Today's Beautiful Gem: "My Teachers" by M. Udayakala

"Dara Job was my first school teacher. This Christian teacher
narrated the stories from Ramayana and kindled in me the interest
in classics that burns to this day. Later on, I had teachers
like Vedam Venkata Krishna Sarma and Narayanachar who inculcated
in me the appreciation of literature-- Indian and English-- that
made a long series of otherwise sombre days of later periods
bearable. Chandrasekhara Reddy in the college once again worked
a miracle. We read Bhasa's dramas such as `Yagnaphalam' and
`Pratima'. He taught me to look at the other side of things
such as how well-meaning Kaikeyi was always misunderstood in
`Pratima'. Though very interested in literature, I didn't take
it as my major. Instead, I took to science and discovery. There,
I had excellent masters such as Sriramamurthy, Papa Rao, Ramachandra
Rao, Babu Rao, and, Bhimasenachar, to mention a few. Then I had
Viswamitra, R.S. Krishnan and Venkatasubramanyam, and, Rajagopal
in the graduate school. These and others inspired me to take up
the perilous path of scientific research.

"I have several other teachers in my life. I learnt quite a lot
from my parents and my siblings, in particular, music from my
mother. My beautiful wife taught me several sweet lessons including
the intricate aspects of cooking and biochemistry. My two children
teach me daily the American perspective of life! My friends and
colleagues are also, in a way, my tutors. Long ago, I myself was
a teacher and tried to inspire many a student, but I am not sure
how successful I was. I am glad for many who attained good
positions, a few here in the US. It is always nice to be a
student. The teachers profess to know a lot; as a student, I
understand I have a lot to learn. I had other teachers such as
G.N. Ramachandran, Dorothy Hodgkin and Linus Pauling, who never
knew I was their student. I met them briefly and conversed with
them; they might not remember me. However, they were my
inspirational beacons! Then there were the authors from whose
articles and books I got training in many disciplines.

"In a broader sense, I had many preceptors-- Krishna, Buddha,
Jesus, Allah, Nanak, Tagore, Gibran, Gandhi, and, many other
great names. Nature, with its blue skies, bright stars, green
valleys and gurgling rivers as well as with its abundance of
flowers, birds, and animals, is a splendid but invisible teacher.
The dawn of each day is a harbinger for new experiences in
learning. The dusk of each day is a time for reflection on the
small discoveries made and the many errors committed in the
process. I am what I am today because of the lessons my many
masters, past and present, taught me. Forever, I wish to remain
a student longing for peace, wisdom, and, love!"

Om Santih! Peace! - J. K. Mohana Rao