LESSONS ARE NEVER LITERAL
When Masaan sensation Vicky Kaushal, joined the sets of Gangs of Wasseypur as an assistant director, it was Anurag Kashyap who sparked his imagination. Vicky says, “Anurag has the courage of conviction, his resolve to chase and realise his dreams is spectacular, especially because he has had to struggle a lot. At home, it was always my father (director Shaam Kaushal) and my family who taught me everything about life. I feel very lucky to have a family that never emphasised academic merit but how I turned out as a human being. I am who I am because of what I have learnt from them.” — Vicky Kaushal, actor
Artist Seema Sathyu remembers Nasreen Mohamedi (1937-1990), best known for her line-based drawings, who taught her at Vadodra. Seema says, “She left a lasting impression on me and then there was Tyeb Mehta. His life as an artist and how he conducted himself left a very organic, subtle impact on me. The advice he gave and the way he deconstructed a visual always resonated deeply. There was such wisdom in his manner.” Seema also counts her parents M S Sathyu and Shama Zaidi as her role models and says, “What I learnt from them can only be imbibed and lived. Art is a part of us. We know no other way to be."
— Seema Sathyu, artist
Even a place can mentor youI grew into the writer, actor and director that I am today in my native place, Kalenahalli near Arasikere. It is there that I started observing people -- the vegetable vendors, the man who sold popsicles, the balegara who brought bangles to every doorstep. I learnt a lot from the dramas that were staged in the village. My grandmother Mallama is also a huge inspiration. The way she told me so many stories while I was growing up helped me construct plots and characters for my movies. — Dhananjay, actor
Man who taught humility
The girl who broke your heart in Neeraj Ghaywan’s Masaan calls Nawazuddin Siddiqui one of her biggest teachers, with whom she shot her yet-to-be released film, Haramkhor. “Ironically or not, he plays my teacher in the film though his character has many more dimensions. Haramkhor was the first film I shot and I would not be the actor I am today if it was not for him (Nawaz). I am not sure he is even aware of what he has done for me because he never sat me down to tell me what I needed to do. He always asked what I thought about a scene and when you are given that much respect, you feel responsible and confident. I want to keep working with him because I know I will learn more and 20 years down the line, when am working with someone who is just starting out, I will remember how an actor of Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s stature treated me when I was new. His professionalism and humility changed me as an actor and a person and grounded me. In my personal life, my father Parveen Kumar Tripathi, who is an IAS officer, has always been my hero because he supported all my choices, whether it was the decision to act, to learn dance or to quit my job. His only lesson was, ‘If it is making you grow, do it.’ I have borrowed my family’s love for the arts and channelled it into my profession. Till date, my father calls to ask, ‘So which books are you reading?’ The need I have to learn constantly comes from him.” — Shweta Tripathi, actor
My father, my hero
My father Anandram N is the one person who has been a positive force in my life since childhood. He is the one I went to, to talk about friends, cricket, politics and life in general. People say that I am a good orator. It’s something I get from my father. Though he didn’t like me pursuing cinema as a career in the beginning, he eventually supported me. I got to learn a lot about Kannada, Tamil and Hindi films from him. Even today, I am inspired by the way he takes care of his mother and my mother’s mother. The way he lives his life and manages his business at 60 is what keeps me going.'
— Santhosh Anandram, Director
She taught Grace
Yyonne Doyle was the principal of my school. The kind of things I remember her for are not the stuff text books are made of. Quite simply because she never really taught me a subject while at school. She did teach me to play the guitar though. And the meaning of quiet elegance, how to wear a saree neatly, how to be dignified in the face of adversity, generosity (I still have a box of miniature perfumes and a pretty necklace among other treasures), how to make a mean log of fridge cake (over a quick phone call last weekend), how to know your strengths and how not to wallow in your weaknesses, to know when to forgive and to know when to stop. I wonder if she really knows just how many kids love her, some for the teacher she was, all for the woman she is.
— Seetal Iyer, RJ and co-founder, Timbre Media