Happy Teacher's Day: Bengaluru celebrities look back at earliest role models

Bengaluru celebrities look back at their earliest role models ahead of Teacher's Day.

Published: 03rd September 2021 10:36 PM  |   Last Updated: 03rd September 2021 10:36 PM   |  A+A-

(From left) Punya Arora, Priyanka Upendra and Gulshan Devaiah

(From left) Punya Arora, Priyanka Upendra and Gulshan Devaiah. (Photo| Instagram and IMDb)

By Express News Service

BENGALURU : An actor who nudged him towards joining film school, an Olympian swimmer whose coach went an extra mile, an artist whose teacher discovered  her talent through the school magazine... Bengaluru celebrities look back at their earliest role models ahead of Teacher's Day 

Nisha Millet, Olympian swimmer

Pradeep Kumar, my swimming coach and mentor, is a special person who helped me rise from the nationals to the Olympics in 2000. I met him 24 years ago in 1996, but he still continues to be my mentor. He is very open to having a discussion on life goals. His instructions and feedback during training, helped me reach greater heights.

He drove down to Coimbatore, amidst a national tournament to visit my parents while I was down with an injury. He always goes an extra mile to help his trainees. Pradeep sir used to put in the same amount of effort for all athletes, whether s/he is an Olympian or state-level player. Today, as a coach, that’s something I implement too.

Punya Arora, stand-up comedian

My favourite memories of Teacher's Day are the dances or plays we performed. I feel that this is where my interest in comedy might have started, because I would always get to imitate my teachers without getting in trouble for doing so.

I have never come across anyone more wonderful than my Class 1 teacher, Ms. Careena. Whenever we did well in an exam, she would have some cute stamps with bears holding balloons that would say 'super' or 'well-done'. All of us learn from each other, so in a way, everyone you meet is your teacher in one way or the other. 

Alicia Souza, illustrator

My social studies teacher, Maggie teacher, was one of those people who loved teaching - it was so obvious by the way she was. But she was also strict. Once when I worked on the cover of the school magazine, she complimented me (something she rarely does) and told me I should consider doing something with arts in the future.

Apart from her, illustrator and friend Bill Woods has been my biggest teacher. He taught me everything I know today and always threw random tips and tricks at me, even if they weren’t art related.

Priyanka Upendra, actor

My grandfather Debota Prasad Tiwari, is for sure, my favourite teacher. Whenever I returned from the US to visit him in Jharkhand, my grandfather would tell me mythological and his childhood stories using harmonium.

His style of narrating stories still reverberates in my mind even today. Since he was a farmer by profession, he used to take us to the field, fisheries and helped us understand nature. He always stayed grounded. This character trait of his was an important takeaway for me.

When you are in an industry where you can easily get carried away, getting back to your roots is always important.

Gulshan Devaiah, Bollywood actor

My kindergarten teacher, Miss Nair, from Cluny Convent in Jalahalli, was the first one to encourage me to pursue my talent. I recall my mother also taking a liking to her. Miss Nair always told me I was talented.

When I was studying in BEL Pre-University College, Mr B Prasad, whom we fondly called BP sir, was probably my biggest cheerleader. I failed the Chemistry board exams, but whenever I performed on stage, his clap was the loudest. He suggested I join FTII , and my life took off from there. There's been no looking back since. 


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp