Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Falling Heros

This one is about my role models : Rahul Dravid, Rajinikant and Roger Federer.

Let's start with Rajinikant - The Superstar, a person who is as much despised as he is admired. I will start by making it clear that to me, Rajini is an over-rated hero, but an under-rated actor. His story is a fairy-tale. He came from a different state, wasn't even able to speak Tamil properly, didn't have a mentor in the industry, started with very small roles, and still made it so big. Contrary to popular views, his being dark-coloured was more of a disadvantage than an advantage. The MGRs, Sivajis, Kamals ruling the market were mostly fair-skinned. He started as a very good actor. You need to be a good actor to be a part of films directed by the likes of K.B. and Bharathiraja. He was a master of underplay. But people were more attracted to his charisma than his acting skills. So, somewhere down the line, he made a decision to stop acting, and put to full use his charisma.

But, today's generation has been over-exposed to attempts by various heros to cash in their charisma - even if they don't have one - and as a result, his popularity is declining gradually. Even hardcore Rajini fans don't believe Rajini can act, and like him only as a superhero. Rajinikant reminds me of Gail Wynand, a character created by Ayn Rand in her 'The Fountainhead'. He just gives people what they want. You can't blame him for it. You don't start from scratch and build such a reputation just to throw it away so that you can experiment. But, people are fickle-minded, and they wishes can not be fulfilled for ever. Rajini is now too old to adapt once again from the beginning. It is a pity that we were not able to see more of his acting. I only hope that his last film would be one where he proves he can act too. About Rajini as a person, I think much has been said about it already.

Rahul Dravid - 'The Wall', 'Mr.Consistent', 'Mr.Dependable' and 'Jammy'. Recently, when he was asked to double up as a commentator as well as a fielder for RCB, he was asked what he was doing in the outfield. He simply replied he had to stand there, since one could hide themselves in the slip-cordon throughout a match only in test cricket. As Harsha Bhogle later pointed out, this was from the man who has the highest number of catches in test cricket. When selected for the ODI team recently, he didn't say a word to anyone. A few days later, I read somewhere that he was the only person seen practicing at the NCA on The Independence day. I can go on talking about his performances, but that would be a waste of time since no one will disagree with me. I will just say that any great player like him, Sachin, Laxman, Ponting can adapt easily to any format of the game. I hope that he is given a chance to retire from limited overs cricket in a way that would be etched in our memories.

Frankly speaking, I don't watch much Tennis. I know just enough to realise that Federer is greatness personified, and we shouldn't miss the opportunity to watch greatness at work.

These three may seem to be an odd combination. Two sportsmen, and one actor - not the perfect choice for role models. But, there are some similarities between them. The first one that I noticed that was that all the three have names started from 'R'. I started scouting for celebrities whose names start from the same letter, and you can imagine my happiness when Mr.T.Rajendar changed his name to Vijaya T.Rajendar! But more importantly, none of them has been carried away by success. They are talented, witty and humble. And unfortunately, they are all past their peaks. I can't be so sure about Roger Federer, but it won't be the same for him anymore.
Maybe it is becoming a general trend - time-tested theories are being ripped apart by the pressure caused due to wide-spread critisicsm, causing self-doubts. Some, like 'The Little Master' and 'Fedex' survive, only to face more critiscm. How much more can they endure?


  1. I accept Rajni 'was' a great actor but not a master of underplay. He could have become one if he continued to be an actor than a hero.the
    movies in which he underplayed is not even more than five.

  2. The number of movies where he acted wee were definitely more than five. And yeah, it was his choice to be a hero rather than an actor. But, coming from such a background, he couldn't afford to take the risk.

  3. I want to be the first to congratulate you on Dravid's ton.......i know you would be estatic. :-)

  4. hey adarsh, nice one da... the one about t.rajender was cool...


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