, should come close to teachers, with doubts, queries, with information.

SRADHA: Indeed, sir, the relationship between a teacher and a student is a beautiful one. A teacher can be like a parent, or like a friend, can be a guide too; and to celebrate this relationship, we have Teachers' Day on the fifth of every September. Sir, as you said, you were very close to your teachers, so do you have any such interesting or funny Teachers'-Day-memories that you want to share with us ?

SRIMANT SIR: Every Teachers' Day, I used to do 'pranaam' to my teachers and then I used go to their homes and ask for chocolates. I used to say, "Sir, I did pranaam, so please give me chocolates". They used to laugh and say that you should gift us on this day, but I still asked for chocolates. So we were very close to our teachers and when we visited their homes, if we found several pairs of slippers before our arrival then we used to wonder,"Are we not the first ones!?" and were disappointed that someone else took blessings from our teacher before us.

SRADHA: Sir, do you see a difference in the trend, in the ways Teachers' Day was being celebrated then and is being done now ?

SRIMANT SIR: Yes. There has been some difference. The relationship is, you know, degrading slightly. But it should not be so. 

SRADHA: What factors will you blame for this degradation ?

SRIMANT SIR: I cannot blame anyone, actually. Now-a-days, students are busy with their activities; they have to study and are busy with their respective careers, they have to go for extra coaching classes and all. But you see one thing. The country's Prime Minister is having 24 hours, you are having 24 hours and I am having 24 hours too. So it all depends on how you manage your time. He's the best person who manages his time properly. From those 24 hours, you can organize and devote some time to your teachers. But people are less bothered about that; they have become self-centered these days.

SRADHA: Yes, sir I agree. But, Sir will you consider this factor also that these days some teachers are also minimizing effort from their side; some, not all, are becoming profit-oriented, becoming busy with their tutorials and coaching centers ?

SRIMANT SIR: Let me make this clear. In a system, you can't say that everybody will be perfect or everybody will be polluted. The system runs with some good students along with some good teachers; some good persons. When there are many people in a system, some things will go wrong. But like each year, I put my efforts to know my students closely, similarly, students simultaneously should take interest too. Both sides should put their efforts as to how to make this bond a stronger one.

SRADHA: Yes , Sir it all depends on the willingness of both sides. Sir, we know that you are a voracious reader and have deep interest in poetry. I remember you recited some beautiful Odia and English poetry in our class too. So before ending this interview, would you like to say something on this occasion ?

SRIMANT SIR: For Teachers' Day, I would like to offer 'pranaam' to my teachers by reciting this famous shloka, 
                  " Gurur Brahma Gurur Vishnu Gurur Devo Maheshvarah
                            Gurur saakshaat Parambrahma tasmai shree Gurave namah "

SRADHA: Sir, thank you so much for talking to us. [ Getting up to shake hands ]
             [ Sir shakes hands with Tanuja and Pooja and retires ]

The team-Pen-tastic thanks Srimant Tripathy sir for sparing some time to talk to us and for sharing his thoughts with us. On this day, we offer our gratefulness to all those teachers who taught us, understood us, helped us, supported us, scolded us when needed and patted us when needed; helped us explore our merits and demerits and ultimately,become the 'person' we are. HAPPY TEACHERS' DAY to all our beloved teachers. ]


  1. One of the most Active snd supportive teachers !
    Keep us inspiring as always,Sir !! :)

  2. One of the best teachers I had in my life !!...Sir, be happy always... :)