HYDERABAD: Lessons from a guru or mentor are indispensable and cannot be learnt just through books.Someone needs to hold your hand and guide you from darkness to light. Celebrating teachers on the eve of Teachers’ Day, celebs tell Shreya Veronica about the mentors, who influenced their life and helped shape the kind of person they are today
‘My granny is the coolest!’
Actress Adah Sharma, known for her roles in both Telugu and Hindi films, says her paati (grandmother) has been her mentor. Apart from actually being a teacher of history, geography and English, Adah’s grandmother has taught the actor how to have a positive outlook and be full of life. “She was very strict with all the students, but with me, she was extremely kind and partial.
That is why she is my favourite teacher. Of course she helped me with textbook knowledge when I was in school, but I really admire the way she lives her life. At her age, to always look at the bright side is very inspiring. She cooks, is learning to code and is always looking to learn new stuff and gain knowledge from even Instagram! Her knowledge encompasses a lot of things. So, I think she is pretty cool,” says Adah.
‘Not one but many mentors’
In actor and politician Prakash Raj’s life, there wasn’t one but many mentors who guided him at different points of his journey. These include the various writers, playwrights and directors he has worked with, the actor says. But Prakash does mention his Kannada lecturer HS Venkatesh Murthy as one of his mentors. “I had just come out of school and joined college when he introduced me to poetry. He taught me how to access and analyse poems.
This got me interested in literature, how to read and be sensitive to things. GK Govind Rao, who was our English teacher, I would call him my mentor too,” he says. For those who look up to Prakash for inspiration, he says: “Be open, believe in yourself and try not to buy what the world sells to you. There is a mafia around everything - ethics, morality, the idea of success or how to receive pain. I think you need to be open, inclusive and humane.” When asked about his success, the actor says, “It’s too lonely at the top.”
‘Society is my guru’
For rapper and actor Rahul Kumar Velpula, aka, Roll Rida, his gurus are his fans, his people and the society. “Most of the songs that I sing and compose are based on what happens in society. The language they speak and things they do, inspire me to compose songs. So all I can say is that I thank all the people who have always been an inspiration for my career,” he says.
‘Professors from masters degree were my mentors’
Actor Priyadarshi Pulikonda used to be a naughty backbencher as a kid, but not when he was pursuing his MA degree. “There are many people from MA who have shaped me. They corrected and mentored me and gave me a new lease of life. It would be criminal if I don’t mention them. If I exempt my parents I would have a dozen of them to list — Prof MJ Bikshu, Prof Aruna Bikshu, Prof Vasuki Belawadi, Prof Usha, Prof Ashley, Prof Vinod and Prof Tirumal, to name a few.”