February 11, 2013
‘When you follow your passion, success will follow you.’ The adage sounds inspirational. Many success stories are carved by passionately following the passion. However, it also has proved detrimental to many. The real world is too much complicated to be abided by set rules. Countless have lost their directions by vehemently dreaming their ambition. Our Hero is one among such countless.
The plot revolves around the emergence of Hero of this story in mid-eighties of 20th century. By then the small town boy had completed his high school. Known to be movie buff, he was on verge of stepping into Pre University. No one knew what hit him. Impulsively he was bitten by ‘acting bug’. In view of displaying his talent, he unified a group of budding artists and planned a stage program. A local sponsor was arranged to support the cost. Multitalented Hero wrote lyrics, composed music, scripted a stage play and played central role.
To his misfortune, crowd turned impatient and left halfway of program. He thought the abandoning act was incited by envious fraction. Disheartened by bitter experience he discontinued his studies. Public libraries and cinema halls became his favorite hideouts. Obviously, his parents were worried.
“I want to be a movie hero. It’s my passion.” He confessed when taken to task.
They were shocked and unsettled by his brash admission. It sounded like the warning of danger. Father advised his son to be clear-headed. Mother expressed her concern. Our Hero was in no mood to listen. They approached the wise and knowledgeable school Principal, who lived in neighborhood. The Principal invited Hero to his office and explained value of education and consequences of carelessness. Hero remained in mode of refusal.
“Frankly I have no interest in studies. I was born to act.” Hero firmly clarified.
“It’s cool to have a hobby and being passionate about it. However it doesn’t make sense in sacrificing your education.” Principal rationalized.
Principal’s counseling failed to soak up. Hero’s behavioral pattern did not show any encouraging signs. The anxiety of his parents turned into intense apprehension. Further, an allegation from neighbors surprised them. Hero was seen walking bare-naked inside his room with window open. Once again, they turned at Principal for help. Principal in turn sought assistance of physical education Teacher who had coached Hero in football. They believed to have had shared some kind of affinity.
The stunned Physical education Teacher called on Hero at his house.
“What’s wrong with you?” The Teacher confronted. “You are their only son and your parents have built their aspirations on you.”
“I am not here in this world to achieve their unfulfilled hopes. I have my own choices.” Hero answered.
“That’s not the point.” Teacher whispered. “The neighbors have complained against your exhibition of nudity through open window. Shame on you…”
“Why do you think nudity is shameful?” Hero argued. “It’s the condition of mind. True beauty can be seen without shame. You feel uncomfortable while uncovered because you are not truthful to yourself. True acting is liberation from emotional blocks and inhibitions. Great acting comes from being natural. I am working on my vocal and physical ease.”
“Are you rehearsing to act in porn movies?” Teacher teased him.
“I want to be greatest movie actor on this earth.” Hero sounded truly emotional. “It’s my desire to live this dream. What is the point in talking to you? You are insensitive and emotionally retarded.”
“I have an idea.” Teacher changed the topic. “Shall we go tomorrow to local mental hospital? It’s advisable to meet a psychiatrist.”
“Do you think I am crazy?” Hero was offended. “I think you are insane and you need some help.”
“Your obsession has taken you into madness.” Teacher clenched his fists. “Always remember time and tide will wait for none. Time wasted will never return. Tell me, what do you really want to do with life?”
“I have a plan.” Hero thought for a while. “Do you know anyone in Bangalore film industry? It is worth trying. I am looking for someone who will believe in my talent.”
“That’s the spirit.” Teacher encouraged him. “I will accompany you to Bangalore. Let’s travel by night bus.”
They left to Bangalore by night bus. The staying arrangement was done at Teacher’s old friend at Koramangala. Nimhans, a premier institute for mental health was in close vicinity. Apparently, Hero escorted Teacher to psychiatric ward. He was told that they would visit a film studio.
“Is this a film studio? Are you sure?” Hero was irritated.
“There cannot be a better studio than this.” Teacher conciliated him.
“I can see only the doctors, nurses and patients.” Hero was unnerved.
“They must be shooting for a movie.” Teacher replied.
“I am not a fool. This is definitely a hospital.” Hero retorted. “I am perfectly okay. If you have some problems, you may consult the doctor.”
“You are right.” Teacher tried to justify. “I have consultation to be done. Thereafter we will go straight to a film studio.”
Hero reluctantly nodded.
The consultation with doctor did not last too long. Doctor asked some simple questions and Hero candidly replied. The doctor privately disclosed that Hero’s mental situation is in control. He advised them to seek help of any qualified local psychotherapist. Teacher stepped out of Nimhans with sense of satisfaction.
“Shall we go now to a film studio?” Hero asked with childlike enthusiasm.
“I am tired and down with a headache. Let’s rest for a while.” Teacher avoided.
