Movies, Songs, Poems and Quotes that Influenced/Inspired You

We get inspired or influenced by our parents, relatives, teachers and friends. But we also get influenced or inspired by movies, songs, poems, quotes and novels. This post is about all the things that influenced your life or shaped you into who you are or just things that you aspire to be. So please share anything that you think has influenced or shaped your life.


While I did watch movies before Sholay this was the movie which made me a movie buff. I watched the movie at a friend’s place and the video cassette did not have the complete movie. So I made my family take me to the movie to watch the ending. This movie led me to watch more Amitabh Bachchan movies and while I did not like many of them I started to love movies. And what made a big impression on me is the friendship between Jai and Veeru and how Jai sacrifices his life for Veeru. Friendship and Friends are something that I have always valued. While I don’t believe in lots of friends I do think that with my closest friends the proverb “A Friend in need is a Friend indeed” holds true.



This movie used to be telecast by Doordarshan every Gandhi Jayanti. I consider it to be one of the greatest films ever made on one of the greatest human being ever born. Gandhi and his non violent methods have been a influence over other greats like Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela. I believe that when ordinary people have to fight against a mighty occupying force or government Gandhi’s non-violent protests are the only way to do so. The movie is filled with one excellent scene after another. Had posted some scenes from the movie as Scene of the Week.


I read this quote in a booklet and I loved it. I used to have this pasted on my wall and used to read it to inspire/encourage myself at one time.

“Up to a point a person’s life is shaped by environment, heredity, and changes in the world about them. Then there comes a time when it lies within their grasp to shape the clay of their life into the sort of thing they wish it to be. Only the weak blame parents, their race, their times, lack of good fortune or the quirks of fate. Everyone has the power to say, “This I am today. That I shall be tomorrow.”

― Louis L’Amour


This is my all time favorite song and I consider it to be one of the greatest songs ever because of the lyrics. It talks about a utopia but I absolutely love the idea of it.

“Imagine” by John Lennon

Imagine there’s no heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today…

Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace…

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world…

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will live as one

Had posted the song as Song of the Day some time back.


This is a poem I read in school. Its addressed from a father to a son and is advice on how to act in different situations.

If By Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!


This is another advice song “Everybody’s Free To Wear Sunscreen” by Baz Luhrmann. The lyrics were taken from an imaginary commencement speech by Mary Schmich. So much of the stuff is so true.

Here are the lyrics.

Ladies and gentlemen of the class of ’99
Wear sunscreen

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it
The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists
Whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable
Than my own meandering experience, I will dispense this advice now

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth, oh, never mind
You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth
Until they’ve faded but trust me, in 20 years, you’ll look back
At photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now
How much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked
You are not as fat as you imagine

Don’t worry about the future
Or know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum
The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind
The kind that blindsides you at 4 p.m. on some idle Tuesday
Do one thing every day that scares you

Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts
Don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours


Don’t waste your time on jealousy
Sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind
The race is long and in the end, it’s only with yourself
Remember compliments you receive, forget the insults, if you succeed in doing this, tell me how
Keep your old love letters, throw away your old bank statements


The most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives
Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don’t
Get plenty of calcium
Be kind to your knees
You’ll miss them when they’re gone

Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t
Maybe you’ll have children, maybe you won’t
Maybe you’ll divorce at 40, maybe you’ll dance the ‘Funky Chicken’
On your 75th wedding anniversary
Whatever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much
Or berate yourself either
Your choices are half chance, so are everybody else’s

Enjoy your body, use it every way you can
Don’t be afraid of it or what other people think of it
It’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own
Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your own living room
Read the directions even if you don’t follow them
Do not read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly

Get to know your parents, you never know when they’ll be gone for good
Be nice to your siblings, they’re your best link to your past
And the people most likely to stick with you in the future

Understand that friends come and go
But a precious few, who should hold on

Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle
For as the older you get, the more you need the people you knew when you were young
Live in New York City once but leave before it makes you hard
Live in northern California once but leave before it makes you soft


Accept certain inalienable truths
Prices will rise, politicians will philander, you, too, will get old
And when you do, you’ll fantasize that when you were young
Prices were reasonable, politicians were noble
And children respected their elders

Respect your elders

Don’t expect anyone else to support you
Maybe you have a trust fund, maybe you’ll have a wealthy spouse
But you never know when either one might run out

Don’t mess too much with your hair
Or by the time you’re 40 it will look 85

Be careful whose advice you buy but be patient with those who supply it
Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of fishing the past
From the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts
And recycling it for more than it’s worth

But trust me on the sunscreen


  1. Shalu Dhyani 10 years ago

    Mahesh Bhatt´s Arth. Made an impression on me with regards to man-woman relationship.

  2. Shalu Dhyani 10 years ago

    Some great stuff here Sputnik!

  3. Tanqeed Movies 10 years ago

    Thanks Shalu Dhyani

  4. aryan 10 years ago

    Excellent Post Man Here are the three movie which changed my life and I learned a lot 1)Anand, 2)Zanjeer and 3) Saheb this three movies I love to watch again and again Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s Anand loved the character of Rajesh Khanna’s the way he hide all his desires, 2nd one is Zanjeer the way Amitabh’s character Wants to removed all the injustice and corruption in our country and 3rd one is Saheb Role I want to play in my real life for the whole family.

