Chatter. Chatter. Chatter. There is too much of it all around; like the background score one didn’t intend to have, and the foreground music that is outrageous yet lingers in your head because, well, it is outrageous. Have you ever wondered how things that you don’t really like tend to hang around? I have. And I have forgotten. I tend to forget a lot these days. So, I go back and revisit.
I recently re-read To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Revisiting, like I said. Someone has said, I forget who, that a book is very good only when you read it more than once. By that definition, I can safely say that To Kill a Mockingbird is a very good book! The first time when I read this book, I was filled with glowing warmth by the end of it. I went around recommending it to everyone. It is one of those things I wish everyone would read. More so because we need that kind of literature to be read and imbibed more than anything else. But when I read the book the second time, this time, I saw something I hadn’t seen the last time. They also say that one should read the same book in different phases of your life, it speaks to you differently each time. This time, I learnt one of the most important lessons Atticus tried to teach his children in the book—if you want to know what a man is like, all you have to do is stand in his shoes. And therefore, one must not judge other people scathingly; that’s not what we are here for. In this book, both times, I read about a man—Atticus—who is patient, socially responsible, and one who treats everyone with respect—not only women. A man who raises his children without any force or fear that they’d turn out wrong. A man who stands up for what is just and does not massage his ego with what he thinks should be the norm. A man who breaks down when his child is suffering. A man who has the strength to treat the ones who are out to get him with compassion. In short, I read about an honourable man! If you’ve read To kill a Mockingbird, you’ll know what I’m talking about. Atticus Finch, in my opinion, is one of the most honourable men I’ve come across in my life.
I’ve read and re-read, and re-read the Harry Potter series and I love them. Not so much for Harry, but for Dumbledore. J.K. Rowling has created a character who has so many layers that just when you think you’re formed a good enough opinion of him, you realise there is more to the man than you thought. In one word, Dumbledore is admirable. For the way he conducts himself; for the way he decides to stand by what is fair; for the times he saves the wizarding world with one swish; for the times when he suffers so that others can live without pain; for the times when he’s fine with being the villain; for the person he is despite not having anyone to lean on. Dumbledore is a man that one is unlikely to forget. A man who says some very wise things, in a casual manner, but goes deep. Very deep. A man who can be charming without being loose. A man who has a caliber that very few can match. When Rowling tells the readers about his past in the 7th book, one feels grossly cheated because one has underestimated the man and his capability to be human—to make mistakes. But, on the whole, he comes across as an honourable man.
Since my focus of this post happens to be honourable men, I want to mention a man that I truly and deeply admire. Although, I don’t know much about his personal life, and about how he conducts himself off set, I do hope to God he is as charismatic as he comes across on screen. I deeply admire Gary Mehigan, the judge on the TV show Masterchef Australia. Both judges, Gary and George are people one can look up to, but I am a little partial towards Gary. I absolutely love the way he conducts himself. I have never seen him shouting at, or condescending a contestant. I have never seen that man, put anyone down. He is just and he is able. He is obviously a very good cook, but he is also an inspiration. I have come across very few people in life who, by virtue of being excellent at what they do, also inspire people around to be like them. They have absolutely no negative air around them. They are encouraging, and willing to help others who are willing to learn. Gary Mehigan is one such man. I may not have learned a lot of cooking from him, nor do I know him personally to comment on him, but from what I know, I know that man is a very good example.
Among all the chatter and the blizzard of life, once in a while comes along a man who makes you sit up and take notice. Chances are that he will be one in a crowd and chances are also that you won’t miss him.