Sunday, 10 November 2013

The Search for a New Superhero

I know of friends who feel disoriented and depressed without keeping a crush. The harmless sort; the ones way above your league and who can hardly reciprocate the same frantic breathlessness that they experience in the chosen crush's proximity. Some of the idiots I know have managed to get hooked irreversibly to the said seemingly unreachable target - often a tragic outcome of completely misjudging (1) their own true level or (2) the desperation of the guy/girl who had been a single loser for years.

I like to invoke a similar shameful obsession, and that's to think of my idols.

My list is not unique. I am certain friends in my own circle share my favourites. And I have written about them occasionally not only on this blog but also on other media. On days when I feel down or when I really don't feel like going out or reading a book, when I don't feel like expressing my views on the latest debate on facebook (that's the state of affairs these days), I close my eyes and exquisite off-backhand from Roger, or a flick of the hand from Michael, or an on-drive from Sachin's bat or a birdie from Tiger at the US Masters, or the beauty and layered complexity of Artemis' ingenious plan or the fine strokes of genius on Leonardo's notebooks or a jugalbandi between Bhimsen Joshi and Rashid Khan or a Bach composition or some immortal lines from Byron...for that time, whether sprawled on my bed after a hard day at the office or sitting in a boring routine party, I lose track of time. I lose track of the world. I feel ecstatic and almost constantly belittled.

It's only natural that the heroes you grow up with rear their ugly imperfections sooner rather than later. In the case of sports persons, there is a power decline that is painful to watch. The older maestros retain their magic but it's difficult to extract a sense of exhilaration or addictive climax. And then, they will retire. I envy the people who support teams in the various football leagues for this reason. Even if United fans eventually face the heartbreak of becoming a mid-table team, they can live out their lives with a love that was borne out of passionate romance in the time of great success. Yeah, it actually works like that.

(As I write this piece, Roger is losing, somewhat expectedly, to Rafa Nadal. Nadal is rock solid as usual but it's Roger who's making the crucial mistakes)

Michael Jackson is long dead and Artemis Fowl has run his course on the print circuit. I need someone who can surprise and inspire me again.


So, who's going to be my next living idol?

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