Being Sharma Ji Ka Beta:
Whether you’re an alien, or you’ve been bitten by a radioactive spider or you’re just one of those rich and jobless people, being a meta-human is a trying task. If you’re part of this species, you had probably cut your own umbilical cord, composed your first symphony at age 5 and know how to spell Schwarzenegger. You represent the pinnacle of humanity and are the best of what mankind has to offer. Your shoes are idolised as the ones that the rest of the world must strive to fill. The spotlight follows you around wherever you go and you trap eyeballs like flies on fly paper.
Living upto all these expectations is certainly a Herculean task. Of course, you’ll have to score no less than a triple digit score in all your exams, be a good looking and exceptional sportsman, a wonderful orator and still have time left over to be deeply religious, massage your neighbour’s feet and practice the early to bed and early to rise ritual. It would literally make more sense to send someone like Sharma Ji ka Beta back in time to terminate Sarah Connor than the T-800.
Being the personification of the hopes and dreams of millions of parents is not an easy job. Naturally, those who fail to emulate Sharma Ji’s son’s apparent greatness usually tend to alienate themselves from him. Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be on the other side? The one where you are forced to spend every second of every day trying to live up to the expectations you set for yourself. No, you only think about yourself. To be Sharma Ji’s son is to also be the centre of countless rumours and mud slinging. He unwittingly got himself into Hotel California where he can check out anytime he likes, but can never leave. He probably has also mastered the art of never making sloppy references and pop culture jokes like that one.
It doesn’t end there: enter the parents. Parents who never cease to envy Sharma Ji’s good genes. Parents who try hard to create a Sharma Ji’s son out of their kids while neglecting the line that they inevitably cross. To watch your peers having a false sense of purpose being forced down their throats right up to the point where they just melt down and finally fill your shoes is plain torture and an assault on one’s conscience.
To be the proverbial Sharma Ji ka Beta is to have every little flaw in you stand out like a stain on shiny armour.
As cliche as it sounds, it makes no sense to deal in absolutes. Sharma Ji’s son never really existed and never will. Face it, you will never escape the weighing scale, you will spend your life being an entry on one rank list or the other. The important thing is to realise that none of it matters. Sharma Ji can shoot all the spider webs out of his wrists he wants to but he will never be able to excel at one thing – being you. Perfection isn’t as much a singular concept, as an infinite array of flavours and you are the best representation of your flavour there is. A man is closest to perfection when he strives to be his own Sharma Ji’s son, in that he strives to be better than himself at each step of the way. As Michael Jackson so eloquently put it,
“I’m starting with the man in the mirror. “