    • Author
      sputnik 10 years ago

      Yes Anand is a great movie and Anand’s philosophy on life is very inspiring.

      Love Saaheb too. The way Anil Kapoor sacrifices what is dearest to him for his family is very inspiring.

  5. Rafsan Cr 10 years ago

    Excellent post Tanqeed .

  6. Tulmul 10 years ago

    Wonderful Post !!!

    Somehow I am most affected by little incidents and how person acts/reacts to it. Some great sublime parables and jokes who cut deeper into the issue and memory of person..

    • Author
      sputnik 10 years ago

      I love Aesop’s fable The Man, the Boy, and the Donkey It used to come as an animation on Doordarshan a lot.

      A Man and his son were once going with their Donkey to market. As they were walking along by its side a countryman passed them and said: “You fools, what is a Donkey for but to ride upon?”

      So the Man put the Boy on the Donkey and they went on their way. But soon they passed a group of men, one of whom said: “See that lazy youngster, he lets his father walk while he rides.”

      So the Man ordered his Boy to get off, and got on himself. But they hadn’t gone far when they passed two women, one of whom said to the other: “Shame on that lazy lout to let his poor little son trudge along.”

      Well, the Man didn’t know what to do, but at last he took his Boy up before him on the Donkey. By this time they had come to the town, and the passers-by began to jeer and point at them. The Man stopped and asked what they were scoffing at. The men said:

      “Aren’t you ashamed of yourself for overloading that poor donkey of yours and your hulking son?”

      The Man and Boy got off and tried to think what to do. They thought and they thought, till at last they cut down a pole, tied the donkey’s feet to it, and raised the pole and the donkey to their shoulders. They went along amid the laughter of all who met them till they came to Market Bridge, when the Donkey, getting one of his feet loose, kicked out and caused the Boy to drop his end of the pole. In the struggle the Donkey fell over the bridge, and his fore-feet being tied together he was drowned.

      “That will teach you,” said an old man who had followed them:


      Thanks cr7

  7. John Galt 10 years ago


    Agree on Kipling’s poem, Imagine and Sunscreen. My favorites too

    Very good post btw.

  8. Anjanpur685Miles 10 years ago

    Wonderful post. I will share bit by bit as I recall in coming days when I get time.

    Movies which influenced me (as in thinking process) ……(in no particular order):

    Thodasa Rumani Ho Jaayen
    One flew over cuckoo’s nest
    Do Bigha Zamin
    Mukta (marathi)
    Tukaram (Marathi – 2012)
    Ganashatru (Bengali)
    Tamas (TV serial)
    Millon Dollar Baby
    Artifical Intelligence (Steven Spielberg)
    Salaam Bombay

    • Author
      sputnik 10 years ago

      Thanks. Have not seen many of the movies but love Anand, One flew over cuckoo’s nest
      Millon Dollar Baby and Gandhi. Also love Whose Life is it Anyway and The Sea Inside which are also on euthanasia.

      I watched Artifical Intelligence in a theater and I did not like it. It started off very well but it went on and on and it was too long and boring for me.

      The Abraham story is good too. Feel free to share Kabir, Ghalib and Meer stuff. This is what is the thread is for.

      I had read this I think in First/Second Grade but I still remember it.

      Abou Ben Adhem by James Henry Leigh Hunt

      Abou Ben Adhem (may his tribe increase!)
      Awoke one night from a deep dream of peace,
      And saw, within the moonlight in his room,
      Making it rich, and like a lily in bloom,
      An angel writing in a book of gold:—
      Exceeding peace had made Ben Adhem bold,
      And to the Presence in the room he said
      “What writest thou?”—The vision raised its head,
      And with a look made of all sweet accord,
      Answered “The names of those who love the Lord.”
      “And is mine one?” said Abou. “Nay, not so,”
      Replied the angel. Abou spoke more low,
      But cheerly still, and said “I pray thee, then,
      Write me as one that loves his fellow men.”

      The angel wrote, and vanished. The next night
      It came again with a great wakening light,
      And showed the names whom love of God had blessed,
      And lo! Ben Adhem’s name led all the rest”

      • Anjanpur685Miles 10 years ago

        That was a lovely thought in that poem by James Henry. Thanks.

        ” “I pray thee, then,
        Write me as one that loves his fellow men.””

        The reason I loved A.I. is more because of especially the mother-son angle in the end. I felt it was very unique, very touching.
        And really liked how Spielberg conceptualized a sci-fi film. chose to go for emotions than to show the special effects/action.

  9. Anjanpur685Miles 10 years ago

    In poetry, for most part in growing up and still now have been influenced by Marathi poets – Vinda Karandikar, Vasant Bapat, Mangesh Padgaonkar, Shanta Shelke.

