I never thought I would be writing about this so soon. Somehow I always expected my teachers to be around to continue to teach me. Even when we had done our high school dance the music always lingered as long as they were alive. I was the student and they were the teachers. Ready to be called upon.
But when the teachers start to fall, the students have to step up and offer the lessons they have learnt, it fills me with fear and anxiety. I have not learnt enough! They have not shared enough! And when they leave us long before we expect them to, we realise we have run out of time. Out of opportunity. And they leave a cavenous emptiness we can never hope to fill.
Mr Goolam Pandit was the most relevant, forward thinking, intuitive, inspiring, game changing giant I had ever met. He made a difference. Every day. In every moment. It makes me sad that I have lost him and it makes me even more sad that future generations of students will never have the pleasure of having met him. I wish I had reached out sooner and let him know how thankful I am for the effort and time he had invested in all of us. I always hoped I would run into him again somewhere along my life’s journey. I imagined that he would have some witty, acerbic, sarcastic comment to deliver with his usual flair. And I would offer up something to match. For this was our language. Delivering foul insults with a comedic tinge. But alas that was not meant to be.
I guess that leaves us to lead the charge. To make sure proper English remains lit. Rest well my English giant. The world became too small for a man of your stature. You will always live on in the mind ripples you created in all of us. You took teaching to a fare-thee-well.
“What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly.” - Richard Bach
“For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one.” - Kahlil Gibran
Until we meet again.