Out of the Box. Out of the Syllabus.
We may not admit to it most of the times, but give it a thought and you’ll realise that we tend to look at teachers, simply as a means to complete the ‘portion’ and move on. And then walks in a teacher, who gives you the ‘Aamir Khan from 3 idiots’ vibes and makes you realise that there is knowledge beyond the books as well. He is someone who does not believe in rote learning but actually makes an effort to drill the concepts as they should be, into your head. And mind you, he makes sure it’s interesting and you enjoy.
No, the above mentioned professor is not a mythical creature, but he actually exists. I’ve had the honour of being taught by Mr. Ritesh Mehta thrice now and he’s yet to let his students down. He has completed his Masters in Management Studies (Finance) from Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies, Mumbai and is also a part of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, United Kingdom. He’s working with CRISIL Ltd. as an Associate Director (Finance) and has taken up teaching as a part time hobby, which gives him the edge, since he can provide his students with not just bookish knowledge, but also use his work experience in the classroom. He teaches as a visiting faculty in my college, i.e. Usha Pravin Gandhi College of Management, as well as other colleges like NMIMS and NM College of Commerce and Economics. So why would someone at a position like his want to teach? His answer is simple- He considers teaching as a hobby close to his heart, allowing him to have intelligent conversations with young students, giving him the opportunity to learn and share his knowledge with students. Believe it or not, teaching is a stress buster for him!
Mr. Mehta first taught me the subject Introduction to Cost Accounting in the second semester of BMS. Known for his 7am lectures (where you’re not allowed to enter beyond 7.05am), all students perceived him as your typical ‘strict’ professor if you will. So is he strict? Well, yes and no. He’s one of those professors who can make you accept his rules and feel happy about it. He’s the perfect balance between discipline and fun. I actually looked forward to attending his lectures, even if it meant waking up at 5.30 am on winter mornings.
I could not contain my joy when I was informed that he would be teaching me the subject Financial Management in my fifth semester, which is at the University level. At this point, most of us are only bothered about finishing the syllabus and scoring. One would get worried if the teachers share any ‘extra’ or ‘out of syllabus’ information. Ritesh sir didn’t let such attitude from students bother him. Most of us didn’t realise it back then, but today when I sit for campus placement procedures and answer interview questions, I can’t thank him enough for all that ‘extra’ knowledge.
He’s currently teaching me the subject Investment Analysis and Portfolio Management in the sixth semester. As a student I can attribute a lot of changes in me to him. I’ve been a student who disliked numbers for most of my life. Today, thanks to Mr. Ritesh Mehta, I am the nerd in the class who has an adrenaline rush every time he solves a financial problem. He has taught me to question things. He has justified his teaching at every step and made me realise that I am not studying something, simply because the syllabus has prescribed me to. He has forced me to think in class and not just follow a list of formulas. There’s no spoon feeding from him, and so you tend to trust yourself more. He makes an intelligent interaction enjoyable and worth learning something from. I’ve never been bored in his lectures. His class is one of those, where you forget to look at your watch. Of course he’s my favourite professor.
In a few months’ time, I’ll be a BMS graduate. It’s but natural to reminisce over the last three years of this course and college. I owe a lot to all my professors and want to thank them all. But Ritesh Sir, you get the largest chunk of the cake. This is my way of thanking you. Your lectures spoke volumes about your passion for teaching. Respect! You’ve earned it.
P.S: For those BMS students who are reading this and haven’t been taught by Mr. Ritesh Mehta- too bad.
Submitted by –
(Usha Pravin Gandhi College of Management)