Reminiscing Tiwari Sir!

Dr. D K Tiwari or Tiwari Sir as we dearly called him, was nothing short of an institution.

He was one of my first teachers of Korean at JNU. My first impression was that he had a very enthralling personality. He looked strict yet very calm and composed, very knowledgeable yet easy to approach and less talkative yet clear in thoughts. He was one of those teachers whose lessons you would remember for life. He made learning easy and interesting for his students.

He was also a very observant teacher and understood his students pretty well. He would try to maintain and ensure all students followed the lesson at pace. If any student tried to outsmart his peers he would find fun ways to put them back in place. I would like to share a funny anecdote here.

I remember sitting in my first year BA (hons.) class, we were practicing basic grammar and vocabulary. Tiwari Sir had asked us to translate simple sentences to Korean. Sentences like राम स्कूल जाता है, or रवि फल खाता है etc. These were simple sentences with simple vocabulary like स्कूल, फल, जाना, खाना etc. that we had memorized during our first few lessons. Turn by turn every student was asked to translate a sentence. There was a front bencher who kept raising his hand every time Sir gave a sentence. He was obviously trying to impress Sir and outsmart all other students. Sir noticed his eagerness but stayed calm. After a few rounds, Sir finally walked up to him and gave him a chance. He was of course very confident and got excited. Then came the sentence, मोची जूता सीता है. The student went blank. This was out of syllabus. We all giggled.

This episode taught us an important lesson. ‘Humility is a virtue’. Just as it is important to gain knowledge it is equally important to stay humble.

He was a great scholar and educator who inspired me and helped me to inculcate some of his methods of teaching in my classroom.

We all miss him at CKS!

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