22 February, 2008

The Virtue of becoming famous

What if I dreamt of being famous some day? Many people will laugh at me. But secretly, everyone desires to be famous, to be popular and to be known among the masses. Its our basic nature to yearn for an identity distinct from a common man. We all want to have that special something in us that everyone would want to know us, admire us, imitate and worship us. Its flattering to our ego that we have a fan following.

Has anyone ever dreamt of being a common man who exists without being noticed by anyone? Only saints can do so. As a child, Swami Vivekananda wanted to grow up to be a coachman. When questioned, he had in defense that someone as great as Shri Krishna was also a coachman once in his lifetime when he earned the title of 'Parthasarthi'-for Arjun in Mahabharata. Here, he sub-consciously wanted to become like lord Krishna and indicated that he wanted to be a coachman like him. Although, it is not implied that this was because of his popularity.

Generally, we tend to get influenced by people who are popular. People become popular because of a special identity. They develop identity on the basis of peculiarity of their style, looks or talent. That is how they differ from others. For example- Bollywood is full of famous people. Some actors are popular because of their skills, a few for their looks and others for not-so-popular reasons. Amithabh Bacchan is known for his grave acting and style, Aishwarya for her beauty, John for his brawn and Johnny Lever for his comedy. Not only actors but also people from different fields get popularity for the distinct work they do. Journalists like Karan Thappar and Barkha Dutt have distinct styles. They are popular because they dare to venture out in remote and dangerous places and have the courage to cross- question bureaucrats and politicians, unfazed by their position. Musicians like Amjad Ali Khan, Hari Prasad Chaurasia and many more in their genre are popular because of the heavenly music they play. And some get popularity for the hip-hop and pop music, which is the latest rage amongst new generation. Great politicians are known for their excellent administration, appraochability, command over subordinates and influence over people. All the famous people have something special about them.

But if we look carefully, they are just like any other common people around us. Then what made them famous? It was their self-assessment and acceptance of their strength and weakness, acknowledgement of their strength and highlighting them, strong will power and belief in themselves. They concentrated on working hard to improve on their strengths, were persistent to achieve their goal, realized right opportunity at the right time, got right platform to exhibit their talent and put efforts to improve on their talent day by day.

Some people become famous for all the wrong reasons like terrorism, drug trafficking and several other anti-social activities. Anyway, it doesn't stop us from concluding that people like to be popular. This virtue is strongly engraved in our psyche. We all have some or the other strength and if we nurture and encourage it properly, it may culminate into a distinct identity and get us popularity.

Parimita Chakravorty

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