I am not the kind who looks back and goes “Oh those wonderful school days!” I’ve never seen the point of attending school and I’ve never understood what it was trying to achieve. I still don’t. But some of us have had wonderful experiences in that environment and the rest of us just like to romanticise the past because, well, it’s the past; you can make whatever you want out of it and there’s no one to question it.

So, anyway, since a good number of us look up to our teachers as Guru-figures, I thought, why not dig into the past and honestly see if there was anyone who had a Guru-like impact on me. Well, that was easy. The answer was immediate. It was my drawing teacher.

I don’t remember his name. But I remember his face. He was tall-ish. I don’t know how tall ‘cause I was 5 or 6 and everything around me was way taller than me. He was soft-spoken. I wouldn’t call him strict. I’d call him assertive. When it came to drawing, he had three rules:

1. No pencils (What?!)
2. No erasers (This is just cruel!)
3. Only oil pastels! (He hated wax crayons.)

The rest was up to you. So, the sky didn’t have to be blue. The leaves didn’t have to be green. The earth didn’t have to be brown. The drawing didn’t have to be perfect. Your human figure could have two heads because you got the first one wrong. But that didn’t matter. You could hide other mistakes under multiple layers of crayon scribbles or just leave it as is. It didn’t matter. The only thing that mattered was that we were exploring and having fun with colours.

So, I drew and drew and drew and eventually I learnt to get it right on the first attempt. Not that it was important to get it right in the first go. But it just happened. When I didn’t care about making mistakes, I just got it right.

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