Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Meet your teacher: Ms Baljeet Kaur

"Picket memories are my very precious treasures"
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Think English.
Think Picket
And the first name that stikes your mind is that of Ms Baljeet Kaur.
A symbol of grace,respect and exceptional teaching, Baljeet Ma'm was always one of the favorite teachers in Picket.A batch considered itself fortunate if it was taught by Baljeet Ma'm.Every time we got in touch with an ex picketian, there were enquiries about this teacher.So Nikhil decided to catch up with her and find out more in this exclusive interview.

Please tell us something about your childhood and schooling

I was one year old when India was fragmented. My parents, like any other refugees, had to struggle to restart their lives. So I experienced all the privations that were the lot of the community and the country at that time.
I lived in one of the refugee rehabilitation colonies established by the govt. and studied in a govt. school in Delhi. Imbued with nation building zeal the limited resources were considered as boons and I learnt optimisation naturally. We used to greet every one in the school with ‘Jai Hind’, danced to all kinds of regional folklore and marched to the tune of patriotic songs. It was bliss.

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When did you start your teaching career. At what level you started.

In June 1967, I completed my B. Ed. and joined KV Baroda as a TGT English teacher.

At What level did you end your career?

I opted for voluntary retirement as principal in 2003.

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Did you take up this profession by choice or was there some other reason?

I wanted to enter civil services but circumstances were such that took to teaching. ...But there are no regrets.

Why did you decide to become an English teacher and not something else?

One of my uncles used to speak English very well. I developed a fascination for the language. During my school I discovered that I had a flair for the language. Hence it was a natural choice.

For how many years were you with Picket? Are there any other KVs you were associated with?

I was at KVP for about a quarter of a century in various capacities. I started my career with KV Baroda. Then AFA Dundiga, Trimulgherry, Uppal I, Eddumailaram and Gooty.

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How would you rate Picket against the other KVs?

It is one of the best in the country.

How do you think the school has changed over time?

The school has not changed. It has remained one of the best. Times, values and priorities have changed. But KVP has been one of the leading schools (not only KVs) in the twin cities.

How do you think an average Picketian fares in English?

It is very interesting to note that those students who I thought were not upto the mark also have done very well in life. An average Picketian has done very well in life. This would not be possible without having sufficient grasp of English language.

You have handled all kinds of students.But what kind of students troubled you the most? Any particular names?

Students who thought they knew English too well. Language is an ocean and we can measure its depth only when we need to use it in real life to meet unforeseen situations. Speaking and writing, where one needs to produce one’s own language are the skills that are tested only outside the classroom – in the real big world outside. When students ignored these two I felt they are harming themselves.

And what kinds of students did you would like the most?

Students who are hungry for knowledge and want to work hard and regularly to achieve their targets are the ones who are the darlings of all the teachers the world over.

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Do you think the attitude of students have changed over the years?

Yes and no.
Yes because they have become more aware of the world and understand what they need. Unlike students of the old who accepted everything from a teacher, today’s students are more selective in their learning.
No because they still love their teachers as blindly as students have always done.

What would you say was the best moment/phase of your teaching career?

That glint of joy of new learning in the eyes of majority of the students in a class in invaluable. Nothing can describe it. It is this that brings the students back to the teacher after many years too. That is the greatest reward/award for a teacher.

What do you think was the toughest part of being a teacher?

Not to let my students down whenever they looked up to me.

Teaching is a tough job. Students look onto you with a lot of respect. For someone who is keen on becoming a teacher, what suggestions/advice would you have for him or her?

Enjoy teaching everything else falls in its own place. Give your best. Be humane but not weak. A teacher is a role model for a student. Therefore, model you have to be. Saying and doing cannot be two different things for a teacher.

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Are there any particular students you would like to meet at the reunion?

All students are particular students. The more the merrier.

Can we have some photographs of yours? Are we allowed to publish them on the Picket Blog.

Yes. I don’t know what picture would you like to have – the one in your mental eye or the one what I am now?

Please tell us something about your family.

My husband, Dr. G.S.Thapar, a Biochemist, retired as Research Manager in a pharmaceutical company. My elder son, a Picketian of 1989 batch, is Production Manager with an MNC advertising company and is placed at Hyerabad. My younger son, a Picketian of 1993 batch, is an independent consultant in Urban and Regional Planning and operates from Hyderabad.
My elder son is married and his wife is a practicing Homeopath. They have a four month old son.

Now that you are not with Picket...What do you do these days?

I am a consultant to an education society running schools in Andhra Pradesh. I also take teacher-training assignments for various educational organisations.

Do you miss the teaching days at Picket?

