Unintended Influencers!!

February, 2022

Dear Friends

February, 2022 saw the loss of two big ‘Influencers’ from the music world – Lata Mangeshkar, the colossus with a nectar-like voice, who defined and shall continue to define what melodious singing is and Bappi Lahiri, the over-the-top music director who created new trends through his foot-tapping music. Both were ‘mega market influencers’ in today’s social media lingo – especially Lata Didi who will continue to influence the nation in several ways (not just music) for generations to come. A true legend indeed in whose times the concept of ‘Influencer’ and working towards becoming one didn’t exist at all. She simply did what she liked best, what she was best at and what best she could do. Rest of us were ‘influenced’ so to say !

Let me share a real-life anecdote of similar ‘unintended influencers’ who inspired Hitha, a young 16 year old girl from Bangalore to dedicate this beautiful, simple poem and sing it to them as well at a closed-group talent show, that I attended recently.

The Professionals

We wake up early morning,

To update laws and schedules,

Cause if we don’t update then,

Knowledge is a thing we lose.

Let it be employment or

Practice that we do,

None of them is easy,

Which is definitely true.

Commerce is a choice,

Which’s not an option,

For the only ones who aim to be the,

Ace of profession.

All the people that I am,

Witnessing here today

Have been my motivation and

Shown me my future way.

This profession is boring,

Which I do not agree,

Because I have seen the greatest minds,

Enjoy while they achieve.

I would like to sing more for you,

On this special day,

But I got very less time so,

For long I cannot stay.

~ Hitha, Class XI

The teenager chose Commerce over Science, deeply influenced by the sheer dedication, discipline and diligence of the ‘Jignyasu’ group of Company Secretaries (CS) that meets every single day from 5.15 to 6.15 am to read, analyse, interpret and understand the various corporate laws that are changing by the day ! Jyothi, her CS mother, is part of this early-morning-riser-study-group for the past 3 years. Unknown to them, the group consisting of professionals from across the country have left an indelible mark in the young mind of Hitha. She says I didn’t need anyone to advise me on my career options. I just watched my mom and her friends enjoy learning the laws day after day and lo, it was clear it had to be Commerce and nothing else ! It was indeed a moving tribute to the efforts of this motley group started by CS Pracheta from Mysore. The credit for this free of cost, innovative, knowledge-sharing initiative must of course go to its ‘moola-karthru’ (original creator), my good friend CS Karthick Varadarajan from Bangalore who first started an evening study group called ‘Let’s Learn’ way back in 2017. Much before the pandemic struck and online meetings became the order of the day, a bunch of professionals would huddle together every evening via zoom to pursue their ‘sadhana’ (practice) of deeper understanding of the laws. Neither he nor Pracheta nor anyone in the group ever intended to become a trend setter or influencer or preacher of any sort. It’s the consistency, commitment and perseverance that has influenced a curious Hitha who must have been watching her mother silently. I could see the surprise and joy writ large on Jyothi’s face who just walked the path while the daughter watched. Neither had she to talk nor walk the talk ! It is rightly said “Listen to what people Do, not to what they Say” !!

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