While it's true that I have been inspired and influenced by various people at various stages of my life, I had never had a guru in the conventional sense.
As I child, I was a movie buff and I enjoyed watching Hindi films. Of course I loved action and music, but more than anything else, it was the dialogue writer who would keep me glued to my seat. The Salim Khan-Javed Akhtar duo had had a great impact on me. Their dialogues shaped my Hindi-Urdu during my formative days. The influence is evident and I remain indebted to them for that. In songwriting, my greatest influence has always been the one and only Majrooh Sultanpuri. I loved to hum songs (mostly Hindi) but I was (and I still am) a pathetic singer. I always wanted to sing like Mohammed Rafi and Kishore Kumar - undoubtedly the greatest male playback singers of Hindi cinema. I would sit with their photos in front of me and try to sing(only when I was alone at home).
Cricket was my first love(now I don't warch or discuss cricket at all). I was a poor batsman, so I idolised fast bowlers. I could bowl reasonably, if not genuinely fast. In those days, Dennis Lillee, Jeff Thomson and Michael Holding were my heroes. They were right-arm fast bowlers and I am a southpaw, but I read their interviews and articles and tried to learn from them.
Come 1992 and I was bitten by the bug of long-distance running. I worked hard and became a marathoner. Who was my idol or guiding force? I had read about the late Abebe Bikila, an Ethiopian marathoner who won the Olympic gold at Rome despite running barefoot. I imitated him and ran a few marathon races without socks and shoes. My genes and my past imposed restrictions upon me that no amount of training could overcome. I failed to progress beyond a point, but Bikila's influence has remained.
I can't imagine a life without books. They have been my reliable and loyal companions and preceptors. Apart from our course books, biographies, novels, short stories, plays, poems and even newspapers teach us a lot. Life is the greatest teacher. In this case, the term "life" is comprehensive and all inclusive. It essentially means everything around us. Apart from people and incidents, there are many other living and non-living things in nature that teach us a thing or two. This includes seas, rivers, mountains, trees, animals, birds and even the smallest of insects.
While I have never been face to face with most of those who inspired, influenced and taught me, it's my duty to acknowledge their contribution. They are great preceptors though I may not have been an ideal pupil.
1. When I was a kid(in 1974 to be precise - when I was in class 2), I would often hear these comments:
"The average lifespan has increased. Mortality rate has gone down." "The growth of population is alarming. Soon it will touch the 4 billion mark."
" It will become impossible to survive. There will be no food and water for the next generation. There will be no petroleum reserves left. There will be no law and order. Man will start killing for food and water."
"National governments across the world must take some drastic measures to control this growth. In fact, each couple should be allowed to have only one child(It scared me as I had 4 elder siblings).
There were many details which I would like to skip. I was a dim-witted child and I didn't understand much, but I was worried. How would I survive without water, food and other basic necessities? Will I be safe?" It's been almost 45 years since I heard those remarks. The world population has almost doubled during this period despite certain measures taken by governments(In some cases, they have been extreme). The distribution is unequal. I hear the same things today. Only the figures have changed.
I love to imagine situations. For example, what would have happened if my generation had decided to go childless( evil and ridiculous...but it's just a thought)? What would happen if nature suddenly reduces our lifespan/the average life expectancy by a few decades? Wouldn't it be better if no human being survives beyond the age of 60? Obviously these thoughts are selfish and evil, and it's better to dismiss them.
I don't know much about economics but I do understand certain basic facts. Though it's necessary to strike a balance between available resources and consumption, such steps will do us no good.
Fortunately the population growth hasn't affected my life to any appreciable extent. The queues at bus halts are much longer than they were during my childhood and this has compelled me to buy and use a two wheeler. I love to travel, and Mumbai is one of my favourite places. There was a time when I loved to travel by local trains - the lifeline of Mumbai. But now it is clearly beyond my purview to board a local train(and somehow, if I manage to do that, I find it impossible to alight from it). There are certain other problems which I face as everybody else does. Air pollution has increased. I can feel that when I go into the busy streets in the town. I spent much of my childhood with sparrows, pigeons, cranes and ducks. I loved the chirping of birds early in the morning. Now we live in a town. The population of the town is growing by the day. As the concrete jungles have been spreading out in an ungainly way, trees and birds have begun to vanish. I miss them. But then that's how the world runs. I must accept these changes. After all, every generation has played an active role in effecting these changes.
*(There are more serious issues(of global or national concern) related to population growth but they are beyond the purview of this article)
A very happy 3rd birthday to our dear Mirakee!! I'm celebrating by taking the day off (maybe several), to deal with a dental drama. No cake for this party pooper! Y'all can eat my piece, how's that?! Three cheers for Mirakee! Woot!! ❣❣❣❣❣❣
Image credited to the owner.
P.S. Hey y'all, be sure to check out your fantastic fellow writers under the #ceesreposts hashtag! You'll be glad you did! And so will I, because I could really use the help with reading and reposting all those posts!
Unity of imaginations Renaissance it is Flying poets tied up their quills Words and metaphors of our hearts On pages and pages are scribbled A world of heaven in a glimpse Here a new found glory An earth better than the reality We build our home Make a family, smiles together Pours heart together You turn our tears into stars Lying between spaces of words Made our sky smile, Make it look the horizon of Autumn You harvest the moonbeams to Light up our abyss of thoughts You expand the Universe, So we can hold it in the palms of hands You give your whole heart to Bloom our words of hope You're the seed that grows The tree of eternity....
Wish you a very Happy Birthday @mirakee ♥️ Keep Inspiring us...