They are my very precious treasures. They are always with me and I draw upon them whenever I take up an assignment now.

Thanks for your time.Do you have anything to say to the KV Picket Alumni?

If you believe that KVP is your Almamater do all that you would to further the cause of good education in the school. Don’t ever let the world point an accusing finger towards your Almamater.
Wish to hear of your ‘good life’ and hope to see/hear from you.

You can see more pictures of Ms Baljeet Kaur and her school life here. We thank Nikhil Patangy for covering this interview and the photographs


At 10:35 AM, Blogger Venkat_Picket said...

As a student from the 1976, Ms.Baljeet Kaur Mam was one of the teachers who made a profound impact on most of us from our batch. It is such a delighful pleasure to see her again through these pictures. It have helped me particular to relive through grand days.

At 11:18 AM, Blogger Chitra said...

Wow ,time sure flies...I was from the 1986 batch when we WERE in the OLD building next to Jubliee bus stand..Mam I sure remember the way you used to stress on Diction and the way we rolled our R's........I guess you have been highly instrumental in my taking up a TEaching career and teaching ENGLISH......Thank you mam....

At 12:27 PM, Blogger Salil Kader said...

Some teachers are known because of the institutions they teach at; and then there are institutions which are known by the teachers who teach there.. I really dont know which holds good when we talk of KVP and Mrs.Baljeet Kaur (or BK as she is popularly known)! BK has inspired scores of Picketians. Mrs.Chitra here is an example.

Reminds me of a quote by the American historian Henry Adams,

"A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops."

Three cheers to BK !

At 10:10 PM, Blogger Jack Iyer said...

Ms. Baljit kaur Madam was the best. She was always supportive. I had the pleasure of meeting her on one of my visits to Secunderabad.

The photos include one from my 7th standard in 1974-75. This brought back a lot of great memories of the school.

I really miss those days.

Jack Iyer

At 4:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just joined the picket alumni group in yahoo and the first mail I get is about Baljit Kaur mam's interview. I am so happy because I feel connected.

This is Priyanka Prasad, XII-A, Batch of 97.

Mam, incase you read this I just want to let you know you are always remembered very fondly.
I met you last in 2002 in the Old Block. I look foward meeting with you next time am in Hyd.

At 2:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As an ex-student( actually a student, I will become ex, only when I 'leave' Picket) I am thrilled to see this blog about KVP and more particularly and ironically words fail me to describe how it feels to see Baljeet Kaur Mam's interview and pictures. Mam was my class teacher during the years 1991-1993 and I owe a lot to her for making me the person I am (if there is anything there worthy of acknowledgement that is). I had visited the new block in late 2003 to invite Mam and my other teachers to my wedding and I was disappointed for being unable to establish contact with her. I would really appreciate it if anyone of you could give me her co-ordinates as I am longing to meet her/ speak to her/ email her.
A heartfelt thank you from class XI F and XII F of 1991-1993.
Sangeetha Chandramohan

At 12:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

dear maam ,
this is one of your very ardent students .
my name is kartik ganesan i am the 1998 batch passout. i was the school captain then .
your guidance led me to where i am today .......
shall want and will try to meet you maam .......
i am presently posted in sikkim .
hope to meet you soon maam.

At 4:07 PM, Blogger Jafar said...


This is Jafar from 1984 batch. I will hazard a guess that I was one of the problem students Ms Baljit Kaur had, although my problems were not academic. I am sure even she remembers the meeting she had with my dad!

She was one of the best teachers I had and I kept touch with her until 1991, when I moved to the States.

This blog has brought back a fond memories.

At 2:35 AM, Blogger A. Pavan said...


This is Pavan, writing from Minneapolis, MN, USA. I passed out from KVP in 1984 and then "passed out" again later in life for reasons best left untold. :-)

Jafar, you're right on the money on both counts - Mrs. B.K's indelible influence on us all and you being a "problem child"! Hope you've gotten your act together since :-) I think Vicky was your closest competition! :-)

But kiddin' aside, KVP days were the best times of our lives. The varied acts of mischief we mounted from time to time - if only we had been as creative in other spheres of life at the time! ;-)

I have been in touch with a few of my classmates over the years. Visited the "new block" of KVP back in 1992 - Mrs. B.K. very kindly invited me to come address the morning assembly.

The two teachers who remain etched most in our memory are Mrs. B.K. and Mrs. Pramila Venugopal (a.k.a. Mrs. Marian David). We got to know Mrs. B.K. closely only in classes XI and XII when she was our class teacher. Somehow she survived us all, through all the trials and tribulations we put her through and in the process managed to impart an education to us and inspire us all.

