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Thursday, October 31, 2013


Most Indians, Hindu or not, would call Rama the hero of the Ramayana. So what is it about heroes that sets them apart from the rest? In his book, The Songlines, Bruce Chatwin describes a hero:

"Myth proposes, action disposes. The Hero Cycle represents an unchangeable paradigm of 'ideal' behaviour for the human male... Each section of the myth - like a link in a behavioural chain - will correspond to one of the classic Ages of Man. Each Age opens with some fresh barrier to be scaled or ordeal to be endured. The status of the Hero will rise in proportion as to how much of this assault course he completes - or is seen to complete. 

"Most of us, not being heroes, dawdle through life, mis-time our cues, and end up in our emotional messes. The hero does not. The Hero - and this is why we hail him as a hero - takes each ordeal as it comes, and chalks up point after point."

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