Friday, September 27, 2013

The Need for a Hero

As a child, I enjoyed cartoons like any self respecting pre-teener. You know which cartoons caught my fancy? Yes, cartoons with heroes in them. I would imagine myself in the shoes of Batman and superman(sometimes, I still do) and save the world. Other times, I just sit and watch the world being saved. They were infallible. They would rise from the dead. They would plan for everything the villain had in store for them. They could almost never lose. Even if they lost, another hero would emerge to take the mantle. These heroes gave me a sense of security and hope. I'd like to imagine that some of you also felt the same way.

As my childhood unraveled and I realized that there are no superheroes. The heroes you saw on TV, read in comic books and books as a child would lose some of the magic it had on me. But I craved for heroes. Someone I could depend on to swoop in whenever I was in trouble. As the train of life kept chugging along, the craving turned to desperation and then, to a strange sense of serenity. The logical part of me had known all along, but the child in me still thinks there's a hero somewhere out there, infallible, and saving people.

What about heroes you see on the news you ask? Real life heroes who are actually doing(or did?) real life work. Yes, they are inspirational. But the cynical in me destroys the human hero. A small failure, a mistake here or there would reduce the real life hero to an ordinary human who makes mistakes.

The media doesn't help matters though. Take for example Raghuram Rajan, the new Governor of RBI. `The man who could do no wrong` as one of the news outlets so eloquently put. He is the man who stopped the free fall of the rupee. We want him to be that hero who saves the rupee.We want him to make the rupee better than the dollar. We know he might never do it. But I want him to do it. I want to believe that he is that hero. I believe some of you do too. Some of you might want to be that hero.

Sachin Tendulkar used to be my hero. Don't mistake me, I'm his biggest fan, but I realized he was nothing but human in recent times. Rajnikanth, the Tamil superstar used to make me believe I could do everything he did in his movies. But then, I grew up. I realized he had superpowers only in movies.

I don't know if my thoughts above resonate with yours. I hope some of you could at least relate with it. But I know for a fact that I am not alone in the endeavor to find that hero, however illogical it may seem.

I believe the dictionary definition 'hero' allows for human heroes. Hopefully, the definition of 'hero' in my mind allows for humans in mean time.