Likewise Mrs. Pramila Venugopal, who taught us Biology in classes VIII and X, was a real motivational force, instilling the rare element of fun and substance into her teaching while allowing us easy access to her on issues, both academic and personal.

I can go on and on. Nice to see this blog site set up and I hope to reach many more from my days in KVP through this site.

It is great to know that a KVP Alumni Meet is planned for Dec 24. I plan to be in India then and will most likely attend.

I have several pictures to contribute from our days in KVP. Will send them across soon.

If anyone is in touch with Mrs. B.K. please do give her my warmest regards. I was saddened to learn of Mrs. Leena Lahiri's passing away. She taught us Hindi in classes VIII and IX. May her soul rest in peace.

Ciao all.

A. Pavan

At 10:07 AM, Blogger A. Pavan said...

I forgot to make a special mention of Mrs. G. Indira who taught us Physics in XI and XII. Her grasp of the subject was among the best I have ever come across in my long academic life. She was a real inspiration as well. My love of Physics grew tremendously on account of her impeccable teaching. Anyone know of her whereabouts?

Who are the teachers attending the Alumni meet in December?

At 3:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i passed out from Picket in 1992 - MPBC and BK was my favorite teacher there. she used to always shake her head at my elder brother and me and tell us that we would never be good as our parents (whom she liked very much :-)) i've been in hyd for some years now but never made it back to KVP. would love to meet you, ma'am, at the reunion!

Madhavi P

At 10:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In my memory, Ma'am was dignity and poise personified. Being in her presence often reminded me of a song ... "Sooraj ki garmi mein tapte hue tan ko mil jaaye taruvar ki chaaya, Aisa hi sukh mere man ko mila hai main jab-se sharan teri aaya".

Kshitij Kamal, Class of '92 (MPBC)

At 5:06 AM, Blogger anupamanair said...

I did not have the opportunity to study under Ms Baljeet Kaur. My English teacher at New Block was Ms Beeti Biswas. I wonder if teachers read these messages too. If Biswas Madam ever reads this I wish to tell her that I truly love her. And she is the best teacher I ever had.
Anupama Nair
(Batch of 1999 MPBC)

At 4:06 AM, Blogger Rajesh Kumar said...

Altough i did not have apportunity to Study under Mrs. Baljeet Kaur but i know from My mates in other sections that she was the Best. Iam Rajesh Kumar Studied in KV PICKET from 5Th Standard (Tadbund ) to 12th Standard (KV PICKET OLD and NEW BLOCK ). Iam Currently working in Dell as a Area Manager. I Know Biswajeet, Nikhil, Rama Vinod as they were mates in 96 not too sure many people remember coz i was a quite guy never used in raom in corridors however i was in Basket Ball and did make it to Regionals along with Amarnath and Wasim (who was in 12th E Arts). I cherish those memories in KV PICKET.My Teacher's were Mr.Vishwakiran (Chemistry) Mrs.Bhagyalakshmi (Physics)Mrs.Gauri Devi (Maths)Mr.Nanda (English)Mr.C.K.Sharma (Hindi) Mr.Acharaya and Mr.Sharma (Sanskrit) Mr.Narayrao (Hindi) and my Class Mates in 12th Were Ruchika Dewan, Ritika, Ramavinod, Abhay Philips, Nitin, Vishwanath,Shaik Anwar, Satya(Apple Computers) Kavya, Mary Roopa, Shweta Singh, Jyoti, Radhika, Late Kajori Khanaa, Anupama Shah, Vijay Chandra and Vinay Kumar

At 2:52 PM, Anonymous Ganesh said...

It is amazing to go back all these years. You taught me in 1979-80 and still remember you as being the best.
Mrs. Kaur...if you read this please drop me line at ganesht@umkc.edu...It would be the greatest experience to correspond with a teacher of mine....

It is great to hear all the good things said about you...

Best regards
Ganesh (79-80 batch)

At 1:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's really great to have a teacher like Mrs. Baljeet Kaur ma'm.
I still remember the teaching methods used to make the class interesting.she took a lot of care about the correct usage of English.
I just admire her for her simplicity.
During the school days,I enjoyed a lot listening to her sweet voice,her pronunciation.....those days were really wonderful.
I miss u ma'm. May be you could not recognize me as your student,but among
all my teachers....you are the best.

At 7:43 PM, Blogger nr.avinash said...

