When we were in college we had this habit of giving tag names or nicknames to our professors. The name highlighted some idiosyncrasy of theirs.
We named one teacher frizzy because of her hair. A lecturer had an awful bright pink saree which she wore too often to college. Hence her sobriquet was Pinky. One professor had a somber look. Ergo, she was Madam Judge. We baptized another very fair-skinned teacher, Rasagulla (Indian Milk Sweet)
Then we had a “Queen Bee.”
This professor was very small built and was always hyper active. You could find her darting in and out of classes, heading committees or arranging symposium and seminars. She was always “busy as a bee.” I don’t remember ever seeing her seated sedately in her chair in the staff room.
During my three years in under graduation, she taught our class many subjects. We saw her almost everyday. But we referred to her among ourselves as ‘Queen Bee,’ only. So much so, twenty years later we still refer to her by her nomenclature.
A year after I had completed my BA, my wedding was fixed. I wanted to invite some professors from college. After all they had been like second family to me.
So I was in the staff room of my old college, my alma mater, greeting teachers, and writing down their names in the wedding invites and seeking their good wishes.
I moved from table to table, person to person and I was before Queen Bee, my pen poised over the invite, ready to fill in her name.
But I could not remember it.
All that came to mind was, Queen Bee, Queen Bee, Queen Bee!
Noticing my dilemma, the other professors laughed and said, “She has forgotten your name.”
“Lets give her a clue,” someone said.
“Think of the spring season,” one lady tried to help me out.
Finally, Queen Bee herself came to my aid and told me her name.
It was Vasantha!
She was Mrs. Vasantha, What a lovely name!
In the Tamil language (my mother–tongue) Vasantha has a beautiful meaning.
Vasantham means Spring Season!
For three whole years we ignoble girls had referred to her as a bee because of her temperament and her busy nature. Her name had not conjured up visions of flowers in full bloom, birds singing and fine weather.
How foolish we had been! She was such a bright and cheerful lady with a spring in her very step.
The name Vasantha or The Season of Spring, suits her a lot better than the flying insect we had named her after.
Story by: Saira – Written by: Gulsum Basheer @ talkalittledo.
Photo Credit: lamnee @ freedigitalphotos.net
Photo Credit: Pixtawan @ freedigitalphotos.net