Rajnikanth. Sachin. Rahman.
To many Indians, these men of extraordinary achievements form the modern trinity. All are worshiped, rather than merely admired. All of these men are Gods of our country – men that have not just made the country proud, but brought glory and fame to the chosen field they have been involved in, for several years.
One’s in the Tamil Film industry. One’s in the music production industry. One’s in the gentleman’s game of Cricket. Yet a common thread flows through all of them. Different be their fields of expertise, different be their range of achievements, different be their age groups – one common string ties all their lives together and stands as one of the finest examples of inspiration not merely to men and women of India but also to every human across the globe.
My admiration of these men began from a very early age. At first, quite obviously, it was Superstar Rajnikanth and his cinematic charisma and style. Sachin arrived next thanks to those cricket telecasts in those times. Rahman was the last piece but quite simply the gem to top the collection. Together, these three men – more precisely, their lives – have taught me what I could not have ever learned, no matter which school, college or university I attend. The lives of these three men possesses such enormous value and lessons to be followed that it simply is immeasurable.
Today, each one of these men is at the pinnacle of his game. Some might disagree, but that count, I believe, is very meagre. Who else could break all existing ticket-booking records of many U.S cities but Rajnikanth? Who else could make and break records set by the legendary Bradman or Gavaskar but Sachin? And who else could win a double Oscar in his very first nomination but Rahman? Each of them, we find, has reached a top spot from where there just doesn’t seem to be any looking back left.
But behind the largest fan base, first 200 in ODI and double Oscars, we all know there is a story of struggle and determined confidence.
Rajnikanth, as Shivaji Rao Gaekwad had to take a loan for joining the Film Institute. Sachin was out for a duck in his first two ODI’s and was bleeding from the nose during his first Test tour. Rahman was going through one of the worst financial crises in the family when he began to compose for jingles.
Sure we all agree that each of these men had what is absolutely required to make it big in any field. Guts, dedication, confidence, sacrifice, hard work, faith in oneself and perseverance with patience. But this was not all. Even today, each is bogged down with pressure. Be it the pressure of politics and upcoming projects, or the pressure of winning a World Cup or that of winning at the Oscars, Golden Globes and more, each of these men still has a life that isn’t exactly a cakewalk. Struggle is a part of their lives. And still they manage to come out at the top of their profession – and give better than the best every time.
This, in my humble opinion, is because of their down-to-earth character and absolute lack of ego which keeps them grounded no matter how high their fame flies. Every time, before the camera, or on the ground, or within the studio, these men see themselves as fresh entities about to deliver their best, never thinking about the result, or the image, or the value derivable out of the work. It is as if these men think of themselves as new entries in their field and strive to make a huge impression.
And it is all possible because they are simple; because when our life lacks the complexity and complication of unnecessary elements, our thoughts are clear and crisp and our ego has no place to thrive. When there is no ego, we are receptive to everything and are able to make decisions rationally. It is at this state of mind that one can completely give one’s personal best in whatever it is we are doing.
If at all I derive any lesson from the lives of these people, it is this: whatever we do, whatever we achieve, whatever we accomplish, is a result of a billion things, incidents, people and events. To take it as a personal victory, ever, is the easiest way to fool ourselves. And to remain humble, simple and thankful for all the billion things, incidents, people and events, is our duty.
From Shivaji Rao Gaekwad to Superstar. From Dileep to Mozart of Madras. From Sachin to Master Blaster. Each is a different track, reaching different goals. But one inspirational lesson I learnt from these guys is that to be humble is the greatest thing one can achieve, in the face of a million failures and successes.