Ahem. Announcement. Loudspeaker. Drumroll. Would you please meet your own Renaissance Man?
Would you please consider standing up and greet your one and only Renaissance Man…like…the only one you’ve known in your personal, private world? That’s the purpose of the words “your” and “own.”
Is it too much of an expectation from him? Is it too much of a demand? At least…a dream…maybe?
I know other than you, nobody knows him. He is not big. He is not tall. He is not rich. He is not famous. He’s not white. He’s not black. He can’t run fast. He can’t shoot guns. He can’t climb mountains…he can’t move mountains…he can’t even climb a tree. He’s not an agile swimmer; he can barely float. He’s not a heavyweight lifter; his knees gave out because of a series of cricket and soccer-football injuries. His left ear has been ringing bad in winter since seventh grade when a North Calcutta thug punched him hard. His rib cage aches from time to time even since in eighth grade a school teacher beat him up black and blue.
He does not come from a prosperous family; he doesn’t have any pedigree. He doesn’t belong to the elite class so that people truly hate him. He doesn’t even belong to the proletariat class so that people truly empathize him. He is not widely traveled. He has not read all the books an averagely intelligent person should read…not even all the available English translations of famous writers…not even enough English literature in English. He’s not a polyglot; he’s only managed to speak, read and write a couple of simple dialects. He is not even that fluent in languages he’s picked up. In fact, if you make him angry or nervous, he starts fumbling and mumbling even speaking the handful of new words he painstakingly learned. You can hear him stammer…that is…if you can get close to him. But It’s difficult to get close to him because he’s often rude and arrogant and defensive and egotistical and unyielding. He is not an easy man. Common perception is that he’s a difficult man.
But he still believes he is your personal, one-and-only Renaissance Man. Therefore, would you please rise up and delight him with a standing ovation? Here he comes…confetti, claps, table thumping and loud cheers…major jostling for a close-up look…media frenzy…paparazzi shots…black limousine…red carpet…limelight…flashlight…floodlight…fill-in light…deep focus…soft silhouettes, pretty, young, tall female companions in sexy evening dresses…
Well…um…actually…they’re not there with him…yet. But you’re a sensitive, imaginative person, aren’t you? You can imagine it all! Can’t you?
Please do. It’s big fun that way…to imagine…paint a mental picture!
Now, why in the world does he consider himself to be a Renaissance Man? I mean, given what we just heard about him and drew a mental picture, what makes him think that he belongs to that rare, elite, powerful group of people with dexterity in diverse arrays of life?
Well, the last time I heard, the only reason is that some of his friends and family members pumped his balloon too much, and ballooned his bubble. Just the same way they ballooned the stock market bubble before it all crashed. I’m now very apprehensive and worried that this man’s ballooned bubble is ’bout to bust…before we can believe him.
We also heard that one of his friends actually called him a Renaissance Man in front of him. A facebook friend (can you believe…a facebook friend…ha!) called him a role model. I heard another person wrote on his wall that she got the ability to see through the woods because of his writing, and his analysis. That person since left his facebook…for some unknown reasons. However, stupid and naîve he is, it was enough for him to believe that he was indeed one. I mean, how can you take your friends…real or virtual-world friends…so seriously…however smart or honest those friend are? I mean, don’t you think you need to look in the mirror yourself first before you start believing in yourself?
I always check in the mirror. If I know I’m short, I wouldn’t think I could do things a tall man can do. If I see myself to be a poor and powerless man, I would never dream of going beyond the box, cross the line, come too close to the elite and powerful, and consider myself (even remotely) to be one of their own. Like they say in old Indian-colonial-British English, I am a burnt cow. I’ve seen the fire way too many times. I am a dreading cow. I cower.
Enough digression already. Are you still reading?
I actually had a chance to speak with this man. I have to be honest. Remember, this blog I promised would be all about honesty and heartfelt feelings…without hiding a thing? So, this is what I found out…and I must say this guy has reasons to believe his friend was right. In all fairness, at least he deserves to dream that he could be one…one of those days.
Now, crossing over the elitism gap…well, that’s a story we’ll leave up to the political movers and shakers…and social scientists.
I sat down with him with my note pad, and here’s my scribbles. We spoke for about ten or fifteen short minutes.
Did I say I was impressed? I didn’t? Well…I did…sort of…in my confusing-confounding way.
Listen…you read to read twice what I wrote, okay? Yes. Let me confess: I was impressed with what he had to say about himself, his life, his work, and his mission. In fact, it was in plain English even I could understand.
I’d strongly ask you to have a talk with him — one on one — maybe, over a cup of Darjeeling tea. You’ll find out.
He has reasons to believe he is one of a kind. Grab him…come close to him. He’ll be yours. He’s ready to be yours.
Meet and greet your own Renaissance Man.
Brooklyn, New York