Sometime back, Dhoni retired and the world went mad. Twitter and Instagram burst with messages and compliments. TV Channels put the burning issues and National events on the back burner. Google trended ‘Dhoni’ at the top of the list. There were claims over not to
allot his Jersey number 7 to any other player. That’s what ‘fame’, said to be the real thing in the world, caused to a person, I comprehended.
Actors, Cricketers, Sports players, Politicians, Singers and writers were the ones who really got famous. Others went unsung or at the most got known to their local circles if they excelled in their fields. Fame to a large scale eluded them. They couldn’t have followers in millions. Why only a few chosen categories? Why not the Scientists who made the medical and technological discoveries and improved the quality of life to no end? And fame came fast to these few categories! A new actor arrives with his antics and wipes out existing stars. A new cricketer comes, hits a century laced with fours and sixers and is a star in everyone’s eyes. Lyrics like ‘Teri MItti..’ are written and the lyricist becomes a celebrity. A perplexing phenomenon it is, I find.
And the real joy of attaining fame was when you were young. At that age, you could travel endlessly without tiring, eat anything in the world without problem, eye the people, enjoy with them and they too drooled over you. Fame attained at a time when you had grown old carried little joy, I found. Elderly people didn’t get mobbed. Not many were asked for autographs. Not many magazines carried features on them. For attaining ‘fame’, one needed to choose a career carefully, early in life.
The desire ‘to be famous’ existed universally among one and all. When a person examines his attainments in life, he often concludes that he had achieved a lot given the circumstances he was in. What more could I ask for, he asks himself. But fame? Where was it despite his feeling proud of himself and coming out as a winner?
While lost in these thoughts, my eyes fell on a dirty boy, clad in rags, moving barefoot in the street. He didn’t seem to have bathed for weeks together, seemed hungry and looked around for someone to beg money or a meal from him. I quickly brought bread from the kitchen, moved out and gave it to him along with some money. His eyes lighted up. He didn’t even look at me, grabbed the money and bread and ran away. Finding him cheered up delighted me no end.
Returning to my room, I thought of his condition. Why was he so? What was his fault? Could he think of ‘fame’ ever? For him, the prime goal was to satisfy his hunger. I started counting my blessings. These were uncountable. I had everything that a human being could desire—food, cloth and shelter, education, job and money, family, friends and society, clean environment to live in and a nice bed to sleep in. Why had I all of these and why he didn’t have many? I couldn’t guess.
‘Fame’ was attached to some professions not others, I realised. Like all our blessings, it was just one more aspect of life. Some had it, others didn’t. But it wasn’t a basic need to live nor was it perpetual. In the fame laced professions, soon a person slid from centre of the screen to the side and then exited the screen. Real joy lay in attaining satisfaction within—of having done something wonderful and possibly immense–Not to show to the world for an applause but to win pride in your own eyes. And to do something such to make another human being’s eyes light up—like those of that boy, for the God hadn’t distributed the blessings equally among all. Some had fame, some had quality living and some had nothing at all.