I had to write an essay about a person/character who had influenced me and I was thinking about all such people while shaving my beard. There were just too many things that I loved to do and likewise there are a lot of people who have influenced me throughout my life. In fact it would be really hard to point out that one person who had had more influence on me than anyone else.

My first passion, like most kids was astronomy. I read the stories of Galileo and the likes with much awe in school and whenever a teacher asked what I wanted to become when I grew up, I dutifully said “an astronomer”. Yes, I knew the difference between an astronaut and an astronomer; after all, I was the kid with more interest in telescopes than in football.

I was humming Gurdas Maan’s song Pind Diyan Galiyan while shaving. I paused when I reached this line:

Je Gurdas nu tu marjaana kehndi na,
Ni maaye meriye
Marjaane di bhora keemat pehndi na

This roughly translates to “If you had not rebuked me while I was a child, O mother, I wouldn’t have achieved all that I have”.
Could it be any more obvious – I asked my reflection in the mirror. There was no one who had had more influence on each aspect of my life than my mom. This probably is true for most other people. I still look up to her and reach out to her for the smallest of issues. The only thing that has changed over the years is that now she reaches out to me as well. And when she does that, I feel like Mom’s ‘Big Boy’.

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