Hi i am Avinash from 98 batch but left in 9th. My mom n i did our schooling from Picket.Baljeet Kaur mam never took classes for me.However Indirectly influences me.HOW? MAM'S FAV Dialoug when someone missbehaved used to be "Don't behave like picket pigs" n trust me at the age of 50 my mom repeats the same thing and every time she says that she remembers mam n says "If she was not that we would not have been were we are today" and my mom Geetha Krishnamachary(in school)now serves JNTU as a Proff.I wish all the teachers were like baljeet mam so that generations down the line even our kids learn good things like what indirectly i learnt from you .

At 5:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi , My name is Uma, 97 +2 passout and i am very thrilled to see so many comments. even i was a student of Kaur madam, i have no words to describe her, she is a role model. I still remember my school days. Big school ground, will surely visit our school when i find time and take photographs. I remember few other teaches who taught us. Laxmi madam for chemistry, nanda sir hindi, Gauri madam maths.

At 1:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, My name is vani bangaru, i was a student of kaur madam in 10th class in the year 1989 , her inspiration to be creative always strenghten my interest for writing some good things . The result being i am able to write poems in english and hindi as well. Thanks for your concern for the students i am a fortunate student of your's madam....

At 10:15 PM, Blogger BHOOPENDRA said...

IAM LT.CDR bhoopendra singh of 95 batch. mam !!! iam the same poet turned soldier whom u treated like ur younger son !!!!!
u are as memorable as my KV PICKET

At 10:52 PM, Blogger rashma said...

Dear Mam
You wrote in my autograph book in 1986 (in hindi) to keep smiling like i always do and spread happiness where ever i go. I treasure that autograph book and look through it almost everyday. 22 years have passed since then, but you will always remain the best teacher ever.
Rashma Haridas Batch of 1985-86 (XII th)

At 7:22 PM, Blogger azam said...

Hi Dear Mam..
I am not a picketian but My name is SHAIK ABDUL AZAM from K.V Gooty,a 2003 passout yaa exactly the year when u have taken Voluntary Retirement From our school and i am really glad and proud to say that we students of K.V Gooty of 2003 batch are the last Students of such a dynamic personality who is a sign of encouragement.....we still remember your valuable work mam,what u did as a principal of K.V Gooty by getting the approval to restart Classes 1,2&3...and the way u strained and served your best for upliftment of the school.Now the strength is raising mam..Thank you for your great work mam.......where you layed the foundation for a new era...

mam one small request if possible u kindly give your mail address to me mam...
My e-mail ID is:-
hope u will respond me...

At 4:55 PM, Anonymous PRADEEP GUPTA said...

Dear Picketians & Other KV'ites :

My regards and best wishes to a lady I hold in high esteem and regard.

It's so nice to see the love and affection with which Picketians & other KV'ites have written about Mrs. Baljeet Kaur.

A lady whom I adored for the flair and diction with which she carried the language of English.

Hats off to you Ma'am. While surfing the web I just happended to come across KV Picket ... a reminder of the fond memories I hold of the place where I grew.

An Ex-Picketain from the 1981 batch.

Love & best wishes to all,


At 10:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Apart from being a great English teacher, BK Mam has been a source of inspiriation for many of us (of 76 batch). It is nice to note that so many have tried to describe her in their own small ways; the mark of a very great teacher indeed.
Dr. K Srinivas

At 3:15 AM, Blogger Suhail said...

Baljit Kaur ma'am

I was ur student for 2 yrs 1988-89 .. ur son was in section C, n i was in B .have such fond memories of bein part of the class n have all the respect for u . am sure in da mazae o students its tuff to remember many of us .. but we are what we are coz of the efforts put in by you n other fellow teachers .
how does one contact you ? wud love to establish contacts with you
suhail khan

At 5:14 PM, Blogger azeez said...

Mam Baljit,

I am SYED ABDUL AZEEZ BASHA ,God Bless u with long live.Mam I am Of !(&* batch and U were our teacher in class 7 Its u I just cant forget until my blood is red my most passionate teacher U may not remember me but I was a too silent Guy and U praised me for the poem I had written on the characters of each of my class mat. I dont treasure it may be its with u

At 11:39 AM, Blogger mridula anand said...

Dear Baljeet Kaur Maam,
My name is Mridula Anand and I was the sports captain in the year 94 when I was in class 11 of the MPBC group. My best memories of my interst in English are from you teaching me to pronounce Renaissance and restaurant.Tahnks for making english learning a beautiful esperience.

At 3:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Baljeet Kaur Maam,
My name is G.Saikumar.1986 passout.I started from KV Tarbund and later moved on to the K.v Picket(old).I chose commerce group and you were my class teacher in XIIC. Presently Iam a Chartered Accountant practising in Kollam, Kerala state.Thankyou madam for shaping my career. Love and best wishes to you Maam

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