Disintegration of a hero before your eyes


As we start growing up, one of the things we often look for is inspiration. We acquire the vision to achieve something good; something extraordinary. Then we start looking at this guy. He gives us sleepless nights, makes us wonder how he does things we badly want to do.

He is not only in the field of activity we want to be, but also gives us an impression that he somehow fits into it nicely. When we tried doing things he does, it looks funny. Yet, when he does it himself the same thing appears like magic. We love this guy, play the videos featuring him, observe each of his movement closely and start to imitate him.

In our world of fantasy, we find this guy stand next to us, help us hold the gear and teach us things he does with little effort. It’s all so wonderful to call him our hero; the guy who opened our eyes to things and details that may easily have skipped our attention.

What more, his deeds often fill our teenage heads with excitement and confirm our belief in the possibility of working one’s way up in life and the honour one feels by doing so. He is the epitome of whatever we want to achieve and the essence of our idealism. We swear by him, defend him in ‘who’s the best’ arguments and feel proud each time he achieves something.

Then, as you grow up with these fantasies and continue to respect the way he ages and bows out with the same sense of glory, he comes out of nowhere and declares that he has taken drugs while doing his magic. Of course, he talks of clearing his conscience and being honest to himself — very nice things indeed — but you wonder what happened to these feelings when he decided to swallow the ‘white and round’ pill or lied to the authorities that his ‘soda was spiked.’

Clearing conscience

Then… you recognise the terrible thing. Actually, this is the point when the hero starts to disintegrate before you. In the process of clearing his conscience, this guy breaks your heart. With it goes all the beliefs you had in honour and reward for hard work.

Oh yes, there is one more change. As you watch in the mirror, you realise the face that stares back at you is no longer the pimple-punctured, starry-eyed teenager, but an adult with a few grey hairs bordering the scalp. Likewise you also realise that the idealist has been replaced by the ugly cynic who questions the result of growing with concepts like honesty and respect.

“Look at your own hero,” the cynic tells you. “You believed he had the skill. No doubt he had, but you also believed that he earned his dollars with utmost honesty. Well, what happened now? He is a mere drug cheat, worse than the guy who bullied you to brag about his ability to win.”

Thus go our hero, our role model, into the nearest garbage dump.

The trouble is, when you look at your own son or daughter gloating over a star and starts fantasising over him/her, you don’t know what to do. Though the rational thinker in you says your kid’s heart throb need not necessarily be a cheat, you have little choice but to look up and pray that your kid shouldn’t come back with questions over honour and dignity. You pray that no drug cheat should break the heart of your kid and also pray, with a little more intensity, that even if he does so, your kid shouldn’t lose his belief in making it big in an honourable way.

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