After completing donkey’s years on the surface of the earth, it’s safe to say that I have learnt quite some things in my life (so far) simply by being influenced.....either directly or indirectly.
One of my earliest influences was in the form of my Trigonometry teacher in my PU. He was a strict, no-nonsense guy who was touted to have less patience, and an even shorter temper. Anyone found whispering during his class would be treated with a sharp thwack of chalk followed by an angry bellow to 'get out'. In spite of his temper, he was a wonderful teacher, very devoted to his work. He possessed an artistic handwriting, so very straight and sharp that it looked absolutely wonderful on the black-board! One particular alphabet which caught my fancy was the letter ‘S’ and till now,after all these years, I follow the same style of looping my ‘S’es in a cursive manner. And I was not even conscious of picking this trait up!
With life threading its course, I picked up quite some traits en-route..... like saying numerous ‘Achaa?’s in the course of any conversation, punctuating my sentences with one particular pattern of ‘Ummm’s , folding my letters in a specific format (oh yeah... I enjoy writing letters), using plastic to the bare minimum, being a (near) fanatic about saving water, .....so on and so forth...till I can proudly list my so-called idiosyncrasies.
Parents are undoubtedly the role models for most of the ‘influences’– the ‘chip-of-the-old-block’ factor. With more exposure to the outside world, we tend to pick up the best (and sometimes the worst) of some people around us. Why? The most plausible explanation I have come up with is this - these people tend to inspire/impress us at some level which prompts us to behave like them......if not completely then at least through some visible positive gestures. The more the inspiration/impression, the more's the influence, sometimes at a very sub-conscious level. Then again, is the 'acceptance factor' - the urge to get accepted. Unfortunately, if one has the urge to 'be like them' rather than just 'be one among them', it's one sure-fire path to disaster.
So, if I have influenced you in any way, it better be good!