A thought can indeed come from the strangest of places. Well mine came predictably from the face book- Everyday I tell myself to reduce my visitations to this site but truth be told it’s the one addiction I find most hard to resist!
Anyway some of my friends regularly share these very colourful eye catching posters with pearls of wisdom in them. But as I belong to that vast majority that believes in giving wisdom rather than taking it from other sources- I tend to ignore these - but one did catch my eye recently –
It was a black and white poster and had the picture of middle aged woman and her grownup son – the son asks his mother – how can I find the perfect woman
And the mother replies- forget about finding the perfect woman –you try to become the perfect man…
This appealed instantaneously to the woman in me I saw it as a sensible piece of advice to the 50% of humanity out there! - I wanted to hit the like button and post a comment like wow or way to go …
But then I held myself back – as I found a wave of questions rising in my head –
Who is a perfect man?
What are his attributes?
And is it possible or is it stressful being one
I thought I would explore these questions with you my readers. Now the first question- who is the perfect man?
Is he someone like the person in the Raymond’s advertisement for the complete man?
The man in a suit who looks comfortable wearing it outdoors in Indian weather - who acts perfectly in every situation- the grown up man who remembers and honours his school teacher, who is a perfect husband, a perfect son and a perfect father. Since I do have a father, husband and son in my life and I have had male students in the past and when I run a comparative scan on both these images nothing really matches up so I dismissed the Raymond’s advertisement as a beautiful figment of some one else’s imagination created for the purpose of entertainment only!
Then I wondered is he something like James Bond? Who again is cool, debonair and unperturbed in any scenario… who can ride a bike drive a car at break neck speed… fly aeroplanes deftly maneuver ships in impossible situations? Has things and gizmos handy at all times… someone who perfectly anticipates and addresses all of his opponents moves. But after all, James Bond is the product of the collective imagination and effort of hundreds even thousands of people – experts working behind the scenes to make the film.
Now I move on to the second question what are the attributes of a perfect man? I thought I would look for these attributes among in well known people.
Would his attributes be something like what Mahtama Gandhi or Nelson Mandela or even Abdul Kalam’s have, of selfless service to the nation– is it good looks that we see in our film stars sports icons like Rithik Roshan or Leander Paes ? Is it the valor that we witness in our jawans and army officers who fight fearlessly to guard our nation? Is it brilliance found in people like Sreenivasan Ramanujan or Rabindranath Tagore? Is it one of these qualities or all of these qualities or is it something entirely different from what I have spelt out here?
That brings me to the third question- Can we at all have one common perception of perfection? Or does it vary according to our own likes and dislikes and our own personalities?
As the experts say – perfection is indeed a very difficult thing – its a conditioning imposed upon us by society that forces us to act against our will in most situations. – Its this conditioning that forces you to open doors for women, makes you give way to women in queues. Makes you get up very early or stay up very late, miss a meal or two, drive half way across the town -- all for someone else’s sake!
Life it seems is one long journey where we let ourselves be constantly conditioned to conform more and more to society’s norms.
You might very well ask why I haven’t talked about the perfect woman well the same things apply to her as well as she too is the product of similar social conditioning.
Finally I leave you with this thought who according to you is the perfect man? And is perfection at all possible?