Wednesday, April 27, 2011

I like him, but...

ये मसाइल-ए-तसव्वुफ़, ये तेरा बयाँ 'ग़ालिब' 
तुझे हम वली समझते जो न बादा-ख्वार होता 

Translation: Ghalib, your subject matters are good and your style is great, we would regard you as a Prophet if you were not such a drinker.

So, Ghalib was not perfect. 

Recently Chalie Sheen went back into rehab. I am a great admirer of him for his acting in general and in Two and  a Half Men in particular. I didn't know what to think when I found out that he was as bad in substance abuse in real life as he was in the TV show as Charlie Harper. 

When I was quite young, in my teenage, I discovered the books of Enid Blyton and got hooked on them. Many years later, I came to England for work and mentioned to someone that I practically grew up reading Enid Blyton and her books taught me English. He told me that Enid was not a nice woman in her real life, she used to be horrid to her children and used to neglect them a lot. Enid Blyton has written a great many children's books and they are vastly popular. I am a big fan of many of her series books like The Secret Seven, The Famous Five, Five Find-Outers and Dog etc. 

Going back to the young age, I think I was in my 20s when Sanjay Dutt's film Khalnayak was released. Sanjay Dutt was in custody at the time for illegal possession of an AK47 rifle. I remember talking about the film with my friends on a morning walk. But we were young enough to know everything, and the solution was clear to us. "Both are totally different matters, it doesn't matter what happens in his personal life, we can go and watch the film." And that was decided. We ultimately didn't get to watch the film, but that's not the point. 

I have many, many examples of this type where a personal is very admirable for something that they do, but also they are bad in another regard. This mix of good and evil can be found in a whole range with the amount of good and bad varying to a great extent but the essential question is the same. 

Sometimes, the decision is clear. Michael Jackson, according to people, was a great musician. But he also had an illegal, horrible, despicable sexual perversion. I never cared for his music or his personality so I don't give a damn how good a musician he was considered to be. On the other hand, his particular perversion, in my books, is absolutely unforgivable, in any condition. So, both ways, I don't like him, and I don't care if he's dead, I am going to speak ill of him, I don't believe in that hypocritical convention that a man suddenly becomes a saint just because he's dead. 

An opposite case, I absolutely love this song called "Cliffs of Dover". I have even posted here about it. It's an instrumental piece by Eric Johnson. While doing research on the song, I came across some forum posts and found that Eric Johnson is a great guy, no conceit, very down to earth, very helpful. I talked to my guitar teacher about the song and he told me that Eric is an absolute perfectionist and works very hard to get his sound just right. All good things, easy decision - I like him!

But, back to the point, what do YOU do when you come to find out something bad about someone you admire and respect? Salman Khan is a great actor but he killed 4 footpath-dwellers while driving under the influence of alcohol. Do you still like him? I still watch his films, but I don't like him as a person. What about you?

For me the question is still open, whereas in most cases, I have a definite stand and opinion, most times an opinion that goes against every other opinion in the world, but I know. In this case, I don't know...

..I'd be very interested to get some viewpoints on this. Please share your thoughts in the comments. 


Bikramjit said...

So true I can understand what u mean .. Not trying to justify anything but the likes of sunjay dutt and michael jackson its the way they have been brought up which is a problem ..

He is a great actore and michael is one of a kind no one can be as good a musician as he was.. but as you say how can we like then when they have done bad deeds and it will be wrong also morally...


Always Happy said...

Personally, i think it is ones circumstances that make them resort to bad activities be it alcoholism, drug addiction or anything. Not that this should be an excuse to bad behaviour .

Just because a person has been tagged bad, I wouldnt stop admiring them for that 'something special' in them that I have always admired them for.

BTw, did you knoe Enid Blyton is from Bromley? I think I even know the house she used to live in.

Sunil Goswami said...

@Bikramjit, thank you for adding your comment. There maybe truth in what you say, but my dilemma is still the same. LOL. As for Jackson being the best musician, surely you exaggerate? Would you compare him to Mozart, Bach, Pt. Ravi Shankar, Pt. Hariprasad Chaurasia or Ustaad Zakir Husain?

A friend of mine did say some good things about Jackson yesterday in chat, after reading this. That he left 3 very well-behaved kids, and that the charges against him were not proven. She thinks that he was misunderstood. I concede that he may have had some good qualities. But I used his example as a clear case where I am already prejudiced against the person, and then he gets accused of something, I am not unsure of what to think. The problem arises when I really admire a person and then they go and do something stupid.

@AH, There's definitely merit in what you say, that we must value the special gift a person has but it's not always so simple. For example, would you buy a music CD produced by a convicted serial killer?

No, I didn't know that about Enid Blyton. :)

Always Happy said...

I would still maintain what I said, if I like the singer's talent, I would still buy his music CD. There are so many allegations agianst Salman Khan and Sanjay Dutt, yet Any day I can watch Hum dil De chuke sanam, hum aapke hain kaun, Munna bhai sequels. Vaastav remains one of my most fav movies.

Sunil Goswami said...

Okay, at least you have a clear stand. Thank you for that.

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