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BE A LEGEND THAT YOU ARE

By Ram Kamal Mukherjee

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Ram Kamal Mukherjee

“It’s my great grand father’s legacy, Ram. He went overseas and got his LLB degree. My father and I both followed his footsteps. Vijay, too should do the same. But this boy! Oh, he has got a mind of his own. Wants to become an actor. These days with the star kids flocking around, does he even stand a chance? You know how it is Ram. Put some sense in this boy’s head.”

Vivek, one of the best lawyers of the city, paused for a breath. Cowering in front of the personality that his father is, Vijay opted for a stroll outside Leopold. I sipped on my Long Island Iced Tea.

Legacy of lawyers. Legacy of actors. Legacy of politicians. That’s our country. A population of over 1.5 billion like to hold on and savour their family legacy. We simply hate letting go. We like to hold on — to our stories, to our heritage, to our culture, to our superstitions. So much so, we even want our children to follow our footsteps and walk the same path. Tried and tested!

Imagining a child to step out from a family of IIT-ians and becoming an English professor is beyond us. Legacy of IITians you see!

The Kapoor family: Bollywood's ultimate legacy

The Kapoor family: Bollywood’s ultimate legacy

The land of Kings and Princes doesn’t give the paupers with potential a chance. Neither does the paupers aspire for the throne. They are taught not to. So for a father to think that his prodigy of a son will fail him and his family if he doesn’t join the family business is not surprising.

Whilst the dictionary chooses to describe the term ‘legacy’ as a property or amount of money that is passed by a will, we Indians think Game of Thrones way. The Lord of Winterfell shall be Rob Stark after his father’s death! The titles passes on. The legacy continues.

Starlets even before they reach adulthood are victimised by paparazzi. Will Misha star opposite Taimur or how Suhana celebrated her new year’s eve in her revealing Manish Malhotra couture becomes an important piece of information. It is quite taken for granted that the starlets will find nothing better to do in their lives and shall nonchalantly step into their parent’s Jimmy Choo.

Being a witness to the monstrous world of the showbiz that lies hidden under the glittering veil, penning down a tale of mother-daughter tussle in my debut novel was not much of a task.

Naina’s dreams of becoming an air hostess crushing under the superstar mother’s ambition is yet under legacy story. Been there done that , for many in the industry. Young dreams never count in front of old ambitions. Little does that matter to the mother.

Star kids failing ridiculously at box offices is not an untold saga. But hey, they can’t give up. Subjected to trolls and memes and the ruthless twitterati they have to go on. They have oversized shoes to fit in.

Lets not be brutal to our beloved film industry alone, this is the story everywhere. While the citizens envy the silver spooned babies, the babies might find the grass greener on the other side. The story however remains the same.

Viraasat is passed on.

He was a pilot, but the untimely death of his mother pushed him into politics. He made the nation proud. But his son was not made for this world. He became a miserable failure. Yes, its the Gandhi family I am talking about. The story is much like ‘Beta hua to engineer (politics), beti hui to doctor (social worker)’.

People, look outside the little well you are residing in. There is a huge world outside. Because Lopa’s sister fled away with a guy who turned out to be the wrong one, doesn’t mean she should face the axe. Times are changing. And burdening the next generation with our dreams of continuing our legacy will eventually lead to a stagnation. Handing over the lamp and throttling their aspirations and ambitions will be of no good. When they turn around and question, problems will be raised. Parties will break. The country will see father and son fighting for the party banner and logo.

A son on knowing the truth will not refrain from questioning his parents why his innocent sister was dumped in an orphanage.

Tagore too had said, “Rebellions cannot be curbed. They know their rights and shall duly take it.”

The outsiders in Bollywood: Akshay Kumar and Shah Rukh Khan

The outsiders in Bollywood: Akshay Kumar and Shah Rukh Khan

Continuing a legacy is an pertinent issue in our country. The reason for which can be only one thing. We don’t like to give up, be it our posts, chairs or stardom. We want our children to carry it on. Much like passing the baton. What we forget in the process is that our children have capabilities of building their own ‘legacy’. A legacy that might be etched in the stones of time.

A Kishore Kumar shall be forever evergreen. He wouldn’t need a son to carry it on. His work will do that for him. Friends riches and property can be passed. Talent is a blessing. So, instead of trying to handover your ‘legacy’ to your child, change the norm. Let the diamond studded spoon take a back seat and let the talent speak for itself. Let our children make their own story. Make his own legacy. Be his own king. Build his own Kingdom.

“Wouldn’t you want your son to be a successful journalist and an author just like you? ” Vijay broke my reverie and brought me back to the packed cafe.

“Would I?” I ask myself.

 

 

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