“Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears;
I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.
The evil that men do lives after them;
The good is oft interred with their bones;
So let it be with Caesar.”
Act III, Scene II, Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare
To this day, I get goose bumps when I hear or read these lines. The credit for this goes to a strong, dignified and fierce woman who commanded attention from the moment she entered a class. Mrs. Lakshmi Menon.
The very first memory that I have of her is of terror as she screamed at our class for making noise during a free period. Fast forward to standard IX, she became our English teacher. And then everything changed. I changed. The fear disappeared, all that was left was immense amazement, respect and gratitude.