Sunday, March 12, 2006

Role modeling

My good friend Balbir once wrote an excellent post about role models in which he mentioned how people might be looking up to us without us realizing it. While I thought it was possible, I didn't think it would happen in my own life.

A few days back, I was talking to my Mom about my nephews (see them here) and she mentioned that my younger nephew, Vikas used to spray himself with my deo (oh yes, I use one) before going out to play. Then, she mentioned how he wanted to do everything I did - and then it struck me - I was a role model for my nephews. Not that it is surprising, after all, we all look up to the uncles, aunties and siblings who can bridge the gap between our parents and ourselves. Most of us have had the cool aunt, cool uncle or cool elder brother/sister who gave us our initial goals in life. However, in my case, my nephews and I are more friends than uncle/nephews. I never expected them to imitate any of what I did - so this came as a kind of a surprise. Now on, I've got to be more careful about what I say or do - I now have two pairs of eyes that'll be watching me.

This reminds me, I've got a lot to write about my role models. Let me start with my parents. They are probably the most honest, tough and yet nice people I've seen in my life. Both came from extremely poor backgrounds, starting their lives in a village called Nambihalli - in Kolar district. Both knew the value of education when they were very young - my mom having fought with my grandparents to be the first person in her family to pass 10th, and my dad having lived on "vaaranna/bhikshanna" to finish his BSc at Bangalore's Central College. I won't pretend that they've had the perfect marriage - but their commitment to each other and to my family has been nothing but marvelous. They displayed the true meaning of sacrifice - giving up their chance at a good life for my uncles and aunts (on both sides of the family) - spending more than 80% of 'our' income on their education. In all this, did I mention that my mom sings and my dad writes!? Not to mention, both have a keen sense of what is happening in the world around them.

Anyways, this post is starting to go beyond the lengths of reasonable comprehension. I'll stop here - feel free to post your comments and your role model experiences!


Abhi said...

Hai Gops,

You can safely add one more person to the list of people who think you are a role model. If not anything else, atleast at work... :)

Anonymous said...

Yeah Yeah,

More flattery. Keep trying, Abhi. You are actually sounding more believable these days.


sandeep said...

I too feel that my parents fit the role model bill very well for me. Do you have any other role models?
I feel elements of nature (tree, river etc) fits in as role model suitably becoz you will not find too many mistakes in nature (the only exception is that it allows some unworthy people to live :) [no prizes for guessing who the unworthy people are, you have written quite a lot on their sense of responsibility, honesty etc.. in your earlier posts] ). What do you say?

Abhi said...

Read my comment on my blog Gopal... Anyways, I will repeat it--

I know you are a sucker for flattery. But could'nt avoid that one... :D. Anyways, most of the times when I praise you for something, I mean exactly what I say.


Abhi said...

Fun apart.. Just like Sandeep has said, parents are the best and the biggest role models in my life. They have had a tremendous influence on me.

But I have one other "interesting" role model-- My PUC Physics lecturer. He is an awesome teacher. He just didnt teach me physics-- He is a lot more... Like a demi god to me. He was the one who showed the way for my directionless life. I still make it a point to meet him atleast once in a month.

I said "interesting" cos not many ppl nowadays have teachers as role models :D. Rather not many teachers deserve to be role models... :))


Gops said...

Interesting, Abhi - PUC Physics teacher, eh? Cool!

Well said Sandeep. :D
I hadn't thought of nature in that sense at all! You are a Piscean, right? ;) But if you think of it, aren't trees and rivers contradictory role models!? ;)

Other role models? Yes. totally! In fact, I'm hoping that this will be the first in a series of posts about my role models - mostly in chronological order. Not all of them are/were role models exactly, but each one of them had a major influence on my life.

So, as it is said - keep watching this space!

sandeep said...

hey gops didn't get you, in what way are they contradictory...

Abhi said...

I think what Gopal means by contradiction is this-- Trees are stationary and live all their life at one place. Rivers are just the opposite. They flow continiously...

Right Gopal?? Am I reading my mentor's mind correctly?? :D


gops said...

Well said Abhi - precisely what I meant :)

Brinda said...

Hi gops,
My first comment to any of ur blog.. couldnt stop writing about my role model .. my Mom .. she is an amazing lady ... I appriciate the way she takes care of my family, grandparents, n every1 else..
I know its the same for most of the moms but she has gone through so many bad things in life but still the first thing u notice in her is her smile which is there always..The amount of patience she has is amazing .. I think i hav learnt to live life (the way i am now)only by seeing her..She has been a gr8 support to me n my dad when i lost my brother..There are so many more things to learn from her .. I just want to be like her some day.. Mom !! U r definitely my role model :)

sandeep said...

well.... I see a similarity :) . River shows us that we have to STRIVE HARD to reach our goals no matter how many hurdles ( boulders ) come in our way.
Tree shows us to STRIVE HARD to survive from the might of wind ( in times of difficulty ).
Bottom line is
"Message" lies in the "Mind" of the beholder.
Hey this actually gives a new angle to the whole thing, doesn't it?
We are what we are, meaning, if we want to endure and succeed then we look at such qualities in someone. Otherwise, we look at the contradictory set of qualities and choose that. What do you guys think?

gops said...

Very true, Sandeep! Couldn't agree with you more!

Abhi said...

Hey Sandy, Never agreed more. Everything in this world depends on the way we see it. If we see correctly, the worst of failures can lead us to a great idea for success.

Only those succeed who have the ability and the zeal to look out for constant improvement...

Very well said.. :)

Gops said...


You remind me of that CMM level 5 KPA - Continuous Improvement! :) Hey, but if you've noticed - it is not just the CMMs that talk about continuous improvement - that is also Stephen Covey's last habit - "Sharpen the Saw"...

So, some philosophies are universal???