Hero Worship.

I am an Indian. The original, not the American variety. We tend to build temples for our heroes and heroines and worship them as deities. Luckily for me, I was and still am not, quite that emotional.

I have had two characters from history as my heroes though, I never quite got around to worshipping them. Kattabomman and Spartacus. Both captured my imagination when I was a young lad and for many years I identified them with the film stars who portrayed them on screen, Sivaji Ganesan and Kirk Douglas.

As a young lad in school, rather than worship heroes from the world of films, I worshipped cricket players. Since most of my readers will not know them, I shall not list them but, they were there for me to emulate in my club level participation in cricket. Then came music and Elvis Presley became a hero as did Harry Belafonte.  Later on standing on my own feet and living alone, the rat pack became heroes to emulate and even today I have a soft corner for the music of Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin.

I suggested this topic for today’s 5 on 1 weekly Friday posts to pay tribute to a man I miss terribly even today.  He was my mentor, friend, philosopher and guide from my childhood to his death.

That only and lifelong hero was my uncle, my father’s younger brother who came into my life when I must have been around four or five years old. He was then a bachelor with his own motorcycle. Every time he came home, he would take me for a ride on his bike with me sitting on the petrol tank. My mother would be pacing up and down till we returned. He was more of a father to me than my father who had other priorities in his life. For me and my siblings, our uncle meant the world as he spoiled us silly and gave us the love that the father demonstrably did not or perhaps could not.

He was a dapper handsome man who stayed my hero till his death in 1996. He hosted my younger brother and me on more than one occasion in his home and would give us enough pocket money to have a grand time in our mid teen years. He taught me to play golf and allowed me to borrow his car whenever I wanted to have larks. He arranged for the foundation for my youngest brother’s career and my younger brother’s engineering skills were encouraged by him by setting up a business in partnership with him. He thought the world of all of us and we in turn returned that without the slightest hesitation.

He taught me the greatest lesson of life when his entire world collapsed around him when his business failed and he went bankrupt.  The fortitude and patience that he showed during that adversity and cheerfulness that he displayed even during those dark days are still etched in my memory like writing on stone.  As he started to come out of penury as his sons grew up and started to earn and contribute to the family, how much he meant to many people in his life came to be known to me, about which none of us had a clue as he never boasted about them.  Some of those people and their children still remember him with much affection and that is the measure of that man’s character.

He died as he lived fighting dacoits who had invaded his farm house in the outskirts of a big city and he fought them till they tied him up and choked him to death by gagging him with some curtain cloth to stop him from shouting for help. He was ever the gallant and the way he looked after his wife in the latter’s later life due to dementia laid the foundation for my own caregiving life later.

I still remember some of the greatest lessons that I learnt from him in sales, marketing and people management which, helped me in my own fairly successful career.

No, dear Fossil, I don’t intend to be nor want to be a hero for you to worship. Please do not be afraid. I just hope that the others in our group have some such heroes to write about in their lives.

This is my take on this week’s Friday 5 On 1 blog post topic. The other four bloggers who write on the same topic every Friday are Sanjana, PadmumShackman and Conrad.  This week’s topic was suggested by me. Please do go over to their respective blogs to see what they have to say on the topic. Thank you.

20 thoughts on “Hero Worship.”

  1. Your uncle sounds like a remarkable man, so the manner of his demise is tragic. How he chose to cope with having his life upset with the business loss, then caring for his wife spoke volumes about why you might think of him as a hero.

  2. Too late! I already worship you.

    This story, flippancy aside resonates deeply, for most of us didn’t have someone quite so close in our youth, nor quite so heroic in reality, but someone in our eyes was like that. Outside of my father, there was a legendary great uncle in my world. Even his death was fitting, at a villa on the French Riviera!

    1. I hereby bless you with abundance of everything that you desire.

      I do have a great grand uncle who is a legend in our family but, I know very little in detail about him. He was however a greatly revered person in our small community in the South Of India.

  3. You were lucky to have an uncle who was so inspiring. I never had a relative of that sort, though I was always impressed by my maternal grandma’s optimism and humour even in difficult circumstances. Other that that, I’ve never hero-worshipped anyone as I was aware from a fairly young age that even the most applauded individuals always have feet of clay and dark secrets.

    1. That I was indeed. I suppose that we all have someone or the other in our lives to inspire us but, the intensity of my experience with him was due to his larger than life presence in my life till well into my late forties.

  4. I think I am still in shock reading about how he died.
    it was unexpected and it was like a slam to my stomach!
    you made him come to life! and he was so wonderful. and then.
    oh my.
    as to my own ‘hero worshipping’… it would have to be my dad.
    I have given it thought. my dad was totally human with no doubt feet of clay as Nick says! and there was literally NO spoiling of us.
    but even at a young age I could see the values he lived by and the way he conducted himself. I admired him then. and I admire him now.
    my brother and I often talk about him and what he would think of today’s world problems and what it would have been like to be able to KNOW him as an adult. youthful memories keep a hero alive.

  5. Your entry makes great reading, Ramana. What a moving tribute to your uncle.

    Having read the consortium’s various takes, and pondering on them for most the day, I realize I do not have heroes (heroines) – most certainly not anyone I worship. There are, without a doubt, men and women I do admire. Some I may even love – in an abstract way, finding them awesome. And there are some who (no offence to my actual parents) who I wish were my mother/father. Even if the character, do laugh, is only a fictional one. That window into my soul I shall take to my grave. Not least because my fictional “mother” is, in actual years, younger than me and everything I wish for in my ideal mother. See? IDEAL. Writing it down like that does sound horrible. May I be forgiven – if not by my mother, by myself.

    I don’t know, is hero worship more a male thing? Conquering the world? Supersonic? John Travolta? The Godfather? Clint Eastwood? Sadhguru?

    Interesting, come to think of it, that none of that arbitrary line up in my previous paragraph names a woman.

    But yes, I do admire people (of either gender) very very much. Worship? No. That’s when you leave critical thinking behind. And no one is exempt from questioning.

    U

    1. I think that the differences boil down to semantics. We all have people in our lives that we have admired or admire and I simply had a more intense relationship with my uncle which I called hero worship.

  6. Ursula finds the word I need “admiration” for various people.

    Right now I admire people who are stand out characters in New Zealand.

    Our own PM: Jacinda Ardern and the Director General of Health: Ashley Blomfield. I believe it’s been suggested that Ashley (Man) be made New Zealander of the Year 2020.

    However, I also admire Tanya P and Heather B both friends of mine who have helped me solve the issues of home alone in my bubble at this current period in NZ…

    And then there is “me” who has had to take herself in hand, and made some relatively radical decisions on who would help, how I would work with the issues and so forth…
    Catherine de Seton recently posted..It’s Friday…

    1. You would easily fit into a character that I would hero worship just as there are a couple of other bloggers who will fit the bill. And yes, your PM is a worthy example.

  7. Your uncle was a true hero, being a helper to so many people, as you describe here. I had nurturing parents so they are heroes to me, always helping me reach my goals and even allowing me as a naive 19 year old to spend my junior year in college in Istanbul. The first time I got on an airplane I flew from Chicago to Istanbul. My parents helped prepare me to leave home, which is healthy to do. For a public figure hero, I count C.S. Lewis, a humble man who quietly helped many. He spent the money earned from his books helping pretty much any who asked.

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