Wednesday, May 11, 2005

True Heros

I was watching the movie Ramayan on Cartoon Network on Sunday. The cartoons were extremely cute and well-drawn. :-) So was the animation. As I watched and absorbed the fact that Rama (the hero of the story/movie) lived in a forest for 14 years despite being eligible for the King's post without any qualms or airs, some things struck me hard. Even though Ramayan is a story that I've read and seen many a time, these new thoughts occurred to me because of the current context. Rama takes up the life of a nomad/recluse (in the forest) for his father. He adapts himself to the situation and converts himself nonchalantly from a to-be-king to an ascetic. The image that people have of him is not just for his kind words but equally kind deeds. Laxman’s (Rama’s brother) story is even more touching. Laxman leaves behind a prince’s life and follows Rama into the forest and if this isn’t the epitome of affection, I don’t know what is. Jatayuu the bird that tries to protect Sita from Ravan (the villain of the story) gives up his life for Rama/Sita and that is the epitome of sacrifice. I am not done with the whole story...but here are some thoughts inspired by Rama...

Methinks - A true hero isn't one who just goes about preaching indifference and leading a spiritual life. A true hero is one who not just speaks good but acts it out. A true hero is one who stands up and fights for the truth and for his loved ones. He is one who lives up to the fair expectations of people around him. Picture this - A person who talks about how beautiful life is (for himself) when he sees his kith and kin being sucked in by a quagmire can never mean to be of any help; he is obviously making it harder for people to deal with what they're going through. He isn't thinking about them. A hero would get down and pull his people out of the dirt at the cost of getting himself dirty. He would be outraged by injustice done to others. I can't imagine a hero telling people to put up with it with one half-stretched hand towards them while he himself receives a bouquet of flowers from the devil with the other. That would be a picture not worth the canvas it is drawn on.

Rama was a true hero. He lived for others. He’d rather die for them than be a petty king at their cost. No wonder he found so many people who wanted to sacrifice their lives for him. In today's world, it is difficult to be a true hero like Rama...and my sympathies are with you if you have created for yourself an image of a hero but are not able to adhere to the requirements. Unfortunately, living up to it can be a huge challenge. And if the image comes crashing, it might be heard across the world akin to an earthquake.

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