The Bee In Spring

ID-10085282What happens when you give your professors nicknames and completely forget their original ones? What if you  remember them by just their appellations?

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.

“Spring?” I racked my brains. “Why spring? Was she named after a flower? Jasmine? Rose? What?”ID-100147751

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 @

Photo Credit: Pixtawan @


This entry was posted in College Capers, We Indians! and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to The Bee In Spring

  1. Asiya Omar says:

    very interesting, as usual well written.

  2. ksbeth says:

    interesting how one’s perspective can change in an instant. what keeps life interesting )

  3. TBM says:

    I love this story. I have nicknames for some of my friends and there are times when I can’t remember their actual name. Her name is beautiful and I love the meaning.

  4. This one means a lot to me… Absolutely loved it and am soooooo happy saira remembered our Queen bee…. this brought back loads of memories of our fabulous college days… and our dear professors.. Believe it or not i just realised her name is vasantha… and am enlightened as to the meaning of the name.. didnt know that at all. She definitely lived up to her name… Thank you sooooo much for this lovely narration…. it has brought a big smile on my face and made my Day….. Kindest regards and best wishes to you… Please dont stop keep writing and keep us smiling…:)…

  5. Sorry made a silly mistake in the comment above…. Pleaaaassseee keep writing these lovely stories…. i enjoy them thoroughly.

  6. Thumbelina81 says:

    Buzzing bee.its amazing how nicknames stick by forever.. My nickname thumbelina originated from a school tease because i was a short girl and stayed with me forever. I hope someday , someone writes a story like this for me. As usual, this one’s a simple but a lovely read.

  7. mymoon mohideen says:


Your comments are valuable. Feel free to pen your thoughts here.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.