FPJ Teachers' Day Special: Famous Mumbaikars remember their favourite gurus

From actors to politicians, social activists to doctors, famous Mumbaikars raise a toast to their teachers and gurus — those responsible for giving them important life lessons

Free Press JournalUpdated: Friday, September 04, 2020, 09:59 PM IST

Tahir Raj Bhasin, Actor

A person I consider a teacher who had a profound impact on me is Dr Abhijeet Das. He is one of the acting teachers I had when I first moved to Bombay. Today, being Teachers’ Day, I’d like to thank him for his patience and how he made the learning process so much fun. His guidelines and acting philosophy created a foundation that lead to my keen interest in the subtleties of the process. He was wise, humble and passionate about seeing his students excel. One is only as good as their training and this is why teachers all over the world are an invaluable asset. I’ve had inspiring teachers in school and college many of whom have contributed to moulding my journey. Today, I thank them for their selflessness and commitment to learning.

Vaani Kapoor, Actor

My family wears multiple hats like second nature and have always supported and encouraged me to follow my dreams. They have guided me, steered me towards my goals remaining unflinching and uncompromising in our value system. I couldn’t ask for a better teacher and I’m grateful to have them taught me the right lessons in life.

Iqbal Singh Chahal, BMC Commissioner

Apart from textbook lessons, teachers give you life lessons, the one who holds on to them and implements them judiciously succeeds in life. After my parents, I owe the success I have achieved, whatever I am today to two of my teachers. As a child I had to change schools eight times till class 10, as my father was in defence forces and had postings in different regions. I have studied in Kendriya Vidyalayas. One of the teachers, Rajani Chaudhary-Singh, who was my class teacher in class IX and X always told me to concentrate on tasks I have before me, polarise, focus and have targeted approaches. Then during my engineering days in Patiala, I met another teacher R B L Bedi, who taught me to multi-task, remain focussed and be a good listener. I have imbibed these life lessons in me and have become a part of my life since then and I continue to implement them in my task/roles even now. A good teacher always shapes your life.

Aditi Tatkare, Minister of State for Industries and Sports

He is my guru. I think of myself as a junior KG student in that institution. I admire him for his capacity to learn and listen and also his curiosity level that he has at this age and career. What is admirable is his capacity to connect with all the generations. The Tatkare family, including my grandfather and father were privileged to interact with Hon Pawar. My father Sunil Tatkare has a privilege to work with him in the party organisation while I am lucky and privileged to work in the state government under his guidance. Apart from Hon Pawar, my father taught me a lot. I am still learning from him. But in my upbringing my mother played an important role. I completed my school education and under graduation from a rural area and later did my graduation in Mumbai. Clearly, I owe a lot to my teachers in shaping up my career.

Nawab Malik, Minister of Minority Affairs and Skill Development

My father, who passed away in 2015, is my teacher and guru. Even though he was illiterate, because of his vast experience he taught me many things. It helped me a lot in my life, be it in social or political fields. He belonged to farmers’ family and was quite alert about the issues faced by the agriculture sector and rural economy in general. He started his own business and I have seen him working hard for its growth in Mumbai. I was groomed by him in running the family business. He gave me tips to pursue a career and help people. I have learnt a lot from him.

Amit Vilasrao Deshmukh, Minister of Medical Education and Cultural Affairs

For me my father is my guru, my hero ever since I was a kid. I always looked at him and followed him while pursuing my studies and career. He gave me hope, inspiration, strength, motivation and all support. He was the kindest person and from him I have learnt kindness as a virtue. I am still learning how somebody can be kind. His learnings give me strength in my life. I am making every effort to practice them in my life.

Parth Pawar, NCP leader

My thought process has been shaped by many mentors in my life. I feel that no theory or philosophy can replace experience and wisdom that come with age. For instance, my teacher, Ms Robinson taught me the virtue of humility and compassion. She imprinted in me that the aim of our lives is to serve people. My father, Ajit Pawar, taught me the virtues of relentless hard work and perseverance. Despite his rich political pedigree, I have always seen him working so hard for the betterment of the public. His honesty and forthrightness have also guided me in moments of crises. But, above all, the virtue of forgiveness is what I cherish the most while learning from him. Last, but not the least, my Ajoba (grandfather) Sharad Pawar taught me the importance of realpolitik. I have learnt from him that attributes of shrewdness and political savviness are so crucial for political success.

