MS Dhoni learnt finance from her
In the 17 years that she has been teaching commerce and finance at the DAV School Shyamali in Ranchi, Sharmistha Kumar has followed the careers of her students closely. One of them went on to become India's cricket captain.
Mahindra Singh Dhoni who passed out of school in 1996, was not a very regular student - he was often away playing. Once in an inter-school match in 1995, he made 217 runs off 137 balls. "The next day when he turned up in class, I scolded him for being absent. He stood quietly with his head down. His friend Gautam then told me that he had hit a ton. That day I realised that Dhoni was unlike others. He was gentle, obedient and not boastful," says Kumar.
Kumar says she saw in Dhoni a "determination to realise his dream to represent the Indian team", but she says she explained to him that accounts and business studies were subjects that a student could not grasp easily if he missed even one lecture. "But whenever he attended class, he listened to my lecture attentively. That's why even with the amount of time he had to spend playing, he managed to score average marks," says Kumar who has been teaching at the school since 1993.
Kumar, 53, did her graduation and post-graduation from Ranchi University in 1978, before joining Jamshedpur Woman's College as a lecturer. She quit in 1993 to join DAV school where she teaches economics, accounts and business studies.