A hastened goodbye

Momar Mboup - India


May 30, 2019

My first month in India just elapsed with everything going smoothly in my class. I was gradually getting myself accustomed to the teaching methods, the beautiful school culture, and the students. It was the perfect momentum for growth and enjoyment. Amongst all these happenings, my favourites were my interactions with the students in general. Whether it was to joke with them, to share my story and to listen to theirs or to tutor academically struggling kids, every moment spent with them filled me with satisfaction and happiness. I remember in the beginning, I valued class teaching over all the aforementioned things but a mishap occurred changing my point of view.

There was one particular student who faced difficulties keeping up with the pace of my teaching: Anshika. She was smart but due her unfamiliarity with the english language could not thoroughly grasp concepts taught in class. Despite it ,her eagerness to learn and to understand my english constantly motivated me to tutor her more. At that time everything seemed to be going well until the day she had to take a day off. At first, it appeared as a regular medical check for her but no one could have imagined that day would have been our last forever– she was no more. Allegedly her health conditions suddenly sharply deteriorated; it was so virulent appearing more like a curse than a disease. As soon as the news of passassion reached us, mourning; lamentation; and desperate cries could be heard from the school. Just two days ago, I was teaching her mathematics, conversing with her in English and asking her to spend more time studying with her sister and now she went on. So many things she could have experienced, so many emotions she could have felt, so many memories and changes she could have made; thinking about all these deeply pained me. I could not shed a tear for I only felt emptiness and regret for not having gotten to know her, learn from her, and share my story to her.

She moved on, leaving us with sorrow and remorse but also one important lesson to me:

How to say goodbye before the actual goodbye. Goodbye, the end of experience has always to balance out my life in the past, present and future. That is to say to live by letting go of past regrets, fully enjoying the present as well as often planning for the future rather than being completely absorbed by one of them. Thoses days my focus was only directed towards concepts understanding, only preparing for her future and not paying attention to her daily self. In other words, I was only focused on the future rather than the present. And then after she passed away I could not help but to harbor remorse over my lack of familiarity with her for an extended period of time just like all those past harsh memories I could not let go of. I wish I had understood this from the very beginning. Now that she is no more I will treasure this lesson forever as the gift she imparted to me.

Momar Mboup