Sanjay Bhatia, Upa-Lokayukta of Maharashtra and former Mumbai Port Trust Chairman

From my school days, my teachers have played a very important role in my educational development. But it is my Spiritual teachers who have been the architects of the development of my personality. The third Master of Heartfulness (Sahaj Marg) Rev Chariji was the one who took my hand and guided me on the path of Spirituality. The fourth Master Rev Daaji is now taking us to unseen heights of the levels of Consciousness. I attribute my complete transformation and development of love, compassion, tolerance, patience, positive attitude and creativity to these two Spiritual teachers.

Afroz Shah, Lawyer and Environmental Activist, who spearheaded the Versova beach clean-up movement

Mother nature: As a kid I would swim in natural pond. Mind you–Mumbai had many then. I would visit Powai lake during holidays. As I grew taller-beaches and ocean owned me. A wave hitting the beach teaches the highest discipline and sturdiest resilience. Mother nature became my teacher when I had no teacher in life.

School Teacher: A petite confident frame, overdose of warm smile, a stern angular look–a knee length pleated skirt- neatly pressed, a cotton shirt–the image of my class teacher of 7th class evokes a sense of discipline and warmth in me. A teacher is a hero and idol when life felt empty. My class teacher Veda embodied all this.

My Senior: Then came the Black robe as my professional wardrobe choice. I could not walk in the corridors of Bombay high court without my senior and mentor Darius Khambhatta holding my hand. He taught me patience, wisdom and application of mind in plenty.

Mahesh Palkar, Education Officer managing BMC schools

My guru is my school teacher Anant Vishnu Kamble. He taught me the respectful values gained through education and gave me a different perspective. He has always been an inspiration that motivates me to work in the education sector.

Dr Avinash Supe, Chairman of the Covid-19 Death Audit committee and Executive Director Of Hinduja Hospital

Over the years we always remember our teachers rather than what they taught. Teaching is also about how a teacher treats his students, develops an educational environment, guides and supports students, not only in the subject, but also in journey in life. I was very fortunate to have a mentor-teacher and a great surgeon Dr Ravi Bapat, Ex-Vice Chancellor, Health University, as my guide. He guided me for more than 40 years at every stage of my career. He was a very skilled surgeon, researcher and excellent teacher. He also taught me how to communicate with patients and balance ethics with practice. He was not only a great surgeon but greater human being. On Teachers’ Day, I wish him a very healthy and happy further life. (Shri Guruve Namah)

Dr Gautam Bhansali, Consultant Physician Bombay Hospital and Chief Co-ordinator for Covid-19

As I recollect and remember so many great teachings and blessings of Late Dr. P.L. Tiwari sir. I, now, with a high sense of gratitude and humility presume to offer up my sincere thanks to my teacher and mentor Dr. P.L. Tiwari sir. He had played a huge, productive and central role helping me to grow into what I aspired to be and I look back with appreciation, warmth and gratitude towards my brilliant teacher Dr. Tiwari sir, who also touched my human feelings besides the medical curriculum, which I always felt was a necessary requisite humane raw material and made me work dedicatedly and relentlessly during pandemic of Covid-19. Dr. P.L. Tiwari sir has been workaholic, a gentleman to the core, with an impeccable character and an acclaimed clinician. It is his attributes of sacrifice, honesty, sincerity and robust commitment towards his patients that influenced me thoroughly and very effectively. Dr. P.L. Tiwari’s teachings and work culture not only have inspired me but shall continue to inspire generations who may wonder that such a person stalked the earth in flesh and blood. Acharya Devo Bhava. My Guru is my God.

Abhinav Chandrachud, Lawyer

My greatest mentor in the legal profession has been my senior, Mr. Darius Khambata, senior advocate and former Advocate General of Maharashtra. From him I learnt that no matter how much you rise in the profession, there is no substitute for hard work and meticulous preparation in every case. He taught us that an advocate must not be a mere mouthpiece for the client, but must be fair to both, the court and the other side. Observing him in chambers, we realized that a good professional treats others with kindness and does not take oneself too seriously.

Swapna Kode, Lawyer

A person is a student for his/her lifetime. I am in a profession in which I learn something daily. Three people have influenced my life and whom I have learnt a lot and keep learning a lot from: My Father, Rtd Justice Pramod Kode, Mrs Daroga, my school principal and my Senior Advocate Ashok Mundargi. My dad always had one principle that never sacrifice your virtue and remain calm in every situation and never raise your voice. In life you will face a lot of situations, but the real test will be your approach.

