Sunday, September 19, 2010

Elementary, my dear Watson.

Right there, at the end of the film, Watson summarizes everything about Holmes- He's far too fond of himself. That is Sherlock Holmes for you in a nutshell. Eccentric, egoistic, arrogant, showman, brilliant, observant, loner and the god of logical deduction. Just finished watching Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes. I have to admit I grew fond of Downey's Holmes. Wacky, messy and a genius in disguise, Downey's Holmes had a kind of likability to it which is hard to find in a character who outsmarts everybody else around him. That's how you and I are, aren't we. If somebody is better than us in any respect, we either worship him or detest him; in case of the former, we overlook the defects and in case of the latter, we purposefully avoid confronting the true nature of acumen.

I first came across a Sherlock Holmes story when I was about 12 and Thatha gifted me this huge book with all the original stories of Sherlock Holmes. It stayed in my cupboard for a long time until I somehow got interested with in and tried giving that book a chance. But even now, though I know quite a lot about him, I still haven't finished that book. Jinxed, I presume. That apart, Holmes, like a lot of my other fictional idols has always spurred me into imitating him, or rather, imbibing him. When I came across Holden Caulifield, I detested the whole purpose of material existence and grew cynical about everything around me. Then came along Shantaram who taught me to try everything I come across because good story tellers are always the ones who've seen more of the world than anybody else. I cannot think of anybody else now but there has always been the large looming influence of Jobs and there's a long list of things which sub consciously have been transferred onto me from him, though with no knowledge of his.

Back to Holmes. His traits, his habits, his methods and his quirks are far too much not to be impressed with. He does really hail from Bohemia. An extremely gifted observer who is that pitch perfect blend of a street smart worker, a self-obsessed practitioner, a saint who is uninterested in the ways of the world and a fanatic who's practised his mind into being a keen one. To put it straight, Holmes has nothing more than just those traits which we see in people everyday. But what is extraordinary about him is the fact that he is a lot of people rolled into one. His confidence borders on the edge of arrogance, his methods are radically different from what conventional wisdom suggests, he's addicted to tobacco, cocaine and himself and for him, it is trivial that matters the most. Cynically, there's nothing really great attached to his work. All he does is keep his eyes, ears and mind open enough and instead of existing in a dazed state everyday, he's far too proactive and does what, ideally, every human is capable of doing.

Contrary to popular belief, it is not any of those traits mentioned above which make him gifted or blessed. If Holmes was ever blessed with something, it is with a keen mind which is not afraid to ask questions and make note of the answers, impartially. Not accepting orthodox answers and questioning authority with a mind courageous, or is that ignorant, enough not to rest until a solution has been conceived is all that requires to be Holmes. If you lived properly, that moment, with your mind and body aligned. Living, taking note of every moment, every blink, every breathe, every note and every puff. Nobody can teach it, all you can do is learn it.

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