Tuesday, November 22, 2011

My Role Model

(This post is labelled under 'Interesting people I have met'....ok I haven't met him....he lived centuries ago but he was a very interesting man. Here goes the post....)

"Who is your role model/who do you want to be like when you grow up?"

I have been plagued by this question since childhood. I wouldn't say I didn't look up to anyone. I did. There were many people I admired. But I have never been in awe of anyone or felt like "I want to be 'this' person when I grow up".

So, to get rid of such queries I would give run of the mill tolerable answers like, "I want to be like my father" or inconclusive ones like, "I just want to be a doctor". I knew I would become neither. I also knew what not to say. I never took the names of Mother Teresa or Mahatma Gandhi. Beauty pageants had demonstrated how unarguably fake saying so sounded.

When you have lived half your life without a role model, you eventually stop looking for them.

But the last two moths have been somewhat of a revelation.

I am finally in awe of someone!!!

I always thought it would be a filmmaker. It isn't!
I have fallen in love with Kalidas. The Sanskrit poet & dramatist from an era I so wish I was born in.

The more I read his work, the more I close my eyes to take in this feeling of floating mid-air, in appreciation of every verse I finish. The similes, the metaphors, the imagery, the grasp over facts and sheer sensitivity make you wonder how could any writer be so knowledgeable and gifted, almost 2000 years back?

Nothing is known about him as a person. There are scholastic differences about the period he lived in (around 4 CE) or where he lived (Ujjain or Sri Lanka). We don't know anything for sure about his family, appearance or life.Yet his work says it all. It lives. Little things that fascinated me as I read along are listed here:

1. The slight chip/crack in the vermilion 'tilak' on her forehead is a sign that she has disguised her anger and frown well. (Chapter IV, Malvikagnimitram)
-What an observation :)

2. Indumati is like the traveling light on a highway. It is her Swayamwar. The rows of kings are like the palaces across the highway which are illuminated (with hope) as she approaches them but silently fade into darkness (of gloom) when she walks past without selecting them. (Chapter VI, Raghuvamsham)

3. When you decide to meet your beloved's friend hoping that your beloved will accompany her and you will be able to get a glimpse of her, you are disappointed when she doesn't come along. It is just like making a trip to see the Sangam hoping to catch a glimpse of the mighty Ganga but you get to see only the Yamuna in the beginning. (Chapter II, Vikramorvashiyam)

4. Always accompany your loved ones upto the first water source if they are going away on an unknown journey. (Chapter IV, Abhigyan Shakuntalam)

5. Being a King is like carrying an umbrella in the sun. The effort of carrying it around is much more than the comfort it provides. (Chapter V, Abhigyan Shakuntalam)

6. A renouncer sees a person immersed in sensory hedonism and feels exactly the way a freshly bathed person would feel upon seeing a person covered in oil. (Chapter V, Abhigyan Shakuntalam)

7. A king should be like the Southern Winds, neither sweltering nor freezing. (Chapter IV, Raghuvamsham)

8. Anger has a shelf life only till the other person doesn't give in. (Chapter IV, Raghuvamsham)

9. Old age had announced itself by humbly coming close and whispering near his ears. (Chapter XII, Raghuvamsham)
- What a way to convey that he had started greying :)

10. Other instances wherein various details of season (misty eyes like the winter moon which is forever seen through the haze of the dewdrops), geography (an account of flora/fauna/soil of across India including Arunachal and Manipur, in Raghuvamsham), aerial view (exact mapping of the separation of Gulf of Mannar & Palk Strait) etc. leaves me spellbound.

I am yet to read Meghdootam, Ritusamhara and Kumarasambhava.

There is sooooooo much I feel like underlining in all those books and sharing with everyone. What a pity! I finally found a role model and somewhere deep down I know, I can never be like him.

I can only hope and pray to be inspired by him.


  1. he is sooooopar doooopar likable :) what to do!!

  2. Oh I have had this confusion for yrs and still going on..should post a blog on this..

  3. to look upto someone and be starry eyed about it...good topic to blog :)


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