An ode to my second mother – Saoli Ma’am

It is said that behind every successful man lies a woman. This woman can be a mother, a sister, a wife or simply a friend or a colleague. But, if someone tells me to rank them in terms of importance, I would straightaway put mothers at the top of the list. There is no doubt that a mother deserves the first credit for a man’s success, for she brings him to this world, nurtures him using every ounce of care and affection, protects him and teaches him to stand tall in the society. Whoa! Mothers are all-rounders. In fact, a mother is the superwoman in every man’s life.

I consider myself truly blessed for I have not one mother, but two! No, this is not some typical Bollywood story where the actor has a birth mother but he is raised by someone else. My story is different in the sense that I had been brought up by two mothers simultaneously in different environments.

My birth mother is the angel of my life. She is my foundation, my pillar of support and the roof above my head. I shall write about her someday later. But, today, my heart speaks for Mrs. Saoli Dutta Ahmed, my teacher, my friend and my second mother. A beautiful quote by American novelist Robert A. Heinlein aptly defines Saoli ma’am:

“Being a mother is an attitude, not a biological relation.” 

Saoli ma'am and me

Saoli ma’am is the epitome of a multi-dimensional woman. She is an exceptionally talented Biology teacher; her unique way of teaching the subject in my high school days made me fall in love it. I and my classmates used to eagerly wait for her Biology class as she used to bring so much energy and positive vibes in the class that we never realized when the 40 minutes of class had passed.

She stepped into my life when I was in the fifth standard in my school, Delhi Public School, Duliajan. She was my class teacher. That was the time when ma’am had taught me the importance of good handwriting and presentation in my notebooks and exam papers. In fact, one of her admirable qualities is her beautiful handwriting and her love for fountain pens. I still find it surprising that she used to maintain the attendance book using ink pens! Apart from that, she is an avid reader of books; her love for novels of noted authors inspired me to dive into the world of literature. In the fifth standard, I came to know about her love for the Harry Potter book series and if she’s reading this now, I would like to thank her for introducing me to my most favourite fictional character and his magical world. Moreover, her English is impeccable and she has very good writing skills. She aspires to write a novel someday and  I have suggested her to make an entry into the wonderful world of blogging where her words will find proper audience and through this medium, she can get in touch with people who are established authors.

While in the ninth standard, I had the golden chance to travel with her twice to Delhi, once to attend an AIDS awareness programme conducted by the DPS Society at DPS Gurgaon and the other trip was to participate in Terraquiz 2006, a national-level environment quiz conducted by TERI. During these trips, I discovered the amazing personality inside her, especially in the AIDS awareness programme. At first, it was slightly unsettling for me to find myself amidst mature talks about sex and AIDS, but Saoli ma’am gave me proper guidance and strength to be bold and not shy away from such an important topic. Being a Biology teacher, she knows how to correctly counsel children about hush-hush topics which many grown-ups, including parents, hesitate to address, because they are either shy or they fear they may incite bad feelings in children. In fact, students in my school love her because they find her as one person who is always willing to hear their problems, understand them and help them solve whatever is bothering them. Throughout my school life, she helped me become emotionally stronger and taught me values which I follow religiously even now. I am a grown up now, but I am always assured that her motherly arms shall always be there for me whenever I need them.

Saoli ma’am is happily married to Mr Shakeel Ahmed Ansari, my sports teacher in school, and they have two lovely daughters – Sanah and Donah. Being a teacher and a mother at the same time is not an easy task, but ma’am has been able to carry both responsibilities on her shoulders with panache. My heart fills with admiration and respect for her when I remember how she used to leave her daughters with her husband and sometimes, with her parents, who used to fly down from Kolkata to Duliajan, Assam, and she would travel all the way down to Chennai and stay there for weeks to pursue her Masters in Zoology. For a mother, staying away from her little daughters, even for a day, is painful but ma’am was willing to make the sacrifice to pursue her dream of higher studies. This is the sign of a bold and courageous woman!

Saoli Ma'am

Saoli ma’am is not an ordinary woman. She is a teacher, a wife, a mother, a friend, a counselor and a storehouse of different talents. Her story is an inspiration for all women who do not want to be confined into an one-dimensional way of life but wants to exercise their choices in different avenues and lead a beautiful life.

Thank you BlogAdda for this wonderful initiative. Thank you for giving me a push once again to participate in this activity and I could not have asked for a better topic than this as my first blog post of 2015!

 This post is a part of #UseYourAnd activity at BlogAdda in association with Gillette Venus

7 thoughts on “An ode to my second mother – Saoli Ma’am

  1. Kunal, ur article has touched the deepest part of my heart. A big Thank you. U have made me a legend of a sort. GOD BLESS U SON. But son i really dont deserve so much of applause because teaching u n being able to be ur guide in any way was a matter of pride for me as well. I noe i will never get a student like u again, but nothing wrong in hoping…. As the famous Hindi saying….UMEED PE HI DUNIYA KAYAM HAIN……

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A lovely heart-warming post. While I for one can’t imagine having to deal with more than one mom, I thoroughly enjoyed your post. I am sure your moms must be equally proud of you 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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