On the occasion of Teacher’s Day, celebs from across different walks of life talk about their favourite teachers and share how they have been inspired by them to achieve what they have so far in life.
Prabhu Deva, filmmaker and actor: Two teachers are like God to me. They are Udipi Laxminarayanan master and Dharamraj master. I attribute my dancing skills to their blessings. Because of them, I have managed to carve my niche in the film industry.
Tanvi Shah, singer and surfer: The two teachers who made an incredible difference in my life in terms of music would be Augustin Paul and A.R. Rahman. They are the ones who picked me out from a crowd, believed in me and got me to where I am today. Not to mention, we could be countries apart, but I know they’re always there for me!
Another teacher figure who’s been highly influential recently is my surfing instructor Murthy Megavan. He’s made me see a whole new spiritual side to surfing that has helped me calm down and teach me a different perspective of life.
Parvathy Omanakuttan, actress and beauty pageant titleholder: When the newspapers wrote of a terrible accident in 2000, that almost left this man motionless for months, I only prayed for him to get back to health so that I could be his student, sometime in the future. And like the Alchemist, seven years later this man spotted me in a crowd of college students and mentored me... I am ever so grateful to God, that he sent his angel in the form of my guru, fashion stylist, Hemant Trevedi. Wishing you the best health and life!
Thirush Kamini, Cricketer: My father, Murugesan Dickeshwashankar has been the best teacher I could have ever asked for. Not only did he train me in the sport, but he was also the biggest source of inspiration for me, since the concept of girls playing cricket was alien to most. Apart from him, Sister Mary Ann, who was the Principal of Church Park school where I studied, was constantly by my side and supported my playing cricket in every way.
Rakesh Prakash, photographer: I am a student from Padma Seshadri Bala Bhavan and all my teachers have always encouraged me to think out of box and gave us freedom to learn and express in the ‘non-textbook’ way. In addition, two very popular photographers — Jasmine Star and Steve McCurry have been great inspirations for me and their works have taught me a lot.
Ashok Selvan, actor: My inspiration has been VS Thomas sir my accounts and commerce teacher, fondly known as VST. He’s been my role model and he addressed the problems of students like a friend. He’s got a great sense of humour too. He’s an amazing guy and happens to be a great teacher.
Santhanam, actor: I studied at Marya Nivas Matriculation School in Chennai. It was my 4th grade class teacher Surya Miss, who had a great influence on me. I remember when the first time she asked me to take part in a drama at a school function. She wanted me to perform the famous scene from the film Thiruvilayadal ,where there’s a lengthy dialogue between Lord Shiva and one of his devotees essayed by thespian Sivaji Ganesan and Nagesh respectively. Surya Miss gave me the role of Nagesh sir and even as she was simplifying the dialogues for me, I started giving my inputs, which she found hilarious. Surprised with my talent even at that young age, she motivated me to take part in co-curricular activities.
Aparna Bharani Pillai, actress and educationist: My favourite teacher is professor Fr.L.X.Jerome. I learnt patience, perseverance, time management and thinking beyond classrooms from him. He was a tough task master but taught us survival. His teaching was out of the box.
Alisha Abdullah, racer: It definitely has to be my father, R. A. Abdullah. Given that racing has been the be-all and end-all in my life; it was his way of bringing me up with principles and dedication that has helped me in my career. He’s never completely satisfied with what I have achieved — even after the toughest of races, my dad would remark that I could improve and that has kept me grounded in my life.
Sahithya Jagannathan, model: It might sound a bit weird, but one of the first teachers that comes to my mind is my boyfriend Cary Edwards. Even today in his classes, he is usually in full-on teacher’s mode. In fact, he is a little a harder on me than others. But I realise how tough it is to be a teacher, and I must say, I don’t envy his profession.
Nikki Galrani, actress: I still cherish many memories from my school days. Though I was a brat, I always remained my teachers’ pet. Among all, I was close to Sister Lincy. She was my class teacher for three years and will always remain my inspiration. When I pass by my old school while travelling, I make it a point to visit my teachers.