Sunday, September 24, 2006

An urge to learn or mere "Glamour"

It is the 24th of september 2006. HIs highness, The President of India is visiting SASTRA deemed university.the security arrangements have been made and admit cards for students issued.An aura of excitement and emphatic spirits is all around.The "junta" gears up to meet and hear the great man speak.

In midst of all this excitement,i lay like a couch potato in my room,only there is no couch but a really uncomfortable chair.A junior who is all ready and dressed up to attend the address asks me to get ready and reminds me that i am late.I looked at him and observed how excited he was about the whole thing and wondered why.What made me wonder even more was the shock that he expressed when i told him that i would not be attending it.

He started his sermons about what a great man A.P.J was and how we had to go.Then ensued a discussion which left me thinking and made me write this blog.I tried to convince him that i did not question the greatness of the man but it was not really important or rather mandatory for me to attend the address.He went on about how we should learn everything from great men and that we needed to see them once if we got the chance.While i argued with him abortively,time passed and we parted ways(i went to my bed and he to attend the seminar).

Now i wonder,why did he find it so necessary to see him to feel inspired ? Was'nt knowing about his works and his life struggle enough to inspire him?This is where it came down to how glamour of a person often attracts people more than his acheivements.I started to question in my mind the basic reason of "getting inspired" quoted by the "junta"?

I tried but invain to convince myself that a mere sight of a person could inspire people while his works fail to evoke a similar response.How many out there if really after inspiration would have read his works.I fear a very few!And behold the phoenix is born again...."An urge to learn or mere "Glamour".

4 comments:

Prasoon Joshi said...

I fail to understand u !!! there has always been the question of chicken or egg, so wat comes first? fame or achievements ??? nope not here, not in this case dude ... wen it comes to KALAM its always a man who's humble enough to be against glamour and at the same time focused to take the people of India march into the future with a surety of life and a better future. What does it take ??? If it takes glamour then let be it !!! if it takes advertising to bring the crowd to a place which can act like a launchpad to success of the nation then let be it !!! How many of the couch potatoes or tomatoes felt the surge of responsibility down their spine that afternoon? how many of those who decide to stay back and resort to newspapers and tv coverage can see their hair stand on ends while taking the oath given directly by the first person of our nation, or singing the national anthem in unison? (I took the oath in Tamil and could still feel each word of it going down my heart like a resolve for the future) ... alas, there would always be people who would avoid the crowd, dust and heat and still be able to call themselves the greatest lovers of mother India!!!

pourush said...

i dont believ even 5% of the 'junta' clapping approvingly with gleeming eyes at evry sentence he spoke, wud care to read even a single buk of his, from cover to end. Furthermore, they dont even care to give his 'independence day' speech any second thoughts.
But, if he comes to ur doorstep, wont u heartily open ur doors n welcome him, out of sheer respect if not nething else?..The man commands respect, and we give him that, in whatever way we can, however insignificant(hypocritic) that gesture might be.
Why?...Because, he has a vision. He has a vision for me. He really thinks(and believes) that i am trying my level best to come to terms with the present day cut throat environment. His vision is helped in this case, manifolds, and thus he likes it that way.
No, i didnt go there myself. And, i so regret that action (or the lack of it) of mine.

descrying the shadows said...

Well said Prasoon and Pourush...
But i guess i was misinterpreted..
when i say "an urge to learn or mere"Glamour"" i am talking about the feelingwithwhich the "junta" wanted to be there.I never intended to nor am I or probably will i ever be on a pedestalfrom whereiwould dare to question the greatness of Dr.A.P.J.Kalam.I instead question the true reason behind the excitement many had about his visit.If youdid get inspired then you are one ofthosefew who were there with that intentio,moreso causeyou have that kind of a sense of responsibilitywhichmyt friend this "couch potato " has too,though the sources of inspiration may be different.With this blog i question the reason of those peoplewhocame back and kept smilingand laughing over how he,in the lingo of the "junta",r**** teachers...Thequestion is what was the reason behind their eagerness to see or hear him..?
An urge tolearn or mere glamour.....

Camphor said...

First, His Excellence, not highness. We do not have royalty ruling here in India.

mere sight of a person could inspire people while his work
I think you are talking about that elusive characteristic called charisma, and how that convinces people to make a deal more than any amount of reading will. Perhaps the junta was going there to merely say, ''I saw APJ'', but there are a few who would have been inspired by his address. Can you imagine - if Gandhi showed up tomorrow, would you not want to talk to him? Not that you don't know his history, his life etc. God knows we have read enough about him. But becuase it would be an oppertunity to meet a unique and great mind. IT is that person, that mind that did the deed, and maybe you can understand better if you meet the person.

It is not that one is not inspired by great work. But it is distant - a tale, a story, not as *real*, not as here and now as those stories would become if you met the person and the story became personal to you.

I don't know if you understand, but this is why I would attend an address of APJ, or Arundati Roy or Sen. They know more than I do, and maybe by seeing them in person I will learn something elusive that I would otherwise not have been able to pick up. The perhaps is worth the trek from the hostel to the stadium.