Those unknown heroes did not even wait to hear our applause
One day, while I was driving to Bengaluru Airport, I spotted two small IAF planes moving in synchronicity. Instantly I was reminded of an aerobatic display by the Suryakiran team two decades back.
It happened at a forward base. The local Chief Minister was the chief guest. All were waiting for the first glimpse. The perfect formation of the nine aircraft became visible over the horizon and in an instant they zoomed past the spectators who looked on with awe. There after followed various hair raising stunts and manoeuvres, all in perfect coordination and formation. Every one knew that a split second error could result in a major disaster. Only those at the cockpit knew how much practice, patience, alertness and gut feelings went into producing such an impeccable display.
Of course in some of the later displays that I witnessed at other locations including the displays for the public, there were arrangement for running commentaries where the name of the team leaders were mentioned. But then with all those din and excitement in the surroundings, the running commentary hardly held your attention. In this particular show there was no such running commentary or public announcement. After the display there was arrangement for refreshments. During that time the Chief Guest was supposed to meet and compliment the pilots. A large part of the spectators was eagerly waiting to see those men behind the machines who gave those miraculous stunts. However, after some time we came to know that the team had to leave urgently. Neither did we know their name then nor did we have any opportunity to let them hear our applause.
This incident is a representative of the larger events involving our soldiers. Forget about the applause, in the theater that the soldier operates there are no spectators to applaud. Sometimes the hero even does not live to narrate or hear his glory. There are case where a soldier is awarded and may occupy a fifth page mention. But the majority of those heroes go unsung. May be that is why we have so many memorials to the ‘unknown soldiers’.
By Sivakumar Thyagarajan – Surya kirans !, CC BY-SA 2.0, Link
Why should the Hero take all the credit
Here of course I am talking about the reel life heroes. There is no need to mention that. Our social conditioning is such that when we talk of heroes, the first ones to come to mind are the filmy ones, even though majority of them could be damn cowards and hypocrites in real life and may be suffering from all kind of fears including fear of not being the best noticed one in a public gathering and not to speak of the fear of cockroaches. To distinguish a real life hero from the filmi hero, we have to say – so and so was a real life hero; where as, it should be the other way round.
Now coming to the real (or, reel) issue, the filmi hero is like the body of a car. It is the most visible and highlighted part of the movie. The other fellows (including the heroine) who work equally hard and are equally talented, do not get as much credit as the hero. In the filmi world too there are unsung heroes. The body double who does the real ‘heroic acts’ remains unsung.
4 thoughts on “Of Heroes Real and Reel”
Soldiers are selfless when it comes to duty, I was perturbed when I read a senior journalist say “its their job that they are doing.” seriously? it is each of our job in doing our bit for the nation. well Reel heros, off late with a recent movie I have seen a director change colors as money is at stake.
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I have also come across journalists (that too defense correspondents) whose knowledge about armed forces left much to be desired. It is also unfortunate that some vested interests are trying to get political mileage in the pretext of showing sympathy for the families of war heroes.
Indeed the SuryaKiran team’s formations & acrobatics in the sky are awe-inspiring.
Hats off to all the real heroes. Most of the times, they don’t even earn their deserving due. Only one memorial in most countries for countless heroes, while some politicians have countless roads & institutions named after them!
I agree with your filmy representation & interpretation of heroes too👍🏻
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Thanks Anita, once again for prodding me to complete this post through your indispire suggestion.