Teachers’ Day 2020: Thanking the gurus for always inspiring, guiding and leading
On the occasion of Teachers’ Day today, we speak to eminent personalities from different walks of life who dedicate the day and share finest memories with their gurus, mentors, parents and friends. While some express gratitude towards their school teachers for imparting the best of knowledge and education, others credit their parents and friends for the incredible learning experiences.
“The Guru leads you from the visible to the invisible, from the material to the divine, from the ephemeral to the eternal. My parents have been my first teachers and gurus too. For as long as I can remember, the first mantra taught was to be a good human being and to be a symbol of the etiquette and manners (tehzeeb and tameez). In spite of being the monumental icon of music that my father is, he continues to be an individual full of humility and a complete simpleton. In recent times, I often question his imparting of humbleness to me and my brother especially in the world that we live in. It’s almost become normal for people to walk over you or take you completely for granted. However, the principles imbibed say that God watches every individual in this world and takes care of everything. I follow mantras which are ‘Have patience and tolerance’, ‘We make our future in this world’ and ‘God is within us.’ These have been my motivating factors at every stage, and yes, taught by my parents. Salutations to all teachers on the occasion of Teachers’ Day.” — Ayaan Ali Bangash, Sarod maestro.
Dedicating to dancing gurus
“Dad and Radha mom are probably my biggest inspiration and mentors when it comes to all things dance (profession) and just life in general. I’m able to talk to them and take advise from them on just about anything. I have seen first-hand what it means to be focused no matter the drawbacks one faces. I have seen what blind passion is, I have seen what hard work is in my moms. I am thankful to my Carnatic music guru Dr K. Vageesh for his warm but strict outlook to teach singing. My husband Dennis inspires me each day to a systematic practice regime and on another count to be patient, polite and sincere. I am lucky to be surrounded by wonderful mentors who inspire me every day.”— Bhavana Reddy, Kuchipudi dancer.
To fathers who lead by example
“My greatest teacher has been my father. He is able to be happy and content under all circumstances and has the ability to hold an engaging conversation with absolutely anyone, regardless of their age, nationality or background. I’d like to believe that I have been able to imbibe this attitude and ability from him. He is a great adventurer and at 71, rode his motorcycle to Ladakh. His method of teaching is leadership by example and from him I have learned both dignity of labour and that every human being deserves to be treated with respect. Thanks dad. Love you.” —Papa CJ, comedian and author.
Notes from the classroom
My music teacher in school, Siddharth Das, always pushed our limits musically and asked us to listen to Manhattan Transfer, Alicia Keys, Joni Mitchell. He said genre is no bar; music is music. There is the same number of notes in music no matter where it comes from or what language it is being sung in. He taught me to not just listen to music, but to experience it. That’s something that I have kept in mind while making music myself. He will remain my favourite teacher and somebody I will look up to forever.” — Sanjeeta Bhattacharya, musician.
Striving for perfection
The teacher I remember most, is my English teacher Ms Uma at KVIIT Chennai. She was one of the best I’ve had. She would settle for nothing less than perfection. Wren and Martin was our Bible and, and every rule in that one, we diligently applied. When I topped the board exams in English, scoring the highest marks CBSE had ever granted for English that year, my joy knew no bounds. I think Ms Uma would be even more proud to see the number of books I have written now.” — Preeti Shenoy, author.
An inspiring note to a dear friend
“Marijke deSouza, the producer of my film Sheer Qorma is not only a dear friend but a guide who has inspired me tremendously. Sometimes she is my mother, there are days when she is my best friend but on all days she continues to inspire me with her wisdom, her fiercely independent spirit that I associate so much with and her unconditional warmth that remains unscathed. It is such a thing of joy to find a mentor, a guide, a teacher in Marijke and to unlearn so much and begin from a place of awareness, independence and utmost love. Marijke has really given me wings to fly. Her diligence to tell stories that will hopefully change our world for good is such a force of nature — it’ll change the world and I am so grateful to be a part of her tribe. Marijke — my teacher, my mentor, my guide, my best friend — I love you very much. Happy Teachers’ Day to you.” — Faraz Arif Ansari, filmmaker.
Recalling the good ol’ school days
“Modern School, Vasant Vihar was a school that I feel most lucky to have found myself studying at for the better part of my schooling. Not a day goes by when I, 47 years old today, am not grateful for the tutelage given me by the teachers that touched my life. I am hard pressed to think of one name that stands out more than others. My teachers, the teachers at our school, they were our gurus, guides and even friends. Sabiha Hashmi, my first Guru and my most steadfast pillar of strength and grounding, was art teacher for all that sailed through class 6th through 10th at MSVV. For me she also happened to be the person who made me feel comfortable in my own skin, who saw in me some restlessness that she knew she could harness into creativity. She nurtured my artistic talents, gave me freedom to create art with mediums that often were relegated for students taking art in 11th and 12th grade, when I was in 9th grade myself. Teachers educate us and inspire us, they inform us and lead us, they make us more complete and often more fulfilled versions of ourselves at an age when we ourselves have no clue as to who we are and who we might be wanting to become. Ms. Hashmi saw a certain something in me and invested a good 8 years in me and helped me come to peace with myself and see honesty around me, that which was ugly, and that which was brilliant in beauty. To her I bow today on Teachers Day, and as I do so, also to all my teachers who have endured the agony young minds, and yet had the patience to stand by us through all the vicissitudes that growing up for kids means.” — Suvir Saran, Michelin-star chef
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