The dejected Hero helplessly followed teacher. Teacher had intended return back to their hometown by night bus. His friend in Koramangala induced him to change his plan with the request to extend his visit. The teacher indecisively agreed. However, Hero was packed back by night bus. Hero was instructed to pass on the message to Teacher’s family that he would arrive after couple of days.
An enraged Hero reached his hometown and remained silent. In those days, cellphones were not available and having a landline was a huge deal. Being small town, the news on his Bangalore visit with Teacher for Psychiatric treatment was well spread. Now his homecoming without Teacher set the tongues wagging in neighborhood.
Teacher’s family was startled and his wife came running to Hero’s place.
“What happened to my husband? Where is he? Why didn’t he come back?” Teacher’s wife was shaken.
“Your husband had planned to admit me in mental hospital.” Hero thoughtfully replied. “I admitted him and returned.”
Anyway, they were relieved as Teacher appeared back at hometown on third day. On the contrary, stress and tension at Hero’s place escalated due to his indifferent behavior. He refused to attend counseling with any local psychotherapist. His errant and unruly demeanor caused an unknown fear to Parents. The neighbors heard loud crooning and dancing from his room. Then he began pointing knife at his parents with threat to kill them if funds are not arranged to produce a movie. Hero advised them to sell off their only house.
Obviously, they were terrified. Instantaneously Hero’s parents consulted Teacher for one more round of help. Big-Hearted Teacher was well known for helpful services. He met Hero with a newly contrived strategy.
“What’s wrong with you?” He accused him. “Why are you terrorizing your parents? It’s your duty to be protective and supportive.”
“I was faking. It’s just for fun.” Hero winked. “It’s demonstration of my acting skills. I am a method actor. I was trying to immerse myself into the character. By now you must have understood the intensity of my talent.”
“You are brilliant.” Teacher patted his back. “You should think of relocating to bigger city. Shall we go to Bangalore?”
“Last trip was total waste. It was unfair. I cannot trust you.” Hero expressed his unhappiness.
“You have to understand the reality.” Teacher spun a web. “The doctor whom we had met at Bangalore has large friend circle of film producers and directors. He is your best possible ticket to movie industry. All depends on your ability to impress him.”
“Are you sure?” Hero’s mood swung.
“You are wasting your time in this small town. Let us go to Bangalore. I will bear the cost, no harm in trying.” Teacher set the trap.
They left to Bangalore and stayed at same friend’s house in Koramangala. By 10:00 am, they were in doctor’s cabin.
“What do you want to become in life?” Doctor asked.
“Actor.” Hero enthusiastically replied.
“Why can’t you continue your hobby along with education?” Doctor probed.
“I am not a fool to waste my valuable time on education.” Hero sternly said. “I was born to act. The cinema world is waiting for my advent.”
“Very good.” Doctor nodded. “How can you prove that you have talent in acting?”
“Do you want the proof of my acting skills?” A grin appeared on his face. “I am exceptionally gifted in singing, dance and action. When I pick a fight, my parents and neighbors believe that it is real. They shiver in fear. I can make people cry with my melodrama. I am a complete actor.”
Hero turned vocalist and performed a dance sequence to influence the doctor.
“I am impressed.” Doctor signaled thumbs up gesture. “However you need some professional training. You will have to stay for some days.”
“I am ready and prepared for all sacrifices.” Hero was excited.
Hero was admitted at Nimhans for psychotherapy. Teacher hoped this would help Hero to regain his sanity. Next morning, Teacher visited hospital with his Koramangala friend. They met Hero in the ward.
“Good Morning Sir.” Hero wished in great enthusiasm. “I am thankful. You changed my life. I signed my first acting contract. I am the hero. The shooting will begin by next week. I am truly excited.”
“Contract? What contract?” Teacher was horrified.
“Please meet the director.” Hero introduced the man with hat beside him.
The man with hat was busy in making some markings in his diary. He discontinued the scribbling and looked at visitors.
“Don’t worry.” The man with hat assured. “I have booked his dates for next six months. This is my third movie. Previous two have been blockbusters. The romantic thriller is written, produced and directed by me. Songs will be shot in Switzerland. Hollywood technical team will be hired to depict fight scenes.”
“No point in talking to this guy. He is a crackpot.” Teacher’s friend nudged him.
Alarmed by the complex condition, they quickly rushed to doctor’s office.
“What’s happening?” Teacher worriedly asked. “Hero is caught with wrong company. He cannot become normal in this situation.”
“I am aware of this.” Doctor pacified them. “The man with hat believes that he is the most talented movie director of this country. Now he has found his hero. They are enjoying each other’s company in a delusionary state. It will take some time for recovery.”
Teacher had no other choice. They left the place.
Hero was discharged from hospital after couple of weeks. His passion towards acting had flattened. Disillusioned by reality he turned depressed and miserable. His ending came too soon with a sudden death after couple of years.
Passion and success may not always go hand in hand. The real world is too much complicated to be abided by set rules.