    But for ppl who dont know Marathi, I would like to share that I was hugely influenced by Vasant Bapat’s marathi translation of “Abraham Lincoln’s letter to his Son’s Teacher” (marathi version appealed more to me than the English original – I felt it was more poetic and beautiful and more enigmatic, inspiring in its effect for me) Poetry is hard to translate but that is one of those rare examples where translation exceeded the effect of the original.


    Respected Teacher,

    My son will have to learn I know that all men are not just, all men are not true. But teach him also that for ever scoundrel there is a hero; that for every selfish politician, there is a dedicated leader. Teach him that for every enemy there is a friend.

    It will take time, I know; but teach him, if you can, that a dollar earned is far more valuable than five found.

    Teach him to learn to lose and also to enjoy winning.

    Steer him away from envy, if you can.

    Teach him the secret of quite laughter. Let him learn early that the bullies are the easiest to tick.

    Teach him, if you can, the wonder of books.. but also give him quiet time to ponder over the eternal mystery of birds in the sky, bees in the sun, and flowers on a green hill –side.

    In school teach him it is far more honourable to fail than to cheat.

    Teach him to have faith in his own ideas, even if every one tells him they are wrong.

    Teach him to be gentle with gentle people and tough with the tough.

    Try to give my son the strength not to follow the crowd when every one is getting on the bandwagon.

    Teach him to listen to all men but teach him also to filter all he hears on a screen of truth and take only the good that comes through.

    Teach him, if you can, how to laugh when he is sad. Teach him there is no shame in tears. Teach him to scoff at cynics and to beware of too much sweetness.

    Teach him to sell his brawn and brain to the highest bidders; but never to put a price tag on his heart and soul.

    Teach him to close his ears to a howling mob… and to stand and fight if he thinks he’s right.

    Treat him gently; but do not cuddle him because only the test of fire makes fine steel.

    Let him have the courage to be impatient, let him have the patience to be brave. Teach him always to have sublime faith in himself because then he will always have sublime faith in mankind.

    This is a big order; but see what you can do. He is such a fine little fellow, my son.

    Abraham Lincoln.


    PS: Ofcourse I can flood this thread with Kabir, Ghalib and Meer but I will resist from it 😛

  10. John Galt 10 years ago

    This scene has inspired me a lot..especially the last line said by the crippled boy

  11. FS 10 years ago

    A great topic and a great post Sputnik. Fantastic.

    Movies – I have always been inspired from movies and quotes more than songs or poems but I find it most from the people I live with, related and seen them rise from the poverty to the luxurious life, their deeds in this world and their helping nature, warm gestures and other sort of routine discipline. When it comes to movies, I had already made a list on best inspirational movies Part 1 Part 2 but I was never a movie buff before I joined NG 🙂 I was never fond of movies but yes “shri 420” – a bet won with my father made me venture into watching movies more frequently than before.

    Quotes – The quote that you mentioned is very inspirational and very true. I have one quote that I do not follow more often but I wish to follow everytime. “God help those who help themselves”. When you go through the inspirational quotes they all seem to boost your confidence level or charge you up with fire but it does not hold last for a long time.

    Songs – There are few songs that inspire me a lot, few of them are;

    Kitna badal gaya insan – A thing we should look upon ourselves and ask about ourselves

    Maa tujhe salaam (It’s very close to my heart and I can feel the energy whenever I sing)

    If you are not the one – {I married to a woman I loved and this song inspired me so much that made the impossible thing (our marriage) happen. A secrete that I never shared with anyone until now}

    A Reason – Hoobastank (Whenever I was broke or regret for few decisions I listen to this song)

    Finally A song that inspired me for a while on Opportunities;
    Lose yourself – Eminem (comes from an unexpected singer with a foul mouth)

    Poems – I never gave interest on any poems nor have I understood many of such. But the poem you mentioned is the same one from the film “Happy Days” (My most favorite film) where teachers asks her student to mug up who is trying to impress and flirt with her 😉

    Like to close my comment with a quote – “Success comes when opportunity meets preparations”.

    • FS 10 years ago


    • Author
      sputnik 10 years ago

      Thanks FS.

      Yes you already made the inspirational movies posts so I did not want to limit it just to movies. While we all like inspirational movies I wanted the post to be about things that influenced/shaped who we are.

      Excellent song choices. Had never heard If you are not the one before. Good lyrics. Love The Reason by Hoobastank. Eminem has songs with foul words but he also has some very good songs with message too.

      Good quote.

  12. Nilda 10 years ago

    Brilliant post Sputnik. But it’s rather difficult to list few things that inspire me, I m still looking for inspiration even in small things of life.

    But I remember two of my fav poems from childhood.

    Confessions of a born spectator by Ogden Nash … I m a born spectator 🙂 And another one was Road Not taken by Robert Frost

    • Author
      sputnik 10 years ago


      Never read or heard Confessions of a born spectator before. Ha Ha Good one.

      Had The Road Not taken by Robert Frost in school. Love the last para.

      “I shall be telling this with a sigh
      Somewhere ages and ages hence:
      Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
      I took the one less traveled by,
      And that has made all the difference.”

  13. Author
    sputnik 9 years ago

    Rohit Shetty on Sholay – the one film that changed his life.

Leave a reply

Log in with your credentials

Forgot your details?