It was in the year 1999. I had just returned from Delhi after completing my PhD work and had rejoined my duties as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering, Assam Engineering College after a gap of three years. Most of the students were not known to me.
In our department, we used to conduct viva on each subject for internal assessment. It happened to be a thorough examination of the students’ knowledge on the subject. The students, as expected, usually did not like the exercise.
The viva was going on well and I was present there more as an onlooker since I was fresh to the scene, though I used to be notorious for asking tough questions to floor even the smartest of them.
After one student had left the room, one of my colleagues said to me, “Sir, the next student who is coming is very naughty, a trouble maker. Ask him very tough questions to teach him a lesson.”
I just smiled and waited eagerly for the student to come in.
In came a smart, handsome and confident young man with a smile on his face. He took his seat and I started asking him few questions on his family back ground. As it turned out, both of his parents were highly educated and were holding some respectable positions in the society. He also had his schooling in some reputed public school outside Assam.
After asking some questions on the subject, most of which he could not answer, I said to him , “You are from a good family, you have a good background, you seem to be very good. You have the potential to top the class. Probably, you are just enjoying your life rather than concentrating in your studies now. Take care.”
He just nodded in agreement and left.
After a few days, I met the student personally just to give him another pep talk.
The classes for the next semester of that particular batch started and I was also to teach a subject in that class. The boy never missed a single lecture of mine on that subject. He did extremely well in the end semester examinations to score the highest marks in that subject.
He was a transformed boy by now, his conducts changed for the better, the teachers' opinion about him started changing too. His academic performance continued to improve and finally he secured a place among the top three students of the class. He received a very lucrative job offer through campus interviews and has been doing well professionally now.
After his final results were out, he along with his father and aunt came to visit me at my residence. Even though he did not speak out, his sparkling eyes were expressive enough to say thanks to me.
And for me, it became one of my fond memories.