Thursday, 5 December 2013


" You are either really smart or extremely dumb." 

Throughout your whole life you meet people who may or may not agree with your POV. People who are as adamant about their world view as you are. For me, most of the times, there's no point in arguing with them as they will hold on to their opinions and you won't relinquish your belief systems either. Hence, it would only escalate to a stubborn war-of-the-words with both parties refusing to budge. Saving your precious time and energy for something much more fruitful and respecting the other's thinking would be the only way out.
It was during one of my charred-with-carefreeness college days, that I had the chance of coming across someone who, because of my one such candid admission, gave me an earful every single time we came face to face. The lady in question happened to be one of my professors. I'm sure that we've all had teachers who have been great influences on our minds, who've had sizable contributions in shaping us the way we are, the kind that make us want to go back to school/college again. And then there are those who we had to endure. Most of them out of fear. Some out of respect, which some perceive as also a by-product of fear.
Amidst a rather tolerable lecture for Foundation Course, she sprung a question towards us.
"Who, according to you, is your ideal?"
She further elaborated to the just-woken-up-from-a-daze faces.
"It could be anyone, your Mom, Dad, an elderly person, a known personality."
Pah! That's easy! Everyone started coming up with answers ranging from celebrities to parents.
I was racking my brains trying to come up with a name. Any name.
When it was my turn, I stood up and replied, "No one."
Her expression still graces my memory. It was somewhere between being aghast and ridiculed, or both.
"No one?" she asked, stunned.
"No one."
"Not even your parents or grandparents?" she hoped.
Then came the reply that started off this piece in the first place. I was miffed. Having an opinion that differs from the rest is NOT a crime in my dictionary. I shrugged my shoulders and replied,
I was told in a stern voice to sit down.
Why do we as humans always need an ideal? Someone who we want to be like? Aren't we perfect just the way we are? Why can't we lead life and learn our own lessons and navigate unchartered waters with inexperience? Isn't that what our 'ideals' did too? Weren't they just as human as we are? They made mistakes too. How can they be placed on a higher pedestal?
There are innumerable well known and respected personalities from various fields who are revered like Gods. They are made out to be someone who possesses a persona that exceeds mere mortal boundaries. While it is absolutely essential to acknowledge the gargantuan and laborious efforts that these people employ in their various disciplines that earns them their credentials, treating them as someone incapable of making blunders and touting them as ideals is the worst form of exaggeration.
There are people who stand by certain principles and the same people denounce it somewhere down the line. Many a times, in a discreet fashion, which then forms the base for a crispy headline. The same people who worshipped the 'inspiration' start loathing him. Then begins the name-calling. People who expound themselves as being morally correct are the first ones who illustrate just the opposite. One weak moment, and snap!
We create idealistic notions of certain people in our heads but forget that they are but human beings too! I don't mean to disrespect anyone when I say this but I don't think we were made with such a degree of finesse or perfection that it would warrant us being idolized. We are all characteristically flawed. Be it people we admire from afar - celebrities we read about every day, great leaders that have paved/scarred nations, alleged God men with displaced ideologies, politicians with faces aplenty or those we meet during the course of our normal lives - teachers, friends, colleagues, etc. We are all fickle creatures. I don't deny the fact that I myself admire some known faces as well as those unknown. People that I don't know but see every day. But I know that the moment I start idolizing them they will be preceded by a bad decision adversely affecting them and/or the people around them. Sometimes its effect resonating through ages, on people who aren't even born yet.
Hence, it is better to rather piss someone off with your true opinion than adopt a code of belief riddled with double standards.


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