January 26, 2011

My Idol. Take 1

During college, I have been asked this question 2 times "Who is your idol?". Both of the time I wrote/said about Michael Schumacher, the most successful F1 driver in history (at least statistically). But both times I asked myself, is MSC really your idol? And both times, the inner voice answered... NO. But then, who is my Idol?

But first; Who or what is an idol anyway? Googling define: idol gave me these top 3 definitions:
# a material effigy that is worshipped
# someone who is adored blindly and excessively
# paragon: an ideal instance; a perfect embodiment of a concept

Of course here, I am not talking about the first definition though the last 2 definitions are somehow related to the first one. Let's talk about the next 2 definitions one by one.

Someone who is adored blindly and excessively:
• Parents and grandparents who work for our welfare tirelessly and selflessly. But I have seen them making mistakes and they themselves want me not to repeat the same and to be someone much better than them.
• Some of my teachers. I haven't really been close to any of them, but they have influenced my life in a number of ways. So, ideally I would have liked only those teachers to teach me all the subjects. But teaching seems to be too much of a noble job for me to indulge in full time.
• Numerous actresses/women by whose looks/voice I have been smitten by :) But that I believe is more of facial and personality attraction and nothing else. Would you make someone an idol because she has a mole on her forehead?
• A number of musicians and singers (too many to name even a few) who are just incredible in their art. But making someone an idol because he/she is an Indian idol or they are the number one band is a thing I can't do.


An ideal instance; a perfect embodiment of a concept: There are a number of people who seem ideal to me:
• Someone like Aamir Khan who gives preference to quality over quantity and an assurance that an AK movie will be worth spending money. Not really easy to give that kind of assurance.
• Rahul Dravid, whom I used to hate and used to switch off the TV when he came one down. But over the years he proved himself as 'The Wall' in Test Cricket, greatly improved his average and strike rate in one dayers and is now improvising in T20. A person with a copy-book batting technique, something I have tried to emulate unsuccessfully.
• Roger Federer who is just a magician when on song. One handed backhand sometimes looks like witchcraft. Winning points from impossible situations and remaining consistent for so many years, is a superhuman task.
• Andy Roddick, the ultimate underdog, who even being a bit less talented than some of the other players of modern era has given some really hard fought battles to watch. A person who is a treat to watch when he serves.
• Or may be Linus Torvalds, who came up with his own solution when the problem existed in the existing solution. He was just 21 years old when he released the 'first' version of Linux. And he has been the path bearer to the fight against EvilSoft and its 'Exhaust' (if you know what I mean).

Now, all these people look perfect; ideal to be called an idol. But I always had some reservations with the word 'ideal' itself. It makes it sound more like 'impossible'.

Problem
• The real problem is that you call someone an idol when you find your life parallel to their. I haven't found anyone like that yet.
• Also, making someone an idol seems like you just want to become exactly like them. While I really respect the above mentioned people, I really don't want to be another Rahul or Andy or Linus. I want to be RavS, which may sound like a cliche but this is the truth. These people have made their own destiny. While I can learn from their life, I don't really want to retrace their foot steps to reach where they are today (in my own chosen field).

Solution
• Till now I used to think there will be someone who will really be my guru. Someone whom I will look up to in case of difficulties. It seems to me that no one like that exists for me. So, may be it is time to stop my ever continuing quest for the idol.
• So, my Idol is NoOne. Because NoOne is perfect, NoOne is exactly like me or to put differently I am like NoOne.

But it doesn't mean I live my life without inspiration. I get inspired from all the above mentioned people and some more. In fact, as someone said sometime, even "events inspire me".

PS: Now while I may no longer believe in the concept of idol, I know people still have idols and that is not going to change after this blog. So, it will really be great if someone someday calls me her/his idol! Do pal ke liye koi hamein idol keh de, jhoota hi sahi :)