Krina Gindra, Fashion and Lifestyle Blogger

Thank you, mom and dad, for being the teachers no school or university could ever provide, and for teaching me the most fundamental and somehow the most important things in life. Well, you never give up on me, do you? I mean, never. Countless sacrifices, a degree of selflessness that I cannot imagine I would ever be able to attain. The subject of multi-tasking with patience and discipline, Mom’s strongest suit, how would I ever learn that if not from you? Dad, what would I ever do without your unsullied advice? Happy Teachers’ Day, Mom and Dad, for being my backbone.

Ashley Lobo, Choreographer

I have had many mentors and teachers in my life. But, for me, the biggest teachers have always been my parents. My Dad always taught me to live with simplicity and honesty. And, my mother taught me that you never have time you always have to make it. Mum and Dad thank you so much for all you have taught and given me. I “am” because of you.

Shrinivas Bobde, Lawyer

I would say my guru has been Mr. Sharan Jagtiani, senior counsel, Bombay HC. He taught me how to manage emotions through a tough world where we must be big and small, humble and arrogant, but always able, all the time. To help romanticise the drudgery of the practice by showing how wonderful a competent effort feels — whatever the result. Significantly, he put a premium on playing hard, but by the rules. For these reasons I would say he is my guru in this profession.

Dr Shashank Joshi, Endocrinologist, Dean, Indian College of Physicians, Member of COVID-19 Task Force, Government of Maharashtra

My teacher, Prof Padamavathy Menon, taught me Endocrinology with a lot of passion and sincerity. She was simple, firm and effective. She treated all of us students like her own children with compassion and care. She is still an astute clinician and inculcated value based medicine. She taught us how not to forget the art of medicine in the world of excess information. She taught us to be kind and compassionate in patient care, but also to be firm and strict so that patients don’t slip up. I am blessed to have her as my teacher and on Teachers’ Day send her my warmest regards and thank her for making me what I am today.

Dr Sagar Mundada, Psychiatrist

You meet many teachers in your life, but very few of them leave such an influence on your life. I would like to thank my mentor and guru Dr Yusuf Macheswalla, psychiatrist who has always been a backbone and great teacher in my life. With positive perspective, awesome networking skills, inclusiveness and making everyone feel special are things that no book teaches. I have seen him stand behind his students through thick and thin and always giving a free learning hand to them. Very few people can carry their charisma and be humble at the same time. I have learnt these life skills from him and following it in my day to day life.

Zarine Bhathena, Principal of Bhavan’s College, Andheri

My role model has been the late Dr ML Shrikant, Dean of S. P. Jain Institute of Management and Research (SPJIMR). His leadership has inspired me to always be active in the education space. In all these years, I have learned that if you want something to be done in the education space, you have to do it yourself.

Fr Frazer Mascarenhas, Manager of St Stanislaus School, Bandra and former principal of St Xavier’s College, Fort

Along with following the teachings of Jesus Christ, I have always looked up to the virtues of the Gospel when I work in the education sector. Education is nothing but helping people to discover their talent for the good of other people.

Subhasis Chaudhuri, Director of IIT Bombay

My inspiration and guru has always been my father Nihar Kumar Chaudhuri. He worked as a headmaster of a school in the most impoverished village of West Bengal since a young age. His goal was to create more schools and educate more children. Along with my father, I look up to G S Sanyal, the then director of IIT Kharagpur and Professor Elias Masry, a PhD professor at University of California, San Diego. These role models have always inspired me to look at the relation between a teacher and a student as a collaborative process.

(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. To receive it on Telegram, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)


WATCH: Author Salman Rushdie stabbed in the neck at New York event

WATCH: Author Salman Rushdie stabbed in the neck at New York event

Mumbai: Shinde camp to build new Sena Bhavan at Dadar to checkmate Thackeray faction

Mumbai: Shinde camp to build new Sena Bhavan at Dadar to checkmate Thackeray faction

Watch video: Coast guard officials rescue 5 crew members of distressed Switzerland-flagged yatch...

Watch video: Coast guard officials rescue 5 crew members of distressed Switzerland-flagged yatch...

TMC chief appreciates Thane civic school teacher, her daughter for innovative Rangoli themed on...

TMC chief appreciates Thane civic school teacher, her daughter for innovative Rangoli themed on...

Mumbai: No one has claimed about two groups in Shiv Sena, says Assembly Speaker Rahul Narvekar

Mumbai: No one has claimed about two groups in Shiv Sena, says Assembly Speaker Rahul Narvekar