Thank you all for your suggestions for my 50th column (and thank you Srishti for the 50 times you’ve congratulated me). I got an email from Honey (for the second time... and don’t think I didn’t notice that you cut and pasted your earlier email to me!) Talking about her son, and how he is at an age where he needs role models. Honey, I had actually started writing a column for you titled ‘Heroes’, but I wasn’t happy with the way it turned out so I scrapped it and wrote ‘Life Fuel’ instead. That was on the 16th November. I think I can do better today, so I’m giving it a shot.
You might say that we throw the word ‘hero’ around too lightly. Film heroes, sports heroes, superheroes... surely heroes aren’t a dime a dozen. They’re rare and elusive, and we should be lucky to find a true hero, shouldn’t we? Pardon me, but no. What good is a hero who’s never around, who’s inaccessible? Let me take a step back... what is a hero? Yeah, I know it sounds like the opening line from Spider-Man, but bear with me. I’m obviously not talking about the costume-wearing, damsel-in-distress-rescuing, bad-guy-pounding kind of hero, so I must mean the real life kind, right? The soldiers and firefighters who risk their lives every day to keep us safe? Well, while I have nothing but respect and admiration for these people, I’m not talking about them either. Because most of us will go through our lives never meeting them. They, too, are out of our reach.
I’m of the opinion that heroes are everywhere. Because to me, all it takes to be a hero, is to have one good quality in you that inspires others. You don’t have to save lives, or fight evil; you could just be an honest person. Honest enough that people will admire you, and emulate you.
Heroes are meant to be an inspiration to us. We’re meant to look at them and aspire to be like them, to be the best that we can possibly be. But I still feel they’re no good to us up in the clouds. We need to look around, and find them walking among us, leading by example. There’s something heroic in everyone, I’m sure of it. Whether we see it or not... well, that’s really up to you, isn’t it?
Replies: Bookworm, thanks for writing, and my best wishes to your friends Shushant and Sandeep. Divya, don’t be jealous of Jaap... I’m sure if she could have brought you along with her, she would have!