Monday, November 14, 2011

Changing Heroes

As we grow, our heroes change, the reasoning transform, the passion involved mellows.. Our experiences, intellect , rationale, egos, growing cynicism all of these play a role in the transformation. 

Vinoo Mankad
As a child most of us start of with our Dad being the hero (more often than not the mother grows in stature at a later stage in life, could be the overall male chauvinistic world..). Starts with Dad and then goes on to looking up to personalities he thinks of as his heroes (Which in all probability would be one generation further  up). A few years down add a few uncle's or aunt's who start becoming the be all and end all..As we begin to grow out of the 'My Daddy Strongest' phase we start to find our feet along with siblings,peers, friends.. as the years run along one starts to see the need to differentiate with one's parent and maybe an elder sibling if one exists... this attempt at being different from the older is plausibly a way of telling that 'I have a mind of my own' may be not too much thought goes in, just the need to be different

Bjorn Borg
M A K Pataudi
As for me in that phase, with hindsight maybe this is what happened... it was critical to be different form my brother (who is seven years adrift) who i guess saw the need to be different from Dad. So if Dad liked Rafi, bro liked Kishore and then i had to choose between the two (for my choices at that point ended there) more often then not it would be Rafi, so it was with tennis.. Dad Borg, bro-McEnroe and hence me Borg theorem proved. This is not to say I did not idolise my brother, on many counts I did and brought home his heroes without knowing why. This phase is followed by the one where we step out into the larger world and interact with it more and more as an individual out of the shadows of home. Yet the need for conflict does not go away, is it because it makes life that much more interesting?? if one said Lendl other said Becker (the Wimbledon semifinal 1989 - one of us had to go to bed a sad man - ain't I glad it was not me - a broken switch board was testimonial to the fluctuating fortunes) and so on. The one time we seemed to be in agreement was around Schumi....

Balraj Sahani
Once we are through our teens and kind of flown the nest so to say, we start forming our own idols (wonder if it is ever free of influence of the environs)... Then as we walk into start our working life, by when our heroes are beginning to loose their sheen, the intensity is dying, they seem more real.... though the trouble around this phase of life is the heroes from our formative years are on the wane and not many of them leave at a time when they allow you to hold your head high and boast of their supremacy, more often then not we are forced to look back and justify their greatness.. not  a great time

Sunil Gavaskar
Now our heroes start coming in from different spheres and are not really super heroes, they are more people we look up to, or appreciate certain facets. The larger then life kind of heroes are rarely formed at this stage. If they exist, they are by far  carried forward from those formative years. Do we carry that irrational passion for a star we looked up to in our growing years as against personalities we look up to now.

Amitabh Bachchan
Is there not a qualitative difference to the way I look up to a Gavaskar vs a Tendulkar just as for my Dad there would be that difference in the way he saw a Vinoo Mankad or a Vijay hazare and the way he sees a Gavaskar. Just as the way I see a Amithabh and Amir would be different, for Dad that hero would probably be a Balraj Sahani. One, a blind kind of hero worship the other a more measured appreciation for the skill possesed..

Do we burden our heroes beyond need, take them out of their spheres of competence and supremacy and then expect them do well in all walks of life and live life in a given way... Did not the heroes of the 60s, 70s and 80s live a more carefree life, were they more enamoring hence??  

Boris Becker
Is it a factor of age or the times we live in, that we have lesser heroes in our heads, and what little we have fade away that much faster. Is it the times, where the distances between  the admired and the admirer is fast dwindling, that they feel real and the super hero sheen vanishes. Or is it  our age and cynicism combined with our frustrations and the sour grape syndrome that sees them as plain humans? Or is it that they are not made that way anymore?

Maybe it is a little of everything....


  1. oh my god.. look at that stance (Sunny's).. I modeled my stance very consciously on him including the habit of first placing the left leg, then the bat, and then swinging the right leg in front of the bat :) Only people of our generation who were cricket freaks will appreciate that *grin*

  2. Agree.... also the benefit of posting pics on the blog..widens the net...some one is going to like something somewhere written or otherwise :-) Your comment also speaks how we treat our heroes growing up...every unlikely that after having grown up we ape our heroes verbatim on Changing Heroes

  3. Vow....!!!!

    you have touched a very deeper point.

    Stephen R. covey says 'you are nothing but a byproduct of your environment'

    social, family, genetic determinism is what we are.....

    the first brilliant point is,the road to CHANGE starts 'the moment we feel and agree that what we are today is because of this....thiss...

    then it gives us way to think where we should head to...

    fantastic... useful.... brilliant post.....

    thanks for writing this. and continue to write more and more....

  4. With great exposure comes great dilution. So that sheen of awesomeness that distance provides is lost nowadays with 24/7 coverage and twitter. That is not a bad thing necessarily.

    I believe this allows us to be more objective and varied in our fanship, rather than intense and narrrow - which was the case in the 60s and 70s.

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  6. @Lord Akoroth - Completely agree...
    Another factor is at what stage in one's life was the hero formed..our early life heroes have that larger than life feel to them...heroes formed later on we are more critical and real about them...
    to have better understanding, maybe we need to query today's kids on their heroes and how they view them