A person gets his learnings from various sources like school, college, home, friends, society, religion and self. Learning never ends and continues till the last day of your life. One’s outlook has to be of open mind and that each one around you has something to offer. I have been a good student throughout my school and college days. By God’s grace, I’ve had some great teachers, so I just can’t pick the best amongst the lot. But one person whose impact changed me in my growing years, was my late father Shri Surinder Kapoor. I can very easily say that the teachings and lessons given by him are helping me till today, and it is because of him only I am what I am today. He was the most straightforward and transparent person I have ever come across.
He has taught me to be grounded in every situation; be very focussed in life; do one thing at a time but 100%; do only the right things and don’t even waste a moment over what is not right; don’t wait for best to happen, attempt good and better and one day you will reach the best; don’t cry over failures or loss, use it as right excuse for doing something new; respect all; look at the strengths of people around you and royally ignore their weaknesses; speak the truth on face and be happy, those who know you will not mind and others don’t matter; and so on.
Not only these, the cook in me had also been honed at a very young age and the credit certainly goes to my father, infact my entire family. Cooking has always been enjoyable for all of us in the family. My dad was a good cook and I have fond memories of everything he used to cook. He was a banker by profession, but cooking was his hobby. He gave me the initial boost to try out new combinations. My mother stays with us and still cooks fantastic food for us. My older brother made it a point to help my dad when he was cooking, and as I grew up seeing men cook, I started cooking with them when I was around 10 years old. My mother was vegetarian, anything not vegetarian in the house was cooked by my father. And he would create combinations that now as a chef I think ‘my God he used to do that so many years ago!’ He wasn’t afraid or worried who would say what. And those were the days when people would laugh at men in the kitchen.
Also, I picked up two things from my father. His need for constant knowledge and also his ability to think out of the box. When you combine these two, it becomes very powerful – gives you so much confidence and you can virtually do anything. I think about him daily before I start my day and things start falling in place as he is around me to answer all my confusions. It is his teachings which have kept everyone in our family emotionally well connected.
As always, he deserves a special salute from me this Teacher’s Day as well; feels great to know that when he is watching me from up-there, he must be a proud father, and that brings a smile on my face!