Now, I am the kind of person who carries a box of tissues even to a comedy movie…just in case there is some mush or teary moment. Been told a thousand times by embarrassed friends and family who have to listen to my sniffs and sobs “It’s just a movie…it’s not true. STOP crying!”
This post is not about the epidemic of malpractices that seems to have crippled our nation. The show has covered that well enough. It’s about trying to analyse the how and the why behind those who are able to look beyond their immediate selves. In short, I am curious to know what heroes are made of….
Needless to say, I have mostly come across people who live privileged lives. That includes people from various socio-economic backgrounds. Mashi, an elderly lady who helps my Ma with her chores, has battled with poverty all her life…but I think even she is more privileged, when compared to most people interviewed on the show.
We spend our entire lives as though we were made out of a template. Myopic with personal aspirations and problems, generations have come and gone living their lives in a certain pattern – chasing good scores in schools/colleges, pursuing certain professions, paying off mortgages/loans, buying that dream car, saving for the occasional vacations, providing the best care and facilities to kids…and the cycle goes on.
What makes a Sunitha Krishnan dream of rescuing other rape victims like her? Isn’t the little girl of 16 scarred for life by the brutality of a gang rape? Shouldn’t anger and hopelessness be the predominant feelings tormenting her for the rest of her life? How does she detach herself from those feelings...or channel them for doing something positive? How does she overcome the temptation to “give up”? What makes her think that anything positive can possibly come out of her experience?
Why does a Sanjeev Kumar leave a promising MBA career to fight for the rights of unknown people in a distant village? When his colleagues and friends are perhaps fleeing the country and relocating to foreign lands that hold a better promise for the “house-car-vacation” dream…what makes him relocate to a village and spend the crucial years of his life there? Untouchability and caste system were not even “his problems”. Why not just shut his eyes to the suffering of strangers and chase the next “onsite” opportunity at work? Why does he want to be involved?
For our heroes, “others” could mean total strangers... people who were far removed from their own lives. It does not matter that they are themselves often in worse situations than those they are trying to help! Yet nothing deters them from their mission…not personal benefits, not inconvenience, not even big threats to their own safety and well-being!