Monday, October 31 2016, 11:52:33
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Komal Panwar


Meet Ritu Sen, The Teacher Who Bunked THIS Class With JWB

  • JWB Post
  •  October 25, 2016


There are some teachers in our lives who stay forever our favorite. It’s impossible to bunk their classes, not because of their strict temperament, no sir, but it’s their charm & connection that refuses to leave us.

Such is the case with this teacher at St. Xavier’s College who is everyone’s darling! Meet Ritu Sen, a woman whose bookshelf gave me a heart-attack. On top of it, she tells me that it is just one-fourth of her collection. Yaooza! Well, she’s an English Literature teacher, so can’t really blame her, can we?

Me: I’m sure you get the inspiration from somewhere! Tell me about your first favorite teacher, ever.

Ritu: I was in Kindergarten in Lucknow. The school was incredibly strict and about 200-years-old! There were a lot of do’s and don’ts that had to be religiously followed. Enter Miss V. Singh. She had a wonderful quality. She wasn’t always running around with the school’s rule book. When she taught, she’d ignite this desire in us to learn more, and curiously ask questions.

Such was Professor N.K. Jain in ICG. He’s so humble, especially for someone who’s been teaching for decades. Before he begins teaching, he divides the blackboard into three parts, while the first two are meant for revisions; the largest part of the board is reserved for the new lecture.

Me: What life class would you like to bunk?

Ritu: *Laughing* Definitely, menstruation!

Me: What’s one food that you’d always want to pack for lunch?

Ritu: Either roti sabzi or a sub from Subway.

Me: Who’s your BFF in class?

Ritu: Shreya Chatterji, hands down. I’m the Jane Austen, and she’s my Emily Bronte!

Me: If you were a character in literature, who would you be?

Ritu: Scarlett O’Hara of Gone With The Wind.

Me: What is your favorite era in fashion?

Ritu: I think definitely the 1920s.

Me: What drink would you like to come out from your water cooler?

Ritu: Since it’s school, I’m going to pick cold coffee!

Me: Art class or Music?

Ritu: Art!

Me: Computer Education or Physical Education?

Ritu: Since I don’t get technology, definitely Computers.

Me: Who, according to you, was the strongest, bravest feminist character in literature?

Ritu: Draupadi. She carries this incredulous strength. She’s a complete favorite. If I could pick one more, it would be Virginia Woolf.

Me: Describe the most romantic scene you’ve ever read.

Ritu: I didn’t read this one, but watched it. It was the Notting Hill. By the end of the movie, they’re just sitting there, both of them doing what they have to do. They’re not star-gazing, talking to each other. That tells us the level of comfort they share with one another.

And that’s when a Poppy (Dogger-in-chief) question interrupted: I know Ritu Ma’am that  you love me. I saw the way you looked at me during Bloggy Boogie. But you have your own dogs, eh? Tell me; I’ll only be friends with you if you introduce them to me.


Ritu: Well, Popperz, I have a pug called Gurgurata. He minds his own business and is happy in his own skin. Then there’s Dorali, or Dan-dan or Danny; I can safely say he’s the most handsome chap I’ve ever seen. I also feel that dogs are the highest possible souls ever. He’s above the negativity of the world. I think that’s the thing with every labby; their love is unconditional.

Dogger-in-chief: I am indeed very loving, and am awesome.

Me: Okay, Poppy, let me take this forward, please. Here, fetch a ball. How do you prepare yourself for every class?

Ritu: The M.A. lectures take about two hours to prepare. Well, I try to read up as much, of course, apart from the text, that’s a given. I like to prepare some trivia for the class. I make these horrible looking but tedious notes.

Me: What inhibitions have you been able to overcome since you started teaching?

Ritu: I used to have a perforated memory. Things refused to stay. So, when I started teaching, it became essential for me to remember facts, and keep them in place. I experienced a great deal of happiness when I overcame it.

Me: What are some of the things that stay in the staff room and shouldn’t come out?

Ritu: This includes food, students, and well, sometimes, colleagues. *wink*

Me: What is one destination that will have your 100% attendance?

Ritu: This is going to sound utterly clichéd, but Paris. I’ve been wanting to go to Paris with the love of my life, and I don’t want it to turn out like Taj Mahal.

Me: What about Taj Mahal?

Ritu: Well, I was a kid, and visited the Taj Mahal with my parents, but I didn’t want to see it because it was such a romantic place! I wanted to visit it with the love of my life. And, when that happened last year, I realized I didn’t enjoy it.

Me: What is one subject you detested in school?

Ritu: Hands down, mathematics.

Well, I think we all detested maths, but I find it impossible to detest